NEW YORK — The U.S. Department of Education announced today that it will award $40 million in new federal funding to support the construction of community college campuses across the country to help communities meet the growing demand for education and training.

In addition to the $20 million announced today, the Department will also provide $10 million to help build new community colleges in the Midwest, Northeast and Southwest, according to the Department.

“We are excited about the potential of community colleges to provide students with the high-quality education they need, while also offering new pathways for young people to pursue careers in the private sector,” said Michelle Rhee, Assistant Secretary of Education.

“The $40 billion in new Federal student loan relief over the next five years will help students with debt from community colleges and universities access the college education they deserve.”

This funding will go toward constructing and operating new community college facilities across the United States.

Community colleges currently serve more than 100,000 students annually.

The funds will help provide access to new college options, including community colleges, community college partnerships, career training, community colleges for the poor, and community colleges with high graduation rates.

Community colleges have been a priority of the President since he launched his Presidential campaign, and this new federal investment will help communities to create and build more than 1 million community college spaces in the next 10 years.

The President has announced that he is committed to creating and maintaining 2 million more community college space in the U.C. Berkeley campus in California, as well as 1.3 million additional community college sites in states across the nation.

This funding is also a significant step toward providing funding for more community colleges as they expand their reach and become more accessible.

The President is committed in the years ahead to ensure the best communities are built.

Community college is an important tool to help people of color and other underserved communities build skills and access to high-paying jobs, and to make higher education affordable and accessible for all Americans.

Community and community college are also vital for the health of communities, which are more than 80 percent Latino and 60 percent African American.

They provide students and the workforce with training and the skills necessary to work in a diverse workforce, while providing a pathway for young Americans to pursue their careers in business, finance, technology, engineering and other occupations.

The Administration is committed that this new investment in community college funding will help our Nation’s communities create more high-wage jobs and that community colleges will continue to have a vital role in our economy.

For more information on the Administration’s work to support higher education, visit www.ed.gov/education.

For more information about this announcement, visit the White House.