The U.S. Department of Labor has announced $150 million in grants to support sector-based approaches to expand apprenticeships on a national scale in key industry sectors. When awarded, the grants will move a step closer to President Trump’s vision set forth in Executive Order on Expanding Apprenticeship in America, which calls for increasing the number of apprentices in the U.S. across all industries.
This grant program aims to accelerate the expansion of apprenticeships to new industry sectors, and to increase apprenticeship opportunities for all Americans. Veterans, military spouses, service members re-entering the civilian workforce, and underrepresented groups in apprenticeship, including women, people of color, and ex-offenders, will benefit from their investments. As directed by the 2017 Executive Order, the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion released in May its final report to the President, which provides detailed recommendations for meeting these goals.
“The expansion of apprenticeships makes the American workforce even stronger,” says U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. “This funding is an investment in America’s workforce, will contribute to competitiveness by helping job creators meet increasing demands for skilled workers, and meets the need for family-sustaining careers.”
There are more than 6.6 million job openings in the U.S., many of which require advanced skills.
The Department will award up to $150 million in H-1B funds to approximately 15 to 30 apprenticeship programs, with awards ranging from $1 million to $12 million. The grant size will depend on the size of the targeted industry sector and the proposed scale of the apprenticeship projects. Funding will be awarded to projects designed to:
- Expand apprenticeships to occupations that have not typically used apprenticeships to bring new entrants into the workforce. By focusing on information technology, advanced manufacturing, banking and finance, and healthcare, we can offer new job seekers opportunities and upskill those already employed in these industries to bolster the sector’s competiveness.
- Increase the level of apprenticeship activity among a range of new employers within these industry sectors, particularly small and medium-sized businesses.
- Promote a sector-based approach to large-scale expansion of apprenticeships that include a paid, work-based learning component and a required educational or instructional component that results in the issuance of an industry-recognized credential and meet appropriate quality assurance standards.
For additional information on grant eligibility, and how to apply for funds, visit www.grants.gov.