WASHINGTON — Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo today visited local job training programs funded by President Biden’s American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act in Orlando, Florida. Amidst today’s strong labor market – with the unemployment rate well below 4 percent and a record high number of job openings – one of the most important things local governments can do to bring more people into the workforce is to offer training for in-demand careers and help them re-enter the job market. Based on the latest reports submitted to Treasury, state and local governments across the country – including Orlando – are increasingly using State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) to respond to the economic impacts of the pandemic by training workers for well-paid, in-demand careers.
“One year after President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act into law, state and local governments are increasingly using those resources to expand their labor force and fill open positions,” said Deputy Secretary Adeyemo. “For all workers, and especially those displaced by the pandemic, job training provides a critical pathway to new long-term careers that can support them and their families.”
“Education and job training removes barriers and opens doors to opportunity for everyone which is why the city is grateful to the federal government for investing American Rescue Plan funds in our community and supporting our efforts to launch the new RISE Employment and Training Program,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “We were pleased to share with Deputy Secretary Adeyemo how our community collaborates to create new career and job training opportunities for our residents that also allow us to solve the workforce needs of our region’s businesses.”
As one of the nation’s fastest growing cities, Orlando has a significant need for skilled workers to support infrastructure and construction projects in the region. Deputy Secretary Adeyemo and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer highlighted the city’s new Rapid Increase of Skills and Employment (RISE) program, which is using SLFRF to provide residents with skills like industrial machinery mechanics and welding, which are in short-supply. RISE will provide full wrap-around support for participants, including placing them at over 100 local short-term job and vocational job training programs, covering tuition costs, and providing career support services like job placement and coaching. The city is also using SLFRF funds to open a RISE office, which will be staffed with career counselors and case managers. In an effort to bridge the opportunity gaps further exacerbated by the pandemic, RISE will give priority to applicants living in the city’s lowest-income neighborhoods.
Examples of state, local, and Tribal governments using SLFRF to train workers for well-paid, in-demand careers include:
- The State of Colorado has committed $60 million for training and improving employment outcomes to support reskilling, upskilling, or next-skilling, including providing access to short-term training to obtain an industry-recognized credential. The funding will also support grants that promote innovation to improve employment outcomes for workers and outreach to underserved and disproportionately impacted populations.
- Pima County, Arizona is investing $5.3 million in financial support to improve residents’ access to in-demand jobs with family-sustaining wages, apprenticeships, and other workforce development training programs to gain employment in high growth career fields.
- The State of Wisconsin has committed $162 million to strengthening the state’s workforce development system to support pandemic recovery plans developed by regional organizations that use collaborative, sustainable, and innovative approaches to meet the workforce needs of businesses and workers.
- Baltimore, Maryland will invest $3.8 million to aid those who are unemployed or underemployed, support youth employment, and fund sector-based job training in high-growth industries. The funding will provide direct support to struggling small businesses with wages for impacted workers; summer jobs and needed income to city youth, subsidized employment to adult residents, and occupational training that will enable residents to skill up and obtain jobs in high-demand industries in the region.
- The State of Maine will provide the Maine Community College System with $35 million for workforce development initiatives that support short-term, no-cost training for approximately 8,500 Mainers negatively impacted by COVID-19 to gain the necessary skills and credentials for careers in key economic sectors. The State will also invest $7.2 million in training and stackable credential attainment to help incumbent frontline healthcare workers attain the credentials to move into the next rung on their career pathway.
- The Mescalero Apache Tribe is aligning job needs with skills required to fill these important positions through a workforce development program that will focus on vocational education by providing scholarships to both Tribal citizens and current employees to obtain certificates and further education in welding, carpentry, plumbing, and electrical– all jobs critical to carry out the Tribe’s COVID-19 recovery plan.
- The State of Utah has invested $15 million in Learn & Work, a state-wide program that provides tuition assistance for short-term programs at post-secondary institutions for unemployed or underemployed individuals and prepares students for higher-paying and more stable, high-impact careers by matching them with companies looking for much-needed skills and expertise.
- Nassau County, New York will invest $10 million to assist unemployed workers through apprenticeship programs in the construction and building trades, entrepreneurial skills training to support new women- and minority-owned businesses, and retraining and upskilling programs through Nassau’s local colleges and universities.
- Boston, Massachusetts is investing $3 million to expand green jobs training opportunities for city residents, with a particular focus on women, people of color, immigrants, and returning citizens. Funding is being provided to external organizations that are training and connecting residents to green jobs, as well as to build further pathways for green jobs with the City of Boston’s workforce.