White House Announces $100 Million for Job Training Partnerships
On Monday, April 25, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, announced the White House’s new investment of $100 millionto power the America’s Promise Job-Driven Training grants (America’s Promise Grants). This new competitive grant program will provide funds to create and expand partnerships between employers and community colleges or other community-based job training organizations, in hopes of providing more unemployed or underemployed Americans tuition-free education that will prepare them for high-skill, high-demand careers. The initiative is slated to begin this summer, and will be administered by the U.S. Department of Labor using funds from the H-1B visa program.
The grants, according the White House’s press release on the initiative, are intended to assist employers and job training programs to create work-based learning, internship and paid work experience programs. They will be available to begin new partnerships as well as to bring existing ones to greater scale.
This new program joins several others in the White House’s portfolio on “upskilling,” its effort to prepare more low-skilled or underemployed individuals for career success, including efforts around registered apprenticeship and higher education affordability. The America’s Promise Grant program is an extension of the America’s College Promise initiative that President Obama announced during his 2015 State of the Union address (often referred to as free community college), which has spurred more than $70 million in new investments to cover the cost of tuition for students through public private partnerships.
ACTE will monitor and share additional details on the program as they become available, including the grant’s application timeline and process.
DOL Launches Investment in ApprenticeshipUSA Program
Late last year, the FY 2016 federal appropriations bill provided $90 million to expand apprenticeship programs through the ApprenticeshipUSA program. The Department of Labor is working to implement this new investment, and last week announced its initial plans for investing in state apprenticeship strategies. Through this new announcement, $9.5 million is being made available for AprenticeshipUSA State Accelerator Grants, which can be used by states to “develop strategic plans and build partnerships for apprenticeship expansion and diversification.”
A range of activities can be supported, including the following (summarized by our partners at National Skills Coalition):
- costs for staff, contractor, or subject matter expert support for the development of state apprenticeship strategies and partner engagement activities
- outreach and technical assistance activities that support improved employer engagement and services; increased opportunities for women, communities of color, and other underrepresented populations; or engaging parents, educators, and other stakeholders in development of the state’s vision and strategy for apprenticeship
- analysis and asset mapping activities that allow states to identify sectoral opportunities for apprenticeship expansion, and develop strategies for integrating workforce, education, and other resources to support state apprenticeship strategies
- development and dissemination of reports, data tools, and other resources that support the development of apprenticeship opportunities
- enhancing data collection capabilities relating to apprenticeship
- meetings and travel costs
Up to $250,000 will be available per state for a two-year time period. Governors are instructed to identify the appropriate state agency for application, and those applications from states are due on May 15, with awards expected to be made later that month. Later this year, an additional $50 million State Expansion Grants Competition will be announced to help states scale-up their efforts to expand apprenticeship.
For more information, including investment timelines and future activities under the ApprenticeshipUSA initiative, please visithttp://www.dol.gov/