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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

ETA News Release: [02/28/2011]
Contact Name: Lina Garcia or Michael Trupo
Phone Number: (202) 693-4661 or x3414
Release Number: 11-0275-NAT

US Labor Department calls for grant applications to assist community colleges, other organizations with implementing career pathways programs

PHILADELPHIA — Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today announced a solicitation for grant applications for the national Career Pathways Innovation Fund Grant Program. Over the next year, the department will award approximately $122 million through this program, including $65 million for health care-focused projects, and intends to fund 40 to 50 grants ranging from $1 million to $5 million each. These grants — which are replacing the former Community-Based Job Training grants — will focus on career pathway programs that help individuals of varying skill levels enter and pursue rewarding careers in emerging industries and in-demand occupations.

"Those who are looking for work — including the long-term unemployed — deserve access to the kind of training that will help them secure full-time employment in the 21st century economy," said Secretary Solis. "Career pathway programs help get Americans back to work by ensuring that individuals of varying skill levels can earn credentials that are highly valued by employers. That is the right thing to do for the unemployed and the smart thing to do for the nation."

Programs funded through these grants will have multiple entry and exit points, and many will include links to services such as basic adult education and English for speakers of other languages classes that make them accessible to individuals who are not yet prepared to enroll in college courses. The grants, which will be made to community colleges and other organizations, support President Obama’s broader agenda of helping every American gain at least one year of postsecondary education, and will help reach his goal of America having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.

The Career Pathways Innovation Fund grants will emphasize career pathway programs implemented by community colleges in partnership with employers, local workforce investment boards, and community and faith-based organizations. In order to further the goals of career training and education, and encourage innovation in the development of new learning materials leading to industry-recognized credentials, grantees will be required to license to the public (not including the federal government) all work created with the support of their grants.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to view the online tutorial "Grant Applications 101: A Plain English Guide to ETA Competitive Grants" available at http://www.workforce3one.org/page/grants_toolkit. Applicants can register at http://www.Grants.gov to access the solicitation when it is available. In addition, the Labor Department posts grant information at http://www.doleta.gov/grants.