The First Lady, Jill Biden, along with Deputy Secretary of Labor, Julie Su, and Deputy Secretary of Energy, David Turk, visited Ivy Tech Community College in Valparaiso, Indiana, to emphasize the Biden Administration’s commitment to strengthening the economy and building affordable pathways to good-paying jobs through career-connected learning.

The First Lady, Su, and Turk toured Ivy Tech’s Flex Lab and spoke to students who are part of the Renewable Energy program. Biden wore a blue dress, black jacket, and black boots when she visited the college. Upon arriving, she met with faculty, students, and a graduate of the college’s energy technology department.

Mike Jones, Ivy Tech adjunct faculty, informed her that the local utility NIPSCO had a policy that guaranteed job interviews to their students.

Later, Biden spoke with the chair of the college’s renewable energy program, who informed her that Indiana had one of the fastest-growing renewable energy grids in the country.

Biden also spoke with Oliver Wood, a high school sophomore who took classes at both Ivy Tech Community College and Chesterton High School, who demonstrated a wind turbine simulator.

Biden spoke with a student who had immigrated from Chad and studied renewable energy at Ivy Tech Community College. He expected to graduate in May and hoped to found his own company one day.

“This is so exciting,” Biden said while speaking with students in the renewable energy program. “This is the future.”

The students then gave Biden a demonstration of a solar energy system simulator.

“You are our future,” Biden told the students after the demonstration.

Department of Labor announced $50 million in grants to help 15 community colleges in 14 states expand access to education and training for good-paying jobs and meet employers’ and workers’ skill development needs equitably.

The First Lady has long been an advocate of career-connected learning programs and pathways to good-paying jobs and has been speaking at various events across the country to promote this idea. Ivy Tech Community College is a state community college that was founded in 1963.

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