To keep employee skills updated and competitive in today's job market, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded a $138 million grant to 27 states and the Cherokee Nation. The funds from this grant will go to developing job-training programs focused on regional and industry-specific collaborations. Of the 27, 24 plan to allocate some funds to workforce development in manufacturing, said Industry Week.
Manufacturing is not the only industry to see gains from the programs, though. These programs will help all in the labor market by aligning with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which aims to help job seekers access employment, education, training and support services to succeed in the job market. The programs will be particularly beneficial for long-term unemployed Americans, which was recorded at 3.1 million in June 2014, according to Vice President Joseph R. Biden's Job-Driven Training Report.
The grant programs will also be building off some of the principles in the Job-Driven Training Report. This report outlines three objectives around the long-term unemployed:
- Engage employers: Discuss best hiring and recruiting practices of the long-term unemployed with businesses to assure the candidates receive a fair chance of being hired.
- Encourage collaboration: Support partnerships that are helping prepare and place the long-term unemployed into good jobs.
- Ensure Support: The President signed a memorandum to make sure the unemployed are given fair treatment and consideration for employment by federal agencies.
Along with these objectives, individuals will receive the training and connections they need to acquire a steady job thanks to the new grant.
"Today's awards will help better align workforce skills with the needs of regional industries," said Thomas E. Perez, U.S. Secretary of Labor. "By doing so, these funds will have a positive and meaningful impact on the communities they serve now and into the future."
Job training programs like this will benefit businesses all over the country by producing well qualified individuals. Businesses can also work with manufacturing recruiters and engineering recruiters to locate these newly proficient workers.