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Carper, Coons, Blunt Rochester applaud Department of Labor grants

Delaware News Desk
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons and Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, all D-Delaware, announced on July 8 three awards from the U.S. Department of Labor to the State of Delaware, the Delaware Department of Education and the Delaware Center for Homeless Veterans.

Coons has led calls to expand registered apprenticeship programs by introducing the Apprenticeship Hubs Across America Act and pushing to fund the Department of Labor’s Registered Apprenticeship Program in his role on the Senate Appropriations Committee. Each of the awards will help bolster Delaware’s workforce and help address the skills gap many employers face.

To address local apprenticeship needs, the state of Delaware will receive $450,000 to expand registered apprenticeships from a “Building State Capacity to Expand Apprenticeship through Innovation” grant. The grants provide states with flexibility to address local apprenticeship needs and expand the successful model to nontraditional industries while enhancing the focus on employer engagement, performance and positive outcomes for apprentices.

Expanding youth participation in apprenticeships, the Delaware Department of Education will also receive funds to expand registered apprenticeships with a focus on youth participation. The department will receive $2,499,999 to expand opportunities to prepare registered apprentices ages 16 to 24 in areas such as healthcare, manufacturing, information technology and cybersecurity.

As part of the Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program, the Delaware Center for Homeless Veterans will receive $450,000 to support Delaware veterans seeking to learn occupational skills, attain apprenticeships or on-the-job training opportunities and receive job search and placement assistance to reenter the workforce.

“Expanding career opportunities for our veterans and young people in Delaware and preparing them for the workforce will be a key part of rebuilding our economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Carper. “This federal grant money will help Delawareans gain access to apprenticeships that will provide on-the-job training and job placement opportunities in critical industries of our nation’s workforce, including health care and cybersecurity. It is my hope that Delawareans seize this great opportunity.”

“Registered apprenticeships are a proven way to advance a career for many Delawareans, and this new round of funding from the federal government will help make more registered apprenticeships available to all in both traditional and non-traditional industries,” said Coons, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “Giving opportunities to youth, to veterans, and to a broader group of Delawareans will help prepare our state’s workforce for good-paying jobs and meet the needs of employers; especially amid a tough job-market and a time of troubling economic uncertainty. I hope more Delawareans take advantage of these programs to launch the next step in their careers.”

“Apprenticeships play a crucial role in career advancement and access to job opportunities,” said Blunt Rochester. “This funding from the U.S. Department of Labor will provide new opportunities to Delawareans looking to improve their lives and careers. I’m especially pleased that this funding has a specific focus on our young people and our veteran population. As we continue our economic recovery from COVID-19, we must continue to work to ensure that we are using every avenue available to get Delawareans back to work. This funding from the Department of Labor will do just that.”