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DOL Providing Funds for States to Expand and Diversify Their Registered Apprenticeship Programs

  • Department of Labor opens grant program to states as part of effort to expand registered apprenticeship opportunities
  • Nearly half of the funding will go to states that support diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts as part of their apprenticeship development
  • Grant program aims to offer a flexible way for states to respond to unique needs in their own markets

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

The Department of Labor has announced that it will be awarding $87.5 million in grant funding to states as part of an opportunity to expand registered apprenticeship opportunities.

The State Apprenticeship Expansion, Equity and Innovation Grants recognize states as “critical partners” in the expansion and modernization of registered apprenticeships. President Joe Biden signed an executive order last month endorsing the expansion of these apprenticeships.

The grant program aims to provide flexibility in helping states address industry-specific needs and demands applicable to their local economies. Its goals include expanding systems to support the development, modernization, and diversification of registered apprenticeship programs; improving partnership and alignment to support workforce system integration; increasing the number of people in registered apprenticeships, especially from underrepresented populations; and promoting innovation in program development and recruitment strategies.

Up to $40 million of the funding will go to states that “implement required diversity, equity and inclusion efforts and demonstrate their commitment to adopt, expand and promote these efforts.”

The program is open to states and territories to apply until April 26. Grants of $2 million to $10 million are available, and it is anticipated that 30 grants will be administered.

Applicants must “propose innovative strategies to support efforts to expand and modernize apprenticeship, particularly around program development and recruitment strategies.” They are also advised to take factors such as the pandemic, local economic issues, and existing skills gaps into consideration.

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