Job-Driven Training Initiatives and the Opportunity for All

The Department of Labor (DOL) has been in lockstep with the current administration in trying to make good on President Obama’s promise of Opportunity for All.

There has been a lot of emphasis placed on the President’s second step of “training more Americans with the skills to fill new jobs” with job-driven training initiatives receiving increased Federal aid.

The Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) initiative was one such program. Intended to develop a steady stream of trained and career-ready workers for high-demand jobs that exist in their communities, it recently received the final $450 million installment of its $2 billion grant.

In a similar vein, the DOL targeted another in-need group, laid-off workers, by allocating $150million in job-driven training grants to states in order to grow On-the-Job Training (OJT) programs to prepare workers for high-demand industries.

The grants, which range from $500,000 to $6 million—available through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Dislocated Worker National Reserve fund—look to provide opportunities through Registered Apprenticeships, OJT, or other occupational training to help those workers laid off through no fault of their own gain the industry-recognized credentials and training they need to succeed in finding employment.

As well as creating new strategies for work-based learning, the expectation is that existing programs (including the Unemployment Insurance, WIA, and Trade Adjustment Assistance) are involved through services alignment and that partnerships with workforce and industry organizations are created and developed.

Innovation is still encouraged though. Funds can also be earmarked for the implementation of approaches or specialized services that help laid-off workers and the long-term unemployed re-enter the workforce, as well effective use of technology and social media to further employment opportunities and vital information sharing.

Additionally, the DOL recently launched Find Your Path, an online resource that helps to connect the dots between workers and hiring companies by raising awareness of available federally-funded job training programs.

The importance of preparing workers and key stakeholders in modern workforce development efforts cannot be stressed enough. We at KRA Corporation are encouraged to see the scope of the efforts being made in addressing the need and gaps faced by many U.S. workers, as well as those groups severely impacted by the current economic climate.

As a national leader in workforce development, KRA Corporation remains steadfast in its commitment to preparing jobseekers for today’s global economy and supplying employers with a trained and reliable workforce. Through WIA Adult/Dislocated Worker Service and WIA Youth Services, we improve the lives of individuals and strengthen the communities in which we live.