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US Labor Department announces $54M in grants to improve access to skills training and quality, affordable child care for parentsGrants fund public-private partnerships focused on supporting working families
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the award of approximately $54 million in grants to help low- to middle- skilled parents access the affordable, quality child care they need to earn an education, participate in training programs and ultimately compete for better-paying jobs in emerging industries. Grants to 14 partnerships across the country were awarded as part of the Strengthening Working Families Initiative.
These investments will strengthen and support public-private partnerships devoted to helping parents advance in their careers by bridging gaps between local workforce development and child care systems. Partnerships will facilitate access to training in a variety of industries such as information technology, healthcare, advanced manufacturing, financial services and educational services.
Participants in programs funded by these grants must be custodial parents, legal guardians, foster parents or others standing in place of the parent with at least one dependent. Grantees may use up to 25 percent of their total budget to provide quality, affordable care and other services to support participation in training.
“Caring for children and being responsible parents should not be obstacles for working families seeking to compete for better-paying jobs,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “The grants we’re awarding today will help more working parents find affordable, high-quality child care while training for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”
The department is awarding the grants – ranging from $3 to $4 million each – throughout the country, serving approximately 7,900 participants. Each partnership includes representatives from the public workforce system, community-based and faith-based organizations, child care service providers, an economic development agency, an education and training provider and at least three employers, or an industry association representing at least three employer partners. By leveraging additional public and/or private funding, these grants will promote activities that address barriers to accessing training and employment, including:
Funded through fees paid by employers to bring foreign workers into the U.S. under the H-1B temporary visa program, these grants are intended to raise the technical skill levels of American workers and, over time, help businesses reduce their reliance on temporary visa programs.
- Co-location of training and child care services.
- Increased access through unconventional training delivery times or locations.
- Flexibilities related to scheduling and child care exigencies.
- Improved access to child care and other related participant supportive services.
This announcement is being made as part of the first United State of Women Summit on June 14. Convened by the White House Council on Women and Girls, the summit serves as a large-scale effort to bring together advocates of gender equality and highlight areas of progress, as well as identify and meet remaining challenges. Experts, advocates, and grassroots and business leaders in both domestic and international arenas will be among those participating.
To learn more about the Strengthening Working Families Initiative, visit www.doleta.gov/grants.