USDOL announces Ready to Work Partnership Grant Program

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, March 6, 2014

The US Department of Labor (USDOL) has announced the availability of competition for the Long-Term Unemployed H-1B “Ready To Work” Partnerships Grant Program (Ready to Work), which will utilize approximately $150 million in revenues from the H-1B visa program to support high performing partnerships between employers, non-profit organizations and America's public workforce system.  This program will help provide long-term unemployed individuals with the range of services, training, and access needed to fill middle- and high-skill jobs.

Programs funded through Ready to Work will use on-the-job training, paid work experience, paid internships and registered apprenticeships to provide employers the opportunity to train workers in the specific skill sets required for open jobs. Programs will have to recruit those who have been out of work for six months or longer and will incorporate a strong up-front assessment, allowing for a customization of services and training to facilitate re-employment.

Ready to Work recognizes the key role employers can play in designing and implementing high quality partnership programs.  Applicants must include employers and/or industry organizations in two distinct ways:  as a member of the primary partnership and as part of a precondition documentation that requires the active involvement of at least three employers or a regional industry association.

Employers can participate by – defining the program goals and activities; identifying necessary skills and competencies; providing resources to support education or training (such as equipment, instructors, funding, internships, or work-based learning activities); hiring qualified participants who complete grant-funded education and training programs, and helping to solicit employer feedback on the skills and competencies of workers completing training and placed into employment.

USDOL anticipates awarding approximately 20 to 30 grants in amounts ranging from $3 million to $10 million.  Ready to Work applications must be received no later than 4:00 pm (EST) on June 19, 2014. 

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