White House releases progress update on job-driven training and apprenticeships

By Katie Spiker, September 15, 2015

Last Thursday, the White House released a Progress Update on Job Driven Training and Apprenticeships. The report detailed the Administration’s work over the past year to increase the number of Americans trained to meet employer needs.

The update builds on the White House’s National Job-Driven Training Action Plan, announced last summer. The Action Plan was the product of a government-wide review, led by Vice President Biden, to make the nation’s workforce education and training programs more integrated, effective, and responsive to employer needs.

In order to meet this goal, the Administration highlighted successful training programs, funded $1.2 billion in competitive grants and $8 billion in formula funding for investments in job-driven training strategies, and engaged business and postsecondary training providers in conversations to ensure continued cooperation between those training workers and the employers who will hire them. Each of these strategies maintains the Administration’s emphasis on the importance of creating and fostering sector partnerships, establishing and expanding the use of career pathways, and requiring comprehensive data collection to improve accountability and programming.

Features in the report include the White House’s Upskilling Initiative, which is bringing together employers, labor unions, foundations, educators, workforce leaders, non-profits, and technology innovators to improve the skills of millions of front-line workers and enable their advancement into better paying jobs.  The report also highlighted the $138 million invested in DOL’s Sector Partnership National Emergency Grants, announced earlier this summer, which will allow states to support planning and implementation of sector partnerships that provide services to dislocated workers.

The Progress Update places strong emphasis on efforts to expand apprenticeships, including the recently awarded American Apprenticeship Grants, the creation of DOL’s new online apprenticeship Standards and Curriculum Accelerator tool, and engaging state and local leadership in expanding apprenticeship across the country.

In addition to showcasing achievements over the past year, the report also highlights a number of proposals in the President’s 2016 budget that would support job-driven training, and contrasts the Administration’s funding requests with the House and Senate Labor-HHS-ED appropriations bills drafted earlier this summer.

NSC applauds the Administration’s continued focus on connecting training to the needs of jobseekers and employers, and we look forward to working with policymakers in Washington to build on these efforts in the months ahead.