Feds to Coordinate to Train, Employ Workforce

The U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are partnering to bring training and employment to public housing residents. In a joint letter, Secretaries Solis and Donovan encouraged local Workforce Investment Boards and Public Housing Agencies to work together to bolster pathways to training and employment for residents of HUD housing. Through this new partnership, residents of public housing will be able to more easily find training programs and sustainable employment in the green job sectors created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Additionally, the secretaries of Energy, Education, and Labor announced a collaboration to make it a major priority to institutionalize cross-agency communication about private-sector jobs created as the result of federal action. Through these efforts, jobs created will be connected to training programs and career pathways that can provide transitions for adults between employment and for students from high school to postsecondary education and into careers.

Through this partnership, the Department of Energy will identify ways to notify the Department of Labor as funding commitments are made and jobs are created. The Department of Labor will in turn provide the information to local One Stop Employment Centers that will connect unemployed workers with jobs, training and education opportunities. The Department of Education will help identify the educational resources for training so we ensure that educational opportunities linked to job creation are comprehensive.

The Labor Department also officially announced plans to release $500 million from the Recovery Act for grants to prepare workers for careers in the energy efficiency and renewable energy sectors. These funds are targeted to help under-served communities and $50 million will assist communities affected by auto industry restructuring. The competition for grant money is anticipated to begin this month, with application closing dates starting during the late summer.

"Our workers are our nation's greatest asset and investing in our nation's workforce is critical during these tough economic times," said Secretary Hilda L. Solis. "The $500 million grant competition being announced today is another way the Department of Labor is committed to helping workers from all backgrounds through difficult restructuring times and pave pathways to rebuild a stronger middle class."

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