New Jersey's community colleges could get an economic boost under President Obama's 2013 budget, which includes $8 billion for a "College To Career" fund.

The funds would help develop new partnerships between community colleges and businesses and help prepare students for the workforce.

"One of the most important aspects of the funding is support paid internships for low-income students so they can work while finishing their degrees. Many of our students are balancing work, family and their education" said Patrick Madama, Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Middlesex County Community College.

The money would also encourage companies to locate in the United States and ensure trainees find permanent employment.

"It recognizes that community colleges are poised to make big steps in their local communities in terms of helping businesses."

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan says they plan to use about $500 million of the funds for a competitive grant program aimed at rewarding community colleges that are doing good work.

"We are optimistic we will secure some of that funding" said Madama.

The Obama administration hopes an investment in community colleges will help the nation's overall economic recovery. The proposal still faces Congressional approval.