The U.S. Department of Labor today (February 19) announced the availability of approximately $150 million in grants to prepare and place those facing long-term unemployment into good jobs. The Ready to Work Partnership grant competition will support and scale innovative partnerships between employers, nonprofit organizations and America's public workforce system to build a pipeline of talented U.S. workers and help those experiencing long-term unemployment gain access to employment services that provide opportunities to return to work in middle- and high-skill jobs.
Approximately 20 to 30 grants ranging from $3 million to $10 million will be awarded to programs focused on employer engagement, individualized counseling, job placement assistance, and work-based training that facilitate hiring for jobs where employers currently use foreign workers on H-1B visas.
Programs funded through Ready to Work Partnership grants will use on-the-job training, paid work experience, paid internships and Registered Apprenticeships to provide employers the opportunity to train workers in the specific skill sets required for open jobs. Programs will have to recruit those who have been out of work for six months or longer and will incorporate a strong up-front assessment, allowing for a customization of services and training to facilitate re-employment.
As a pre-condition to be considered for funding, at least three employers or a regional industry association must be actively engaged in the project. The grants are financed by a user fee paid by employers to bring foreign workers into the United States under the H-1B nonimmigrant visa program.
Prospective applicants are encouraged to view additional online resources at http://www.doleta.gov/readytowork. Any organization that meets the requirements of the solicitation may apply. The Solicitation for Grant Applications, which includes information about how to apply, is available at http://www.grants.gov. Applications will be accepted through June 19, 2014.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced a nation-wide air traffic control specialist recruitment, outreach, and education program, extending the invitation for the workforce system to share this information with its program participants in advance of a public vacancy announcement expected on or about February 10, 2014. There are air traffic control positions available at FAA locations across the country, and the FAA encourages all interested individuals who are eligible to apply for these positions.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has re-opened its Academy for training Air Traffic Controllers since it closed in the spring of 2013. The FAA intends to hire around 3,000 people over the next year for these positions across the country. The FAA anticipates that they will be hiring in significant numbers over the next several years, given the fact that that Air Traffic Controllers must retire by age 56.
Below are some key points of this new FAA hiring initiative:
FAA is hosting a Virtual Career Fair on February 12.
Please visit www.FAA.gov/jobs for Employment FAQs, Air Traffic Controller Fact Sheets, and promotional videos.
FAA has also created ‘Digital Kits’ created for outreach and promotion, addressing eligibility for the position, application instructions, and other FAA positions in addition to the air traffic control jobs. Please visit www.faa.gov/jobs/recruiting_kit/.
The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development recently became the latest state workforce agency to begin downloading the daily National Labor Exchange (NLX) file from DirectEmployers Association, bringing the total participation from NASWA members to almost 100 percent. Currently, NLX staff members are working with the states of Idaho, Maine, Pennsylvania and West Virginia to ensure all state workforce agencies are taking the daily NLX file of job vacancy listings.
In addition to being the latest state to accept the download of the daily NLX job vacancy file, Alaska is also the first state to implement HR-XML standards for its job vacancy listings being sent (uploaded) to the national NLX job vacancy file. HR-XML provides value to State Workforce Agencies in the following ways:
Reduces design and implementation costs using freely-available HR-XML formats;
In 2007 the Chicago Jobs Council launched the Illinois Works for the Future (IWF) campaign to integrate workforce and economic development. The campaign is endorsed by more than 120 public and private partners across the state that are looking for innovative ways to deliver job skills training and workforce education in a way that benefits workers, business, and communities.
Please visit FEDCAP for a full January 2014 profile and progress report of the many programs and initiatives now underway under the wing of the Council.
The National Economic Council has prepared a 31-page report on addressing the long-term unemployment. The "Job-Driven Sector Strategies" section begins on page 19. The "New Job-Driven Models" section begins on page 29. The "Integrating Promising Practices into the Workforce System" begins on page 22.
The appendix to the report provides profiles of intermediary organizations helping to connect the long-term unemployed to work. These include:
This paper includes an alphabetical listing of the firms that have expressed a commitment to "inclusive hiring practices and pledge to remove barriers that may prevent qualified long-term unemployed job seekers from applying or being fully considered for jobs at our companies by adopting or building on (these) practices."
Both the NEC paper and the "Best Practices" paper were released at the January 31 White House conference on unemployment.
The National Association of Workforce Boards provides this advisory on a February 20 conversation:
How can workforce boards have more impact in meeting the needs of business and industry? At a time when labor supply is high, workforce professionals are uniquely positioned to understand the available talent in their communities as well as where gaps in training and skills exist. Creating conversations between policymakers, economic development, educational providers, and employers to help them understand not only the current landscape, but also to plan what will be needed in the future workforce is one way to leverage existing talent and create programs that lead to upskilled workers, competitive employers, and ultimately, economic growth in our communities. Join NAWB CEO Ron Painter for a fast-paced conversation with Rebekah Kowalski, Vice President of ManpowerGroup’s Global Strategic Workforce Consulting Practice, on Thursday, February 20th at 1:00 PM EST, as part of our Forum 2014 radio show series.
The Long-term Unemployed H-1B Ready To Work Partnerships grant program (Ready to Work) will utilize approximately $150 million in revenues from the H-1B visa program to support high performing partnerships between employers, non-profit organizations and America's public workforce system that will help provide long-term unemployed individuals with the range of services, training, and access they need to fill middle and high-skill jobs. The Department expects that a solicitation for applications for these grants will be available in February and awards will be made in mid-2014.
The Ready to Work grants will reward partnerships with the following key features:
Focus on Reemploying Long-Term Unemployed Workers: Programs will have to recruit long-term unemployed workers and employ strategies that are effective in getting them back to work in middle to high-skill occupations. These strategies could include assessments, job placement assistance, training, mentoring and supportive services such as financial counseling and behavioral health counseling.
Work-based Training That Enables Earning While Learning Through Models Such as On-the-Job Training (OJT), Paid Work Experience, Paid Internships and Registered Apprenticeships: Incorporating work-based training into these projects will afford employers the opportunity to train workers in the specific skill sets required for open jobs.
Employer Engagement and Support in Program Design - Including Programs That Commit to Consider Hiring Qualified Participants: Training programs funded by these grants must address the skills and competencies demanded by employers and high-growth industries, and ultimately lead to the employment of qualified participants. Preference will be given to applicants with employer partners that make a commitment to consider candidates who participate in these programs.
ETA has established a webpage to provide continuing updates to the workforce community on applicant information, resources and contacts in the weeks and months ahead.
As the U.S. economy gains strength and states are in their best financial position in years, governors are proposing unconventional tactics to create jobs, especially in health care and high-tech.
STATELINE examines some of these executive ltactics in this February 10, 2014 overview.
In this year’s State of the Union address, President Obama called attention to a stubborn legacy of the Great Recession - a historically high number of Americans who are ready and eager to work, but have found themselves numbered among the ranks of the long-term unemployed.
Although many of these Americans could help employers fill their hiring needs if given the chance, they often face particular barriers in getting back to work. The recent research released by the White House -- Addressing the Negative Cycle of Long-Term Unemployment -- underscores that the long-term unemployed are frequently overlooked and sometimes excluded from job opportunities. One study found that candidates who had been out of work eight months were called back for interviews only about half as often as candidates who had been out of work one month, even with an otherwise identical r?sum?.
The President has undertaken steps in partnership with businesses, non-profits, mayors, and governors and anyone else ready to address this challenge. CEOs of leading companies have recently announced that they were signing onto new best practices for hiring and recruiting the long-term unemployed, designed to ensure the long-term unemployed receive a fair shot in the hiring and recruiting process. These best practices include:
The committed professional staff in our 2,500 American Job Centers has been steady anchors throughout the Great Recession, providing support and services to tens of thousands of discouraged job seekers. As the recovery proceeds, our public workforce staff firmly stationed on the front-line of assistance -- strategically positioned (and thoroughly dedicated) to help the long-term unemployed realize their hopes to successfully reenter the labor market.
The Reemployment Works “Community of Practice” now encourages our webpage visitors to weigh in with your views on these issues to further measure the success of our local, State, and Federal reemployment efforts:
(1) Many of the national employers signing the original pledge have locations in your own community. From your business service representatives and other Center staff with knowledge of these employers, are there indications that recent trends in hiring by these businesses is not neglecting the long-term unemployed?
(2) The President has asked other firms, large and small, to sign the pledge. Have you heard first-hand from local employers that they have undertaken this positive step to examine their hiring practices that might disqualify the long-term unemployed?
(3) Have you been asked by these employers – and other employers – to consult on potential mechanisms and practices for the Center referrals of the long-term unemployed?
(4) Has your Center undertaken any special targeted effort(s) to assist the long-term unemployed? If so, you are encouraged to provide a brief synopsis of these interventions and initiatives that can be shared with the Community?
(5) Can you identify and illustrate some “success stories” where the potent combination of Center professional assistance and customer perseverance has helped move the individual from the ranks of the long-term unemployed?
Your consideration and thoughtful response to one or more of these questions will help the Department and Administration gauge the progress in meeting the challenge of returning our customers and clients, our acquaintances and friends, our families and neighbors -- our fellow Americans -- to meaningful jobs in our local economies. You are encouraged to add your comments to this blog post. Thanks!
The White House released a Fact Sheet on January 31, 2014:
The Fact Sheet contains these major sections:
The Fact Sheet notes:
$150 Million for “Ready to Work” Partnerships to Support Innovative Public-Private Efforts to Help the Long-Term Unemployed Get a Fair Shot.
The President and Department of Labor are announcing $150 million in existing resources from the H-1B fund to support high performing partnerships between employers, non-profit organizations and America’s public workforce system that will help provide long-term unemployed individuals with the range of services, training, and access they need to fill middle and high-skill jobs. A solicitation for applications for these “ready to work” partnerships be available in February and awards will be made in mid-2014. In particular, these grants will reward partnerships with the following key features:
Focus on Reemploying Long-Term Unemployed Workers.
Programs will have to recruit long-term unemployed workers and employ strategies that are effective in getting them back to work in middle to high-skill occupations. These strategies could include assessments, job placement assistance, training, mentoring and supportive services such as financial counseling and behavioral health counseling.
Work-based Training That Enables Earning While Learning Through Models Such as On-the-Job Training (OJT), Paid Work Experience, Paid Internships and Registered Apprenticeships.
Incorporating work-based training into these projects will afford employers the opportunity to train workers in the specific skill sets required for open jobs.
Employer Engagement and Support in Program Design – Including Programs That Commit to Consider Hiring Qualified Participants.
Training programs funded by these grants must address the skills and competencies demanded by employers and high-growth industries, and ultimately lead to the employment of qualified participants. Preference will be given to applicants with employer partners that make a commitment to consider candidates who participate in these programs.