Labor Department announces availability of $50.5M to help states expand, diversify registered apprenticeship opportunities
Part of a $90M funding strategy to further grow apprenticeships nationwide
States across the nation have the opportunity to expand registered apprenticeship programs that provide pathways for American workers from all backgrounds to acquire the skills and knowledge needed for good-paying jobs in fields such as information technology, healthcare, advanced manufacturing, building trades, cybersecurity and business services, through a new U.S. Department of Labor grant competition.
Ranging from $700,000 to $3.2M each, the department will award ApprenticeshipUSA State Expansion Grants to help states to integrate apprenticeship into their education and workforce systems; engage industry and other partners at scale to expand apprenticeship to new sectors and populations; support the state’s capacity to conduct outreach and work with employers to start new programs; provide support to expand opportunities for at-risk youth, women, people of color, Native Americans and individuals with disabilities, groups typically under-represented in registered apprenticeships; and implement state innovations, incentives and system reforms.
“The Obama Administration is ‘all in’ on apprenticeship for a simple reason: it works,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “Apprenticeships are a time-tested, earn-while-you-learn model that helps create opportunities for American workers to succeed while providing employers with the reliable pipeline of skilled talent they need to thrive in today’s global economy.”
The department will award approximately 33 grants totaling $50.5 million.
The ApprenticeshipUSA State Expansion Grants are the second phase of the department’s $90 million funding strategy announced in April to grow and diversify registered apprenticeship. These grants build on historic bipartisan Congressional support and follow an unprecedented $175 million investment in apprenticeship announced by the Obama administration in September 2015.
Apprenticeships benefit employers seeking a highly skilled workforce, and improve workers’ career prospects. Research shows more than 87 percent of apprentices retain their jobs after completing their programs, with an average starting wage above $50,000 per year. In addition, studies from around the globe report that for every dollar spent on apprenticeship, employers get an average of $1.47 back in increased productivity, reduced waste and greater front-line innovation.
The Funding Opportunity Announcement that includes information about how to apply is available at www.grants.gov. Grant applications must be received by Sept. 7, 2016.
About the Author
Ammar Campa-Najjar works in the Office of Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Labor.