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U.S. first lady Jill Biden delivers remarks during an Equal Pay Day event in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on March 24, 2021 in Washington, DC. Highlighting the gender pay gap, Equal Pay Day raises awareness that women in the United States earned $0.82 for every dollar men earned in 2019, according to the National Committee on Pay Equity.

VALPARAISO, Ind. — When it comes to preparing students for high-paying, stable, in-demand jobs for the 21st century, high school just doesn’t cut it anymore. That’s the word from the First Lady.

In Valparaiso Monday, Dr. Jill Biden spoke at Ivy Tech Community College, which she views as a leading institution in the push for workforce and economic development.

Speaking in front of students at the school, Dr. Biden said community colleges that offer things like dual enrollment courses, registered apprenticeships, and business partnerships, are setting the example and the best prepared for rebuilding the middle class, building the economy from the middle out and bottom up.

“And they (community colleges) offer programs tailored to the communities that they serve,” said Dr. Biden, “I had the opportunity to see the Flex Lab, where students are training for careers in clean energy. They’re building solar powered systems and being trained to operate wind turbines. This program is giving them good-paying jobs and protecting the planet for the next generation.”

Biden said ideas like dual enrollment are not Democrat ideas nor Republican ideas, but American ideas that are championed by leaders in both parties.

“For many years, they’ve (community colleges programs) helped students from all communities – red and blue, urban and suburban, everywhere in between, to help you get the training you need for the jobs of the future.”

Several members of President Joe Biden’s staff also spoke at the event Monday, supporting the ideas of investing in community colleges across the United States, just like Ivy Tech in Valparaiso, Indiana.