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By TOM BREEN
Associated Press

THOMASVILLE, NC (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden is visiting a community college in North Carolina and says the Obama administration sees such schools as the main path to the middle class for millions of Americans.

The vice president joined his wife, Jill, and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis on Friday on the last stop of a bus tour that visited community colleges in four other states. Biden says two-year degree programs have become essential as once-prosperous blue collar industries dwindle.

The tour spotlights the $8 billion in the president’s proposed budget to fund partnerships between businesses and community colleges.

The group visited Davidson County Community College near Greensboro.

Obama has mentioned North Carolina community colleges in his last two State of the Union addresses.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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