Administration Focuses on Job-driven Training, Apprenticeships in Workforce Development

In a continuing effort to match and develop the skills of workers to employers’ needs to help catalyze employment, the fourth and final round of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program, as well as $100million for competitive grants in the American Apprenticeship Initiative, was recently announced by President Obama.

Since 2011, the TAACCCT program has been tasked with strengthening the connection between community colleges, employers, and the workforce development system to develop a steady stream of trained and career-ready workers for high-demand jobs that exist in their communities.

This last round of funding is aimed at taking best practices identified in previous rounds and scaling it up from a local arena and developing statewide partnerships.

Additionally, the $100million grant competition—funded by H1-B visa fees—will focus on partnerships between employers, labor organizations, training providers, community colleges, local and state governments, the workforce system, non-profits, and faith-based organizations to boost participation in apprenticeships.

The initiative’s efforts are threefold:

  • create apprenticeship models      in high-growth fields (healthcare, IT and advanced manufacturing)
  • reward existing apprentices      with college credits and certifications for career advancement
  • recreate successful      apprenticeship models on a larger scale and market to a wider,      underrepresented audience.

Also, in an attempt to improve career pathways and the workforce development system in the new millennium, the Departments of Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services have sent out a Request for Information.

The aim of interagency collaboration is to streamline funding and improve program alignment so as to better serve jobseekers, employers, and communities. Secretary of Labor, Thomas Perez, believes that this effort will, “produce new ideas and new opportunities that will enhance job training programs and further improve how we serve individuals and communities.”

KRA Corporation, as a workforce development organization committed to preparing jobseekers for today’s global economy and supplying employers with a trained and reliable workforce, appreciates the dedicated efforts of all departments to modernize and equip the U.S. workforce.

KRA looks forward to the benefits that linking education and training programs will provide to jobseekers. We remain confident that coordinating efforts and streamlining processes will be helpful in making the U.S. workforce competitive while also better preparing jobseekers for the 21st Century with relevant certification and necessary credentials in identified high-demand fields.