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Federal Transit Administration: Innovative Public Transportation Workforce Development Program (Ladders of Opportunity Initiative)

Deadline: December 23, 2014

The Federal Transit Authority (FTA) is issuing this funding opportunity for the Innovative Public Transportation Workforce Development, Ladders of Opportunity Initiative. FTA plans to fund nationally or regionally significant public transportation workforce projects that will assist in building ladders of opportunity for American workers to move into the middle class, as well as build the critical skillset needed in the public transportation industry. Supporting a highly-skilled transit workforce is critical to maintaining a competitive and efficient public transportation system.

FTA is seeking projects that create a new nationally or regionally significant workforce development program, or augment or replicate a successful existing program that will have benefits for transit agencies or the transit industry. While either type of effort will be considered, programs or approaches with an existing track record of success are likely to receive significant consideration. FTA is prioritizing applications that focus on one or more of the following activity areas:

  • Targeting areas with high rates of unemployment
  • Helping persons in local communities to directly benefit from employment opportunities created by the construction and operation of new transit capital projects or other public transportation activities within their region
  • Providing career pathways that support the movement of targeted populations (e.g., new transit entrants and other underserved populations) from initial or short-term employment opportunities to sustainable careers
  • Helping to increase through outreach and training the employment of minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, low-income populations and other underserved populations in public transportation activities
  • Addressing gaps in areas with current or projected workforce shortages in fields related to public transportation
  • Pre-employment training/preparation/tracking, and/or
  • Recruitment and hiring

Amount: Grants will range from $200,000-$1,000,000, and a total of $9,000,000 in grants will be awarded. A 50% non-Federal match is required.

Eligibility: Urban and rural transit agencies; state departments of transportation (DOTs) providing public transportation services; metropolitan planning organizations; Indian tribes; nonprofit institutions; and institutions of higher education. Applicants must demonstrate that the proposed project is supported by the primary applicant in partnership with one or more external strategic partner(s) with a substantial interest and involvement in the project. If the primary applicant is not a transit agency or consortia of transit agencies, the external partners must include at least one transit agency as an external partner. In addition to transit agencies, an external partner entity could include, but is not limited to:

  • Educational institutions, which include entities providing professional accreditation, degree, and/or certification programs, such as universities, community colleges, or trade schools, either non- profit or for-profit
  • Public workforce investment systems, such as local Workforce Investment Boards and their one-stop systems
  • Labor organizations, such as labor unions and labor management organizations
  • Non-profit organizations that support the mission of transit and transportation workforce development

Link: http://www.fta.dot.gov/grants/13077_16198.html

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