DOL Announces $20 Million Dislocated Worker Project Competition

The U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration recently announced a competition for approximately $20 million in funding to build the skills and employment options for workers either already or at risk of becoming dislocated. State workforce agencies will compete to design demonstration projects targeting these workers.

Proposals may fall into four categories: "Entrepreneurship Opportunities for Dislocated Workers" programs will help individuals launch small businesses; "Getting Ahead of the Curve: Raising Educational/Skill Levels of Workers in Declining Industries" projects will develop strategies to upgrade the career skills of workers who are likely to face unemployment; "Innovative Adult Learning Models for Dislocated Workers" projects will identify new and innovative ways to train unemployed workers; and efforts aimed at "Preventing Dislocations of TANF Recipients Moving Into Entry Level Jobs Subject to Economic Churn" will help former TANF recipients maintain employment and enter or advance within high-growth industries. ("TANF" stands for "Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.")

Each state workforce agency may submit only a single application under one of these categories. To deliver services with sufficient depth, each application must detail partnerships that include employers, education, and training providers, and faith-based, community, and philanthropic organizations.

"The programs that state workforce agencies devise will let workers vulnerable to joblessness take greater ownership of their careers," said Brent R. Orrell, acting assistant secretary for employment and training. "The four categories outlined in this announcement offer state workforce agencies an opportunity to tailor programs that address their particular workforce needs."

Applicants must address the specific requirements of their chosen category as outlined in the solicitation for grant applications that appears in the May 16 Federal Register and also can be found online at www.grants.gov. This competition will close June 13, 2008.

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