The U.S. Department of Labor announced Wednesday the availability of approximately $150 million in grants to prepare and place those facing long-term unemployment into good jobs.
The Ready to Work Partnership grant competition will support and scale innovative partnerships between employers, nonprofit organizations and America’s public workforce system to build a pipeline of talented U.S. workers and help those experiencing long-term unemployment gain access to employment services that provide opportunities to return to work in middle- and high-skill jobs, U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Pérez said.
The grant program is open to Puerto Rico employers, News is my Business confirmed.
Approximately 20 to 30 grants ranging from $3 million to $10 million will be awarded to programs focused on employer engagement, individualized counseling, job placement assistance, and work-based training that facilitate hiring for jobs where employers currently use foreign workers on H-1B visas.
“These grants are part of President Obama’s call to action to help ensure that America continues to be a magnet for middle-class jobs and business investment,” said Pérez. “We need to do everything we can to help employers expand and grow while at the same time remembering that those who have been out of work through no fault of their own deserve a fair shot.”
Programs funded through Ready to Work Partnership grants will use on-the-job training, paid work experience, paid internships and registered apprenticeships to provide employers the opportunity to train workers in the specific skill sets required for open jobs. Programs will have to recruit those who have been out of work for six months or longer and will incorporate a strong up-front assessment, allowing for a customization of services and training to facilitate re-employment.
As a pre-condition to be considered for funding, at least three employers or a regional industry association must be actively engaged in the project. A user fee paid by employers to bring foreign workers into the United States under the H-1B nonimmigrant visa program finance the grants, the agency explained.
Prospective applicants are encouraged to view additional online resources at http://www.doleta.gov/readytowork. Any organization that meets the requirements of the solicitation may apply. The Solicitation for Grant Applications, which includes information about how to apply, is available at http://www.grants.gov/. Grant applications will be accepted through June 19, 2014.