VALPARAISO, Ind. (WLS) -- As a former community college professor, First Lady Jill Biden felt at home during her Indiana visit to Ivy Tech Community College in Valparaiso.
Checking out Ivy Tech's renewable energy program, Biden's visit is all part of the administration's commitment to create jobs through career-connected learning.
"There are great careers out there, that can be found with an associate's degree, certificates and other jobs and paths that didn't require a four year college degree," Biden said.
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The First Lady was particularly impressed with Sandy Strilich Daly, the first woman to graduate from Ivy Tech's electric line construction program.
Daly enrolled in college at age 45. Thanks to her certification, she has been working at a gas and electric company for 12 years.
Daly was honored to be singled out. She is now a huge advocate of learning the trades.
"The money is out there, the jobs are out there," Daly said. "There are welders, plumbers, electricians."
Biden is also trying to push high school students into dual enrollment programs.
Oliver Wood is a high school sophomore and is taking renewal energy classes at Ivy Tech. A very nervous Wood spoke with Biden and gave her a quick demonstration.
"Exciting, nervous, everything you can imagine all at once, like I've been sweating bullets for the past hour," Wood said.
This is the First Lady's second recent visit with students in the Chicago area. Last November, she met with Rolling Meadows High School students in the school's career pathways program.
In its pitch to build the middle class, the Biden administration has invested close to 100 million dollars in 28 community colleges around the country.