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On June 2, the Department of Labor awarded $10.4 million in Accelerator Grants to 51 states and local areas to expand apprenticeship to new geographic areas, industries, workers, and employers. The funding availability was announced earlier this year, with the June 2nd announcement awarding almost $1million more than originally anticipated. The $200,000 grants were awarded to all 50 states, except for Wyoming and Georgia, and to Puerto Rico, Guam, and the District of Columbia.
The funding is part of the $90 million Congress appropriated in Fiscal Year 2016 to invest in expanding apprenticeship across the country. Recipients of the 2-year Accelerator Grants can use the funds improve outreach activities to expand the pipeline of workers with access to apprenticeship, to do labor market analysis and develop strategies to integrate apprenticeship into a workforce, education and human service plan, develop and disseminate reports or resources that help sponsors or employers start new apprenticeship programs and to increase data collection capacity of state and local areas.
DOL intends to announce up to $50 million in State Expansion Grants in the next few weeks. These grants will fund activities that improve collaboration between employers and states and facilitate creation of new apprenticeship programs serving a variety of diverse communities and sectors.