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Deadline: June 19, 2014

U.S. Department of Labor: Ready to Work Partnership Grants

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. This grant program is designed to lead to rapid employment in occupations and industries for which employers use H-1B visas to hire foreign workers. A small percentage of other unemployed and/or incumbent workers may also be served through this program.

The Department of Labor is  interested in funding programs that can effectively recruit and serve long-term unemployed workers, and that are built around a comprehensive, up-front assessment resulting in customized interventions across three tracks: 1) intensive coaching and other short-term, specialized services culminating in direct job placement into middle and high-skilled jobs; 2) short-term training leading to employment; and 3) accelerated skills training along a career pathway that leads to an industry-recognized credential and employment. Within these tracks, the Department is especially interested in programs that include employer-based activities with an earnings component, such as on-the-job training, and other paid work experience, as well as specialized participant services that address the unique barriers facing long-term unemployed workers, such as financial counseling and behavioral health counseling.

Ready to Work grants will focus on high-growth industries and occupations defined as those that: 1) are projected to add substantial numbers of new jobs to the economy; 2) are being transformed by technology and innovation requiring new skill sets for workers; 3) are new and emerging businesses that are projected to grow; or 4) have a significant impact on the economy overall or on the growth of other industries and occupations. A list of industries and occupations that are using H–1B visas to hire foreign workers is available in the full solicitation.

Eligibility: Grants will be awarded to the lead applicant of a public and private partnership of entities that includes: the workforce investment system; training providers, such as community colleges and community-based and faith-based organizations; and, business and business-related groups, trade associations, nonprofit business or industry, organizations functioning as workforce intermediaries for the expressed purpose of serving the needs of businesses, individual businesses, or consortia of businesses. As a pre-condition to be considered for Ready to Work funding, there must be at least three employers or a regional industry association consisting of at least three employers who are actively engaged in the project.

Amount: Funding will be provided in the form of a grant. Approximately $150 million is expected to be available to eligible organizations to fund approximately 20 – 30 grants with individual grant amounts ranging from $3 million to $10 million.

Link: http://www.doleta.gov/ReadyToWork/applicant_Information.cfm

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