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Highlights and Events

2014
AUG
20
AUG 20, 2014

Job Corps: A Golden Anniversary

Job Corps: A Golden Anniversary

When President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act on Aug. 20, 1964, a visionary model for providing education and opportunity to underserved young people was born. Fifty years later, that program — Job Corps — has transformed the lives of more than 2.7 million young people. With 125 Job Corps centers across the country, it has become one of the nation's largest residential training programs. To mark this historic achievement and the anniversary, Secretary Perez visited the Benjamin L. Hooks Job Corps in Memphis, Tenn. — one of the highest-performing centers in the system. He spent the morning talking with Holley Stafford, a 20-year-old carpenter and Job Corps graduate. Stafford dropped out of high school but, because of the training she received at Job Corps, now earns a good wage and loves her job remodeling grocery store interiors. At the center, Perez was treated to demonstrations of its medical office support, accounting, computer service technician and carpentry trades. Addressing the student body with Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton, Perez spoke about the continued vitality of the program, telling students that, with their skills, "The sky's the limit."

2014
AUG
6
AUG 6, 2014

$73 Million in YouthBuild Grants Award

$73 Million in YouthBuild Grants Award

When Secretary Perez arrived at the packed storefront that housed members of the North Shore Latino Business Association in Lynn, Mass., on Aug. 6, the standing-room-only gathering contained some of the community's most ardent business leaders. Perez was joined by Rep. John F. Tierney and Latino business owners, among other community leaders, in an open forum that highlighted the importance of job training and the president's opportunity agenda of increasing the national minimum wage, as well as ensuring the American workforce has the skills to succeed in today's economy. "People in Lynn, across Massachusetts and across America have a sense of optimism about our future, and I want to make sure as this boat gets up, everyone gets in," Perez told the crowd of about 60 business and community leaders. During the forum, Perez also announced $73.6 million in YouthBuild grants awarded by the department to support academic and occupational skills training for at-risk youth. One grantee, North Shore Community Development Coalition CEO Mickey Northcutt, was awarded $1.1 million to continue helping students complete the YouthBuild North Shore program, where they will receive the necessary skills to find jobs or attain a post-secondary education. The grants were awarded to 71 programs across 31 states, the District and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

2014
JUL
14
JUL 14, 2014

First-Ever American Apprenticeship Summit at the White House

First-Ever American Apprenticeship Summit at the White House

Earlier this year, President Obama laid out a goal to double the number of apprenticeships in the United States over the next five years. As part of on-going efforts to achieve the goal, the White House hosted the first-ever American Apprenticeship Summit on July 14. The gathering culminated a series of six regional meetings hosted by the Department of Labor with business and labor leaders in the transportation, health care, construction, energy, information technology and manufacturing sectors to discuss how to expand apprenticeships. Many of the participants in these events attended the White House summit, which focused on several topics, such as increasing diversity among apprentices and aligning apprenticeships with a broad job-driven training strategy. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez and Jeffrey Zients, director of the National Economic Council, led a roundtable discussion with participants to review their recommendations. Ultimately, this information will be used to design the $100 million American Apprenticeship grant competition, expected to be announced this fall. "For apprenticeship to succeed, we need to start a movement," Secretary Perez said at the summit's conclusion. "That's how systems change. I see the beginnings of a movement in this room."

2014
JUN
26
JUN 26, 2014

ApprenticeSHIPS Are a Win-Win for San Diego

ApprenticeSHIPS Are a Win-Win for San Diego'

While there are certainly many reasons to call San Diego home, the area's role as an epicenter for military and defense operations is a large driver of the local economy. For companies, that means maintaining a reliable pipeline of talented workers. One of the best ways to do so is through Registered Apprenticeship programs like the one at the Navy Shipyard Depot Maintenance Facility at the Naval Air Station North Island. U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez visited the program June 26 to learn how apprenticeships are helping support the Navy fleet. Apprentices learn to repair and maintain ships, earn industry recognized certificates, and complete leadership and supervision training through Southwestern College. Since apprenticeships are the original on-the-job training, participants earn a starting wage of almost $16 an hour with the opportunity to be promoted every six months. Seasoned journeymen earn more than $24 an hour. Approximately 45 percent of the program's participants are military veterans, including 2nd-year Pipefitter Apprentice Ben Hummel, who shared his story with Perez during the visit. Hummel joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 2002 and was deployed to Iraq in 2005. After returning to civilian life, and working as a delivery driver, Hummel began a new career with the shipyard in 2012 to expand his opportunities.

2014
JUN
26
JUN 26, 2014

$36 Million to Train Homeless Veterans Is 'Our Moral Duty'

$36 Million to Train Homeless Veterans Is 'Our Moral Duty'

Grants totaling more than $36 million have been awarded to 156 organizations nationwide to provide more than 12,000 veterans with training to help them succeed in civilian careers. "These job training programs will provide the skills that veterans require to find and keep a job and secure housing," said Secretary Perez. "The progress made in recent years to reduce veterans' homelessness is encouraging, but it remains our moral duty to do all we can to honor our veterans with the dignity of a good job and opportunities to build a solid middle-class life for their families." The grants include approximately $9 million for 37 new grantees to provide job-driven training, in which they will actively engage with employer partners to identify the skills needed for in-demand jobs and careers. They also will provide job placement, career counseling, life skills and money management mentoring, as well as help in finding housing.

2014
JUN
26
JUN 26, 2014

$155 Million in Grants Announced for Job-Driven Training Programs

$155 Million in Grants Announced for Job-Driven Training Programs

Matching job seekers with employers who are hiring is critical to an economy that provides opportunities for all. On June 26, the department awarded nearly $155 million in grants to 32 states, Puerto Rico and the Cherokee tribal nation through the Job-Driven National Emergency Grant competition. Secretary Perez and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker announced the grants, which will help workers who lost their jobs through no fault of their own. The grants will help states provide opportunities for on-the-job training, Registered Apprenticeships or other occupational training that results in an industry-recognized credential. Funding also will provide dislocated workers with career coaching and career counseling, as well as assistance with job placement in high-demand industries.

2014
JUN
24
JUN 24, 2014

Brainstorming at the White House ’Jobs Jam’

Brainstorming at the White House ’Jobs Jam’

As part of the Obama administration's commitment to ensure federal job training programs are meeting the needs of workers and employers, approximately 60 leaders in the science and technology industry gathered at the White House on June 25 for a "21st Century Jobs Jam." Secretary Perez, along with Vice President Biden, joined the brainstorming session, during which technology and thought leaders discussed the development of new ways to disseminate publicly available labor market data through more user-friendly online tools. Participants will regroup in a few months to report on their progress to the vice president and the secretary.

2014
JUN
19
JUN 19, 2014

Tools and Support to Help Ex-Offenders Transition to Good Jobs

Looking to the Future of Workforce Development

The department is expanding opportunities to re-integrate formerly incarcerated adults and youth involved in the juvenile justice system back into their communities. The grants, totaling $74 million, were announced on June 19. Funding will provide employment, training and support services for adults through a work-release program and youth through a combination of promising workforce and juvenile justice strategies. These grants also build on the department's career pathways initiative — to better coordinate education and training services — as well as the Promise Zone initiative, which promotes partnerships between local communities and businesses to create jobs, increase economic security, expand educational opportunities, increase access to housing and improve public safety.

2014
JUN
4
JUN 4, 2014

Looking to the Future of Workforce Development

Looking to the Future of Workforce Development

Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez joined leaders in the workforce development community for a conversation hosted by Third Way on June 4 to discuss how our nation can succeed by investing in strengthening the American workforce. Perez also moderated a panel discussion with community college presidents, employers, researchers, workforce professionals and others to identify the unique elements of current training partnerships that enable them to be both effective and scalable. Third Way is planning to compile ideas and recommendations from the roundtable as part of a report to the vice president later this month.

2014
JUN
4
JUN 4, 2014

Registered Apprenticeship Hosts Transportation Roundtable in Atlanta

Registered Apprenticeship Hosts Transportation Roundtable in Atlanta

While Registered Apprenticeships are primarily used in the construction industry, the earn-and-learn training model can be effectively applied to many other industries that require specialized skills. That's why the department is investing $100 million to expand apprenticeships into more high-growth industries. To better understand how apprenticeships can be applied effectively in different industries, the department is engaging in a series of industry roundtables. On June 4, the first of these roundtables was held at a UPS facility in Atlanta, with a focus on transportation and logistics. Five additional roundtables will be held throughout June, focusing on the health care, construction, energy, manufacturing and information technology industries.

2014
MAY
28
MAY 28, 2014

At Job Centers, Veterans 'Go to the Front of the Line'

At Job Centers, Veterans 'Go to the Front of the Line'

Veterans get "priority of service" at the nation's 2,500 American Job Centers, where their skills, abilities and employment needs are assessed and they are connected to a much broader network of benefits and social services. That's the message Secretary Perez delivered on May 28 at the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. Perez also noted that the department's Veterans' Employment and Training Service has provided the coalition and other advocacy programs with $38 million in grants to help fund job training, counseling and placement services to expedite the reintegration of homeless veterans into the labor force.

2014
MAY
27
MAY 27, 2014

Secretary Perez Visits Cypress Mandela Training Center in Oakland, California

Secretary Perez Visits Cypress Mandela Training Center in Oakland, Californias

Secretary Perez and Rep. Barbara Lee traveled to Oakland, Calif., on May 27 to tour the Cypress Mandela Training Center. The center's training offerings include classroom and hands-on instruction in a variety of areas — applied math, cement and iron work, job safety, plumbing, and solar installation. The Oakland center has received local and national recognition and has established itself as a model pre-apprenticeship construction training center. "Our goal is job-driven training. And perhaps, no training program or strategy does that as effectively as apprenticeships," Perez said.

2014
MAY
27
MAY 27, 2014

Disability Employment Funding Available to States

Disability Employment Funding Available to States

Approximately $15 million in grants is now available to state workforce agencies to develop flexible and innovative strategies to increase the participation of people with disabilities in career pathways programs. The grants are available through the Disability Employment Initiative, a joint program of the Employment and Training Administration and the Office of Disability Employment Policy. To date, the department has awarded, through four rounds of funding, more than $81 million to 26 projects. The deadline to apply is July 8.

2014
MAY
23
MAY 23, 2014

Job Corps Student Shares Her Story on MSNBC

Job Corps Student Shares Her Story on MSNBC

Roxanne Chin, the director of the Potomac Job Corps Center in Washington, D.C., along with center graduate Nicole Baker, were invited to talk about the program's benefits recently during the taping of a segment of MSNBC's "Politics Nation With Al Sharpton." Baker, a single mother, said that "Job Corps changed my life," and recounted how her training at Potomac as a pharmacy technician lead to her being hired by a drug store chain. Chin said the program each year "touches the lives" of 60,000 students at 125 Job Corps Centers nationwide.

2014
MAY
21
MAY 21, 2014

Underscoring the Importance of Apprenticeships

Underscoring the Importance of Apprenticeships

"We have to let our parents and teachers know there is a bright future for people who work with their hands." Secretary Perez offered those encouraging words to a group of future tradesmen and woman, when he visited the Finishing Trades Institute of the Mid-Atlantic Region training facility in Northeast Philadelphia on May 21. The FTI represents commercial painters, drywall finishers, glaziers, glassworkers, industrial painters, wall coverers and multi-craft decorators. Perez met with apprentices, as well as labor and industry leaders, to highlight how partnerships like this are connecting ready-to-work Americans with ready-to-be-filled jobs.

2014
MAY
14
MAY 14, 2014

Boosting Innovation in Job Training Strategies

Boosting Innovation in Job Training Strategies

The department wants to see more creative and unique job training strategies and is making available up to $53 million in Workforce Innovation Fund grants towards the effort. These funds will invest in both the scaling of proven practices and the development of promising new ideas. Grantees are encouraged to work with local and regional employers, industry groups, and their state commerce and development agencies to strengthen public-private partnerships. "Developing more efficient and effective job training solutions is crucial to building the pipeline of skilled workers needed to compete in the global economy," said Perez during the grant announcement.

2014
APR
28
APR 28, 2014

Job-driven Training Funding Available For States

Job-driven Training Funding Available For States

Up to $150 million in funding for states through a new Job-Driven National Emergency Grant has been announced to train workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own for jobs in high-demand industries. These investments will help create or expand employer partnerships that provide opportunities for on-the-job training, Registered Apprenticeships, or other occupational training that results in an industry-recognized credential. States, territories, and federally recognized tribes must apply by May 27 to be considered.

2014
APR
23
APR 23, 2014

New Web Portal Connects Employers With Veterans

New Web Portal Connects Employers With Veterans

Part of transforming apprenticeship for the 21st century means not having to choose between job training and getting a college degree. That's why the Labor Department, in partnership with the Department of Education, is launching the Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium, a new effort that will allow graduates of Registered Apprenticeship programs to turn their years of apprenticeship training into college credits toward an associate or bachelor's degree.

2014
APR
16
APR 16, 2014

Expanding Job-Driven Training Partnerships to Create Opportunity

Expanding Job-Driven Training Partnerships to Create Opportunity

On a visit to the Community College of Allegheny County outside of Pittsburgh on April 16, President Obama and Vice President Biden announced a $450 million grant program to expand partnerships between community colleges, the workforce system, employers and national industry groups. Community colleges are one of the best ways to train workers with the skills they need for a job, and for the last three years, the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training initiative has been doing just that. More than 800 colleges around the country have already received funding. A second grant program, worth $100 million and previewed by the president, is designed to expand apprenticeships.

2014
APR
7
APR 7, 2014

Giving Apprentices More Tools to Succeed

Giving Apprentices More Tools to Succeed

Part of transforming apprenticeship for the 21st century means not having to choose between job training and getting a college degree. That's why the Labor Department, in partnership with the Department of Education, is launching the Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium, a new effort that will allow graduates of Registered Apprenticeship programs to turn their years of apprenticeship training into college credits toward an associate or bachelor's degree.

2014
APR
7
APR 7, 2014

Building a 21st Century Workforce Starts In High School

Building a 21st Century Workforce Starts In High School

President Obama stopped by Bladensburg High School in Maryland on April 7 to announce the winners of the Youth CareerConnect program. The program, administered by the department in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education, will help prepare 2,500 high school graduates to succeed academically and graduate career ready in high-demand fields such as information technology and health care. Overall, 24 Youth CareerConnect awards across the country will provide $107 million to high schools and their partners to strengthen the college- and career-readiness of America's high school students.

2014
APR
14
APR 14, 2014

Grant Competition to Provide Job Training for Veterans Now Open

Grant Competition to Provide Job Training for Veterans Now Openl

On April 14, the department made approximately $6 million available to provide an estimated 2,000 veterans with occupational, classroom and on-the-job training, as well as job search and placement assistance, to help them succeed in the civilian labor market. Through this Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program grant competition, grantees must promote active engagement with industry, employers and employer associations to identify the skills needed for in-demand jobs and careers.

2014
MAR
13
MAR 13, 2014

Build a Strong Workforce Registered Apprenticeship Programs

Build a Strong Workforce Registered Apprenticeship Programs<

During a West Coast swing, Labor Secretary Tom Perez visited with apprentices at the Electrical Apprenticeship Training Facility, a program run jointly by the IBEW Local 6 and the San Francisco Electrical Contractors Association. Perez saw workers receiving marketable skills and learned the program boasts a graduation rate of 93 percent and pays up to $56.92 per hour. One student said that he saw his apprenticeship as a "golden ticket to the middle class."

2014
MAR
25
MAR 25, 2014

Successful On-The-Job Training Programs in New Hampshire

Perez and Biden Promote Successful On-The-Job Training Programs in New Hampshire

Secretary Perez joined Vice President Joe Biden on a trip to New Hampshire on March 25, to visit the local American Job Center and meet employers who are training their employees for high skill occupations. The local American Job Center, NH Works, is a leading provider of On-The-Job training programs, an innovative "earn while you learn" program that is helping previously unemployed workers gain job skills while they continue to receive a paycheck.

2014
MAR
25
MAR 25, 2014

Championing Innovation to Connect Workers With Jobs

Championing Innovation to Connect Workers With Jobs

Ensuring that the Labor Department is doing everything it can to connect ready-to-work Americans with ready-to-be-filled jobs is a top priority for Secretary Perez. So on March 27, Perez spent the day meeting with various organizations that are playing key roles in making sure the nation's workforce is trained for the 21st century economy.

2014
FEB
10
FEB 10, 2014

Construction Industry Pledges 100,000 Jobs for Veterans

Michele Obama

A broad coalition of construction industry employers and associations have pledged to hire 100,000 veterans over the next five years. According the First Lady Michelle Obama, the companies "made this commitment not just because it's the patriotic thing to do, and not just because they want to repay our veterans for their service to our country, but because they know that it's the smart thing to do for their business."

2014
MAR
3
MAR 3, 2014

Giving Veterans the Tools to Succeed in High-Tech Jobs

Giving Veterans the Tools to Succeed in High-Tech Jobs

Secretary Perez visited Microsoft Corp. headquarters in Redmond, WA on March 3 to get educated by students and officials about its Software & Systems Academy. Launched in November 2013, the academy trains military personnel for jobs in the technology sector and currently is being piloted in partnership with Joint Base Lewis-McChord at Washington State University. The 16-week training course focuses on high-demand skills, such as software testing, web development, database administration and IT administration. After successfully completing the training, qualified participants move into entry-level jobs as software testers by either Microsoft or Launch Consulting, the technology firm administering the program, or they can pursue employment elsewhere. "

2014
FEB
19
FEB 19, 2014

Labor Department Announces Ready to Work Partnership Grants

Labor Department Announces Ready to Work Partnership Grants

As part of the Obama Administration's continuing efforts to help Americans experiencing long term unemployment get back to work, the Labor Department announced on Feb 19 a new $150 million Ready to Work Partnership grant competition. The funds will be used to provide work-based training to facilitate hiring of unemployment Americans for jobs where companies would typically use foreign workers on H-1B visas.

2014
MAR
14
MAR 14, 2014

A "Golden Ticket" – Expanding Apprenticeships to Create Opportunity

Secretary Perez at table

Apprenticeships have been a proud American tradition for decades, with a tried and true training model can be applied to occupations requiring specialized training in fields like healthcare, information technology and advanced manufacturing, among others. That's why President Obama's latest budget request calls for a $2 billion investment to double the number of Registered Apprenticeships over the next 5 years by working with employers in a variety of industries.