Enriched with the hefty fee imposed on H-1B visas, which mainly comes from Indian companies, the US government has allocated USD 100 million towards training of its work forces.
Grantees under this programme, christened America’s Promise grant competition, will connect tuition-free job-training or education programmes with employers to create apprenticeship curriculums.
“These grants are part of the Obama administration’s commitment to redesigning a modern skills infrastructure in America that engages employers as never before,” said US Secretary of Labour Thomas E Perez while visiting a similar programme at The Great Lakes Towing Company in Cleveland, Ohio.
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“Workforce partnerships built around the industry-specific needs of multiple employers are helping to expand opportunity for American workers, while also strengthening local communities and building a US economy poised for growth,” Perez said.
Approximately 20 to 40 grants of USD one million to USD six million will be awarded throughout the country.
For each sector and service area, partnerships must include public workforce system, an economic development agency, at least one education and training provider and at least five employers or a regional industry association.
In a statement, the Department of Labour said the four-year grants will support tuition-free education and training that prepares participants for jobs in industries that currently utilise the H-1B temporary visa programme to meet industry workforce needs.
Grant-funded programmes will use individual assessments to determine the best strategies to successfully move participants into middle-to high-skilled jobs including accelerated training, longer-term intensive training and upskilling current employees to meet the demands of higher skilled jobs, it said.
The grant is designed to increase opportunities for all Americans through tuition-free training for middle-to high-skilled occupations and industries and expand employer involvement in the design and delivery of training programmes. It is also designed to utilise evidence-based sector strategies to increase employability, employment earnings and outcomes of job seekers and leverage additional public, private and foundation resources to scale and sustain proven strategies.