During a visit to a community college in Oakdale, Pennsylvania, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden announced an initiative to create job training programs, including apprenticeships. The initiative will focus on training workers to fill jobs for which there’s currently a shortage of skilled applicants, and will rely on existing Labor Department funds.
(File Photo Credit: Steve Jurvetson/Flickr)
$500 million of those funds will be used to finance a competition designed to encourage private companies and community colleges to develop programs that will provide workers with the skills they need to perform open jobs. Another $100 million will go to supporting apprenticeships in manufacturing, IT, and healthcare.
The White House released a statement that said:
“Community colleges are one of the best ways to train workers with the skills they need for a job, and hands-on apprenticeships are one of the clearest paths to a good, secure middle class job. In fact, 87 percent of apprentices are employed after completing their programs and the average starting wage for apprenticeship graduates is over $50,000.”
The initiative will also:
- Streamline GI Bill benefits for veterans who wish to participate in apprenticeship programs, making it easier to access benefits to pay for apprenticeships.
- Work with business, unions, and non-profits to expand apprenticeships in manufacturing, automotive repair, information technology, operations, and healthcare.
- Expand philanthropic support for developing best practices for informing potential applicants of openings and supporting awardees.
- Create grants supporting partnerships of community colleges, industry groups, and employers, in order to develop credentialing and skill assessment standards that will make it easier for employers to recognize skilled applicants.
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