Building the skills and competencies of American workers is essential to ensuring the competitiveness of business in the global economy. The public workforce system recognizes that training for individuals must align with the needs of business and industry. There are several ways that the public workforce system supports this need for training.
Most of the training offered by the public workforce system is available for individuals who are unemployed or underemployed. It is designed to help people develop the skills they need to enter the workforce in a high-growth, high-demand occupation as quickly as possible.
Individuals who meet certain conditions can qualify for Individual Training Accounts to pay for short-term training they need to advance in the labor market. Longer-term training is sometimes available for workers who have been laid off due to the impact of foreign trade.
As an employer, you have an opportunity to learn about the kinds of training that individuals are receiving in your local area, and you can also ask for the résumés of people who are completing training in fields that are relevant to your workforce needs. These trained workers can be a significant source of workers that meet your qualifications and expectations.
Certain jobs will require training at the workforce that is beyond what individuals receive through pre-employment training. Under certain circumstances, employers may receive reimbursement for up to 50 percent of the costs to provide additional on-the-job training for individuals who were hired through the public workforce system. Your One-Stop Career Center or workforce investment board can advise you on programs that may be available.
Incumbent Worker Training
Although the majority of training opportunities through the public workforce system are for individuals who are unemployed or underemployed, many states and local areas also support incumbent worker training as a critical facet of their regional economic development strategy. In fact, lifelong learning is increasingly the norm--and continuous skill development is often required to keep a step ahead of the global competition.
ETA has granted states the ability to make flexible decisions about training dollars for incumbent workers. Different states have made different decisions about whether they will support such training, which high-growth industries will be eligible, and yearly limits, among other important considerations. To learn more about programs in your state and whether your company may qualify, visit your local One-Stop Career Center, talk to the local workforce investment board, or visit your state workforce agency.
Registered apprenticeship is a structured way for companies to support career development for their employees. With a registered apprenticeship program at their company, workers know in advance the blend of classroom instruction and on-the-job training they need to successfully complete to enter designated jobs or gain promotions. Many companies have documented that registered apprenticeship has helped them to increase recruitment, increase retention, and reduce their overall training costs.
The federal Office of Apprenticeship, and apprenticeship offices across the country, are available to help companies evaluate if registered apprenticeship is right for them. Field staff can also provide technical assistance in setting up an apprenticeship.
Through the High Growth Job Training Initiative and the Community-Based Job Training Grants, ETA has supported innovative training models that demonstrate the effectiveness of public-private partnerships and build the capacity of the public workforce system, in partnership with industry and education. Many states and local workforce investment boards have also developed a wide range of partnerships with industry and education providers, such as community colleges.
ETA has launched the www.Workforce3one.org Web site to provide information and tools for employers, educators, and workforce professionals. Visit this site for the outcomes of demonstration projects, such as industry-defined competencies and curriculum that you can use or update. You can also watch Webinars and podcasts on workforce issues and employers, review Web pages and white papers, and find out about groundbreaking partnerships.