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U.S. Department of Labor Announces Availability of $150 Million To Invest in Workforce Training for Key U.S. Employment Sectors

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor announced today the availability of $150 million in the H-1B One Workforce Grant Program to invest in training for middle- to high-skilled H-1B occupations within key sectors in the U.S. economy, including information technology and cyber security, advanced manufacturing and transportation, to upskill the present workforce and train a new generation of workers to grow the future workforce. 

The coronavirus pandemic has not only caused disruptions in the labor market, but also forced many education and training providers and employers to rethink how to deliver training. In this grant program, the Department’s Employment and Training Administration set out to streamline funding and resources to encourage a more integrated workforce system that will encourage applicants to provide an innovative mix of training strategies, leveraging innovative modes of training delivery, including online, distance and other technology-enabled learning.

Through local public/private partnerships, grantees will deploy training to provide individuals in their communities with skills necessary to advance career pathways to employment in middle- to high-skilled H-1B occupations within key industry sectors. Training models will include a broad range of classroom and on-the-job training, customized training, incumbent worker training, Registered Apprenticeship Programs and Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs.

“The U.S. Department of Labor is challenging communities to think as ‘One Workforce,’” said Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training John Pallasch. “In the current job environment, it is critical that local organizations work as one instead of independent parts of a process. Our goal is to create seamless community partnerships to build career pathways for local job seekers to enter middle- to high-skilled occupations in cyber security, advanced manufacturing, and transportation sectors.”

Public-private partnerships will leverage resources across federal, state and local funding streams, as well as from the private sector to support training, employment services and supportive services to maximize access to employment opportunities. These partnerships will work toward a coordinated approach to preparing a skilled workforce within an economic region. All applicants must demonstrate that they are leveraging at least 25 percent of the total amount of the grant funds requested. 

The following four types of organizations qualify as eligible lead applicants:

Businesses, business-related nonprofit organizations, such as industry and trade associations, and organizations functioning as a workforce intermediary for the express purpose of serving the needs of an industry;
Education and training providers, including community colleges, other community-based organizations, and for-profit educational and training institutions;
Entities involved in administering the public workforce system established under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act; and
Economic development agencies.

Eligible participants served through this grant program must be at least 17 years old and not currently enrolled in secondary school within a local educational agency. Among the individuals eligible to receive training, those of interest include unemployed and underemployed individuals seeking full-time employment, and incumbent workers needing to update or upskill to retain employment or advance into middle- to high-skilled positions. Veterans, military spouses and transitioning service members will receive Priority of Service. 

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

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