$600 million up for grabs for apprenticeship programs

Kentucky Labor Cabinet joins national effort to support registered apprenticeships

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 27, 2014) – The Kentucky Labor Cabinet is urging employers, unions and community colleges in the commonwealth to join recent national efforts to support job-driven training and registered apprenticeship.

Gov. Steve Beshear expressed support of federal grants for training and apprenticeship programs, adding that having a workforce that can meet the needs of businesses is a key component of his economic development plan.

apprentices2“I applaud this vital investment in job training to support the skilled labor jobs that propel our economy forward,” Beshear said. “Partnering with industry, community colleges, unions and training organizations will give this initiative the infrastructure necessary to guarantee that both workers and businesses get the training and support they need for mutual success.”

Emphasizing skills training as key to a growing middle class, earlier this year the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a total of $600 million in competitive grants to spur creation of targeted training and apprenticeship programs to help people land good paying jobs.

The DOL is accepting applications now for $450 million in grants under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training initiative. These grants are being implemented in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education (ED).

Single institutions may apply for grants of up to $2.5 million and partnerships of institutions within the same state or among institutions that share an economic region may apply for grants up to $15 million. Eligible applicants include community colleges and other public, proprietary or nonprofit educational institutions that offer programs that can be completed in two years and are accredited by an agency or association recognized by the ED.

A priority will be placed on partnerships that include national entities, such as industry associations, that pledge to help design and institute programs that give job seekers a credential that will be accepted by employers across a particular industry.

Those interested in applying for the newly available funding should visit grants.gov. The deadline to apply is July 7, 2014.

Scheduled to begin in the fall, the DOL will also put an additional $150 million in grants toward rewarding partnerships that expand registered apprenticeship programs.

“Right now there is an extremely valuable opportunity to take advantage of federal funding for training right here in the commonwealth,” said Kentucky Labor Cabinet Secretary Larry L. Roberts. “Businesses need a highly skilled workforce, and many job seekers need training to find good jobs. This is the time to work together to fill two needs at the same time, and registered apprenticeships can do exactly that.”

There are more than 100 registered apprenticeship programs already in Kentucky. Also, there are hundreds of officially recognized apprenticeable occupations.

The Labor Cabinet has apprenticeship program standards that are in conformance with federal and state laws governing apprenticeship. These standards are used to register all apprenticeship programs in the Commonwealth. For more information, visit labor.ky.gov.

(Information provided by The Lane Report on 5/29/2014)