Obama’s Budget Proposal Includes $5.5B ‘First Job Funding’
It’s a familiar catch-22 for recent grads: to get a job, you need to have experience, but to gain experience, you need to have a job. In his budget for Fiscal Year 2017, President Obama has nearly doubled the amount of money requested for helping workers find that all-important first job, as well as creating a grant competition to encourage communities to develop plans to employ young workers, and a $2 billion apprenticeship training fund, aimed at doubling the number of apprenticeships in the U.S.
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A few highlights from the fact sheet issued by the White House yesterday:
- The $5.5 billion proposal to connect young workers – those who are out of school, but not yet employed – with first jobs asks for nearly double last year’s request, and promises to help 1 million workers.
- $3.5 billion of that money would be used to create partnerships between companies and communities, with the goal of getting younger workers at least one year of paid work. The money will come through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and cover up to 50 percent of the workers’ pay. Private funding would match the remaining 50 percent.
- Participating workers would have access to programs designed to help them manage their money and begin building savings.
- $2 billion would go to helping youth who have dropped out or are at risk for dropping out, by connecting them with career pathways and post-secondary education.
Other proposals include:
- $500 million to create a Workforce Data Science and Innovation Fund to inform job training programs about changing business needs, to prepare young workers for a new job market.
- $3 billion “to create an American Talent Compact that would expand talent pipelines in over 50 regions to fill open jobs and attract new jobs from overseas.”
- The Summer Jobs and Beyond grant competition. Using $20 million of existing funds, the competition will award 10 grants to communities who create new approaches to employing young workers.
- $2 billion to create an Apprenticeships Training Fund to build state apprenticeship programs. $200 million of the fund would go to developing early apprenticeship programs in schools and at work, to allow students to try out new career paths before committing to a formal apprenticeship program.
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