U.S. Department of Labor: Apprenticeships – Closing the Skills Gap
The Apprenticeships – Closing the Skills Gap grant program seeks to promote apprenticeships as a significant workforce solution in filling current middle- and high-skilled job vacancies and closing the skills gap between employer workforce needs and the skills of the current workforce. This grant program supports the expansion of apprenticeships to industries that have not typically used this model to recruit new apprentices into the workforce, and to upskill those already employed in the industry to bolster the sector’s competitiveness.
Given the funding source, the industries and occupations that can be targeted with this funding are those for which employers are using H-1B visas to hire foreign workers, such as information technology (IT) and IT-related industries, health care, and advanced manufacturing, with particular interest in expanding the apprenticeship model to cybersecurity and artificial intelligence (AI) professions. In addition, these grants seek to increase the level of apprenticeship activity among employers within these industry sectors that have not traditionally implemented apprenticeship programs, particularly among small- and medium-sized businesses.
To promote new, high-quality apprenticeship programs and the expansion of existing apprenticeship programs, this grant program will award grant funds to an apprenticeship partnership of public and private sector entities which, working together, will develop and implement new apprenticeship models or expand an existing apprenticeship program to a new industry sector, new population, or a local/regional, statewide, or national scale. These public-private partnerships will boost apprenticeships by undertaking two major types of interrelated activity: training apprentices and taking apprenticeship programs to scale.
Apprenticeship programs funded and developed under this grant program must have the following characteristics:
- Paid Work Component
- Work-based Learning and Mentorship
- Educational and Instructional Component
- Industry-Recognized Credentials Earned
- Safety, Supervision, and Equal Employment Opportunity
Amount: Approximately $100,000,000 is available to fund approximately 16-30 grants ranging from $500,000-$6,000,000 each based on the geographic scope of the project.
Eligibility: Grants under this program will be awarded to an apprenticeship partnership of public and private sector entities. Grants will be awarded to the lead applicant of an apprenticeship partnership, which will serve as the grantee and have overall fiscal and administrative responsibility for the grant. The apprenticeship partnership must:
- Include as lead applicant an institution of higher education (IHE), or an institution of higher education representing a consortium of IHEs, or a state system of higher education, such as a community college system office or a single state higher educational board; or a nonprofit trade, industry, or employer association; labor union; or labor-management organization
- Include representatives of each of the required partner entities, which collectively form the “apprenticeship partnership”
See Notice of Availability of Funds for further eligibility requirements.
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