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US Dept of Labor presents $150 million in grant money for long-term unemployed

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In his State of the Union Address in January, President Obama spoke about focusing on job creation and growth as well as helping people get the help, skills, and training they need to not only be employed, but successful.

Recently, the United States Department of Labor announced grant money of about $150 million will be available to support the preparation and placement of those folks that are facing long-term unemployment into good career positions. It’s expected that up to 30 grants will be rewarded and will range between three and ten million dollars each.

This grant money is available through a program called the Ready to Work Partnership. This program brings together non-profit organizations, employers, and the public workforce of America in a partnership to help those long-term unemployed people obtain the training, services, and access needed in order to be employed in middle and high-skill positions.

The emphasis for those partnerships that receive grant money would be to focus on re-employment of long-term workers (those that have been out of work for six or more months), paid work-based training models, and strong employer support and commitment in the design and careful consideration of qualified applicants for training programs.

Specifically, re-employment type activities might include mentorships, job skills training, financial and/or behavioral counseling, and assistance in finding a job. Paid work-based training models would focus on such drivers as paid internships, paid work experience, on-the-job training, and registered apprenticeships. Training programs to get qualified folks hired would need to include skills and competencies needed by companies and industries that are fast-growing.

This is good news for people that have been unemployed for half a year or more as extension of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program has not been approved since the expiration of the program at the beginning of the year.

This is also good news for companies struggling to find good talent to fill their high-skill positions as they will be able to take advantage of this program if approved; not only for the grant money to aid in plan creation, but for the partnerships gained by working with other organizations.

To be considered for funding, a regional industry association or at least three employers must be actively involved in the mission. Potential applicants for this grant money can find more information here.

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