Sector-driven Workforce Development…Is it Working?—Part 2

KRA Corporation continues this short series, looking at sector-based employment and training as a much-needed approach for some local workforce and economic development systems…

A few weeks ago, it was reported here that 10 years ago, the Bush administration laid out a “groundbreaking approach for closing employment skills gaps”—the High Growth Job Training Initiative (HGJTI) aimed at equipping workers with the technical skills they need to be successful in the workforce.  The full article can be viewed here.

The Department of Labor (DOL), through the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) and the Women’s Bureau, and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), have all contributed significantly to DOL’s intent “to invest in national models and demonstrations of workforce solutions in these [14 HGJTI] sectors.”  Many of these models and demonstrations were funded through grant programs.

Activities conducted as part of the HGJTI focused on the distribution of products and lessons-learned resulting from grants to Community Based Organizations (CBO)/ other non-profit organizations, community colleges/other institutions of higher education, Workforce Investment Boards (WIB), State and local government agencies, and other eligible workforce investment system stakeholders.

Some of the grants with HGJTI goals and objectives included the following:

  • Older Worker Demonstration Grants addressed the workforce challenges facing older individuals by providing training and related services for individuals age 55 and older that result in employment and advancement opportunities in high-growth industries and economic sectors.
  • Community-Based Job Training Grants supported workforce training for high-growth industries through the national system of community and technical colleges through funds awarded to individual community and technical colleges, community college districts, state community college systems, and One-Stop Career Centers.
  • YouthBuild Grants provided disadvantaged, low-income youth with education and employment skills necessary to achieve economic self-sufficiency in occupations in high demand, including opportunities for education and training, for meaningful work, and developing employment and leadership skills.
  • Technology-Based Learning Initiative Grants expanded access to training resulting in an increased number of workers trained, particularly in high-growth, high-demand occupations, and to meet the needs of industry for skilled employees.  These grants were designed to expand the vital role of TBL in helping workers quickly acquire the training and skills they need to be successful in today’s global economy.
  •  Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations Grants conducted innovative projects to improve the recruitment, selection, training, employment, and retention of women in apprenticeships in the construction industry through three RAP (Registered  Apprenticeship Program)/CBO consortia, each consisting of a minimum of: (1) a construction industry RAP sponsor; and (2) a CBO with demonstrated experience in  job-training services that included hard- and soft-skill development and job-placement and support to women for construction industry jobs.
  • High-Growth Job Training Initiative for the Energy Industry/Construction and Skilled Trades in the Energy Industry Grants for high-impact regional approaches to meet the workforce challenges of the energy industry and/or address the shortage of construction and skilled trade workers needed to maintain and expand the energy industry infrastructure.
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Opportunities in the Workforce System Initiative Grants expanded and aligned current and new STEM workforce education and training strategies, activities, and resources in One Stop Career Centers to promote, attract, and prepare disadvantaged youth and dislocated workers for STEM careers, while simultaneously enhancing the competitive position of local and regional employers., which continues to gained momentum
  • Health Profession Opportunity Grants, established by The Affordable Care Act of 2010 and funded by the DHHS, provided for training programs in high-demand health care professions to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families recipients and other low-income individuals.

The next article in this series will explore the DOL/WIA- and DHHS/TANF-funded programs, including those operated by KRA Corporation, that provide targeted education and training opportunities available to prepare jobseeker-customers for employment in those industries identified locally as high-growth employment business sectors.

KRA Corporation leverages its 30+ years’ experience in program development, management, and operation to assist our employer-customers in high-growth sectors, while still ensuring that all jobseeker-customers are equitably served according to their individual needs.  In this way, we continue to prepare job seekers for tomorrow’s global economy and to supply employers with a trained and reliable workforce.