WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the availability of approximately $100 million in America’s Promise Job-Driven Grants to develop and grow regional partnerships between workforce agencies, education and training providers and employers in a variety of industries such as information technology, healthcare, advanced manufacturing, financial services and educational services.
The America’s Promise grant competition is designed to:
- Increase opportunities for all Americans through tuition-free training for middle-to high-skilled occupations and industries.
- Expand employer involvement in the design and delivery of training programs.
- Utilize evidence-based sector strategies to increase employability, employment earnings and outcomes of job seekers.
- Leverage additional public, private and foundation resources to scale and sustain proven strategies.
“These grants are part of the Obama administration’s commitment to redesigning a modern skills infrastructure in America that engages employers as never before,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez while visiting a similar program at The Great Lakes Towing Company in Cleveland, Ohio. “Workforce partnerships built around the industry-specific needs of multiple employers are helping to expand opportunity for American workers, while also strengthening local communities and building a U.S. economy poised for growth.”
Approximately 20 to 40 grants of $1 million to $6 million will be awarded throughout the country. For each sector and service area, partnerships must include the public workforce system, an economic development agency, at least one education and training provider and at least five employers or a regional industry association.
The four-year grants will support tuition-free education and training that prepares participants for jobs in industries that currently utilize the H-1B temporary visa program to meet industry workforce needs. Grant-funded programs will use individual assessments to determine the best strategies to successfully move participants into middle- to high-skilled jobs including accelerated training, longer-term intensive training and upskilling current employees to meet the demands of higher skilled jobs.
Grantees will use a variety of work-based learning to help participants obtain the necessary skills, competencies and credentials including registered apprenticeship, on-the-job training, paid work experience and paid internships. Programs will also use a mixture of classroom education, competency-based learning and technology-enabled training strategies.
This grant competition aligns with President Obama’s efforts to expand tuition-free education programs and is based on recommendations from Vice President Biden’s 2014 job-driven training report.
Funded through fees paid by employers to bring foreign workers into the U.S. under the H-1B temporary visa program, these grants are intended to raise the technical skill levels of American workers and, over time, help businesses reduce their reliance on temporary visa programs.
The deadline to apply is August 25, 2016.