News Release

Nearly $170M in Ready to Work Partnership grants awarded to help long-term unemployed Americans find work

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced $169,771,960 in grants to expedite the employment of Americans struggling with long-term unemployment. The grants are part of the Ready to Work Partnership initiative to support and scale innovative collaborations between employers, nonprofit organizations and federal job training programs to help connect ready-to-work Americans with ready-to-be-filled jobs.

"There's no question that individuals struggling with long-term unemployment are better off than they were 12 months ago, but there are still twice as many of them as there were before the recession. The constant struggle to find work has left many of them feeling discouraged and disregarded," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "The federal grants we're awarding today are part of a series of administration initiatives designed to help encourage, empower and employ this pool of talented individuals."

These grants are part of an administration-wide effort to address the ongoing issue of long-term unemployment. Secretary Perez and Jeff Zients, director of the National Economic Council, will meet with chief human resource officers of leading companies, including Citigroup Inc., CVS Health, The Boeing Co. and Dow Chemical Co., among others, during a roundtable discussion hosted at the White House on Wednesday, Oct. 15, to discuss improvements these companies have made to increase recruitment of and eliminate barriers to hiring long-term unemployed individuals. The Office of Personnel Management will also issue guidance today to federal agencies on increasing recruitment and hiring of long-term unemployed individuals.

Grants, ranging from $3 million to $10 million, were awarded to 23 partnerships to serve individuals in 20 states and Puerto Rico. Three grantees — District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund (Pennsylvania), Memphis Bioworks Foundation (Tennessee) and Worksystems Inc. (Oregon) — will support projects in multiple states.

All grants funded today will incorporate three primary functions:

  1. Outreach and Recruitment Grantees will work with state unemployment insurance programs, the network of more than 2,500 American Job Centers around the country, community and faith-based organizations, job clubs and other worker advocate organizations to identity and recruit participants in need of training and supportive services.
  2. Training and Support Services Participants in programs funded by these grants will receive job training and support services for occupations in information technology, advanced manufacturing, health care and other high-demand industries. Participants will receive a comprehensive, up-front assessment of their needs and skills resulting in customized classroom and online training that will lead them to an industry-recognized degree or certificate. Participants will also receive financial counseling, child-care support, health care and other services to help them focus on finding a job. All of the grantees have also demonstrated strong partnerships with local employers and industry groups that offer work-based training opportunities, such as paid internships, on-the-job training or Registered Apprenticeships. Work-based training will allow long-term unemployed individuals to fill in gaps of employment in their resumes, gain first-hand experience with an employer and establish a direct link to permanent employment.
  3. Placement StrategiesAll projects incorporate strong placement strategies to support long-term unemployed workers in finding rapid employment in middle- and high- skilled jobs. These projects will include a designated career coach to guide long-term unemployed individuals from the assessment period all the way to job placement. Services will include resume consultation, networking coaching, social media strategies and mock interview with employers. In addition, many projects include commitments from employers to hire or interview program participants following their completion of a work-based training program.

The goals of the Ready to Work Partnership initiative are closely aligned with the Obama administration's job-driven training principles. Grantees will work with local and regional employers, industry groups and their state commerce and development agencies to strengthen public-private partnerships. In addition, all grants require an evaluation component that will help significantly increase the body of knowledge about the most effective strategies in workforce development.

The original grants solicitation announced funding of up to $150 million for this program. However, additional H-1B funding was made available, which allowed for approximately $20 million more to be awarded.

Editor's Note: A full list of grantees and grant amounts follows this release.

Ready To Work Partnership Grant Awardees




Areas Served

Grant Amount

Jewish Vocational Service

San Francisco


Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco counties


NOVA Workforce Development



Silicon Valley


Denver Office of Economic Development



Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, Jefferson, Larimer, Mesa and Weld counties


Capital Workforce Partners



Hartford County


Workforce Alliance Inc.

New Haven


New Haven, New London, Tolland, Windham and portions of Fairfield and Middlesex counties


CareerSource North Central Florida



Alachua, Bradford, Gadsden, Leon, Wakulla, Flagler and Volusia counties


Florida State College at Jacksonville



Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, Atlantic Beach, Yulee, Fernandina Beach and Hilliard





Indianapolis and Marion counties


West Central Indiana Region 4 Workforce Investment Board



Benton, Cass, Carroll, Clinton, Fountain, Howard, Miami, Montgomery, Tippecanoe, Tipton, Warren and White counties


Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corporation



Anne Arundel, Baltimore City, Baltimore, Calvert, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George's and St. Mary's counties


Nebraska Department of Labor



Omaha Metropolitan Area


New Jersey Council of County Colleges



State of New Jersey


RochesterWorks Inc.



Rochester, Greece, Canandaigua, Geneva and Batavia


Westchester-Putnam Local Workforce Investment Board

White Plains


Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland and Orange counties


WSOS Community Action Commission Inc.



State of Ohio


It's My Community Initiative Inc.

Oklahoma City


State of Oklahoma


Worksystems Inc.



Oregon: Banks, Barlow, Beaverton, Canby, Cornelius, Damascus, Durham, Estacada, Fairview, Forest Grove, Gaston, Gladstone, Gresham, Happy Valley, Hillsboro, Johnson City, King City, Lake Oswego, Maywood Park, Milwaukie, Molalla, North Plains, Oregon City, Portland, Rivergrove, Sandy, Sherwood, Tigard, Troutdale, Tualatin, West Linn, Wilsonville and Wood Village Washington: Battle Ground, Camas, Castle Rock, Cathlamet, Kalama, Kelso, Longview, Ridgefield, Vancouver, Washougal, Woodland and Yacolt


District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund



Pennsylvania: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia countiesNew Jersey: Burlington and Camden counties

Delaware: New Castle County


Puerto Rico Technoeconomic Corridor



Aguada, Aguadilla, Anasco, Moca, Rincón, Cabo Rojo, Lajas, Hormigueros, Maricao, Las Marías, Mayaguez, San German, Sabana Grande, Isabela, Guánica, Quebradillas and San Sebastián


Workforce Solutions of Providence/Cranston



State of Rhode Island


Memphis Bioworks Foundation



Tennessee: Fayette, Shelby and Tipton counties Mississippi: DeSoto, Marshall, Tate and Tunica counties

Arkansas: Crittenden County


San Jacinto Community College District



Brazoria, Chambers, Galveston, Harris and Liberty counties


Project QUEST Inc.

San Antonio


Pleasanton, Bandera, San Antonio, New Braunfels, Pearsall, Fredericksburg, Seguin, Kenedy, Boerne, Kerrville, Hondo and Floresville




ETA News Release: 
Media Contact Name: 

Jason Kuruvilla

Phone Number: 
Media Contact Name: 

David Roberts

Phone Number: 
Release Number: