DOL Awards $5M Grant for Apprenticeship Program
The U.S. Department of Labor recently awarded a $5 million grant to fund a project in Palm City, Florida, to increase the skilled workforce for construction-related trades in southeast Florida by expanding pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship opportunities.
The Community Innovation Model for Pre-apprentices & Apprentices in Construction, Transportation and Solar (I.M.P.A.C.T.S.) project from Project LIFT is in partnership with the Associated Builders and Contractors Florida East Coast Chapter (ABC-FEC).
Apprenticeship Building America
On July 7, the DOL announced it awarded more than $121 million in Apprenticeship Building America grants to strengthen and modernize Registered Apprenticeship programs, as well as enable workers to find a “reliable pathway” to the middle class. The department awarded more than $58 million of the total funding to grantees focusing on equity partnerships and pre-apprenticeship activities.
“The funding of $121.7 million in Apprenticeship Building America grants reaffirms and advances the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to strengthening and expanding Registered Apprenticeships,” said Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh.
“The Apprenticeship Building America grants will develop new pathways to good-quality jobs and provide America’s workers with opportunities to access and succeed in those pathways; and the intentional focus on equity partnerships and pre-apprenticeship activities will create opportunities for underrepresented and underserved communities.”
Funding was awarded in four categories:
With availability of funding announced in February, 30 recipients were selected nationwide for grants to incorporate principles such as equity, job quality, sustainability, evidence-based approaches and new opportunities for innovation, engagement and ease of access in their Registered Apprenticeship Programs. A full list of recipients can be found here.
Community IMPACTS Grant
Of the 30 applicants selected, Project LIFT was the only Florida applicant chosen for the grant. The program requested and received the maximum funding amount of $5 million for a four-year project.
According to the release, the ABC-FEC, through its education and training arm ABC Institute and Apprenticeship College, will serve as the Registered Apprenticeship Program provider for the Community I.M.P.A.C.T.S. program. Additionally, they will offer Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Training to Project LIFT participants.
“Thirteen years ago, Project LIFT set out to change a system and disrupt the way that traditional mental health programming was delivered to at-risk teens”, said Bob Zaccheo, Project LIFT founder and Chief Executive Officer. “Since then, we’ve worked with almost 5,000 teens and young adults and more than 100 industry partners to incorporate mental health supports in the workplace, provide paid training and employment opportunities to fill the trades gap, and destigmatize mental health through industry.
“This grant focuses on expansion and complements the philanthropic support that Project LIFT has received from funders and donors who have helped us build a replicable, national model of workforce development that will continue to move us forward.”
The four goals of Project LIFT’s Community I.M.P.A.C.T.S. program are:
“Associated Builders and Contractors Florida East Coast Chapter is excited to work alongside Project LIFT to educate and train skilled construction workers, which are essential to our economy,” said Peter Dyga, President and CEO of ABC-FEC.
Project LIFT reports that it serves more than 700 youth and young adults annually in its Martin, Palm Beach and St. Lucie County locations in Florida. Last year, 87% of participants were reported to have successfully completed the program drug free, and 91% of those 18 or older secured employment with Project LIFT industry partners after program completion.