Admin Rolls Out Work Training Guide 09/29 06:20
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Biden administration on Friday is expected to release
a playbook on best practices for training workers as the low 3.8% unemployment
rate and years of underinvestment have left manufacturers, construction firms
and other employers with unfilled jobs.
Worker shortages have been a frustration for some employers, who upped their
investments in new factories and construction projects after President Joe
Biden signed into law funding for infrastructure, computer chips and a shift
toward renewable energy sources. Finding employees to replace retirees also has
become a challenge.
As part of the 2021 pandemic rescue package, state and local governments
have committed $11 billion to worker training. The money must be spent by the
end of 2026 and the administration is trying to ensure the investments pay off
"This is a chance to make a once-in-a-generation investment in the skills
and well-being of workers in your communities -- an investment that will reap
benefits well beyond pandemic recovery," Treasury Department official Veronica
Soto says in draft remarks obtained by The Associated Press.
The eight-page playbook being issued in conjunction with the remarks details
possible models that the administration believes state and local governments
The document encourages them to use registered apprenticeship programs,
which have seen enrollment more than double over the past decade to 607,509
active apprentices, according to the Labor Department. Starting salaries for
those who complete the programs average $80,000.
Harris County, Texas, committed $10.9 million to place 1,000 of its
low-income residents into union apprenticeships and technology training
programs, having put a focus on opportunities for women, people of color and
those without a four-year college degree. The state of Maine plans to double
its total number of apprenticeships with $11 billion.
Funding also has gone to community colleges, with Oklahoma budgeting $80
million to expand its nursing education programs. Connecticut is using $19.5
million to improve the mentorship and coaching given to community college
students, a program that has increased students' grades and kept more of them
Money also is going to supportive services for child care and
transportation, which are two of the big reasons why people are unable to
complete training or stay on the job. Iowa is making $26.6 million available to
help employers make child care available, while Phoenix's airport is offering
child care scholarships to workers.