Reporter’s notebook

  • Lowe’s launches $50M effort to address skilled worker shortages
  • DOL training grants to help homeless veterans
  • House GOP reintroduces college cost transparency bill
  • Women in construction webinar

Lowe’s launches $50M effort to address skilled worker shortages

The Lowe’s Foundation is launching a five-year, $50 million effort to help community colleges and other community-based organizations prepare 50,000 people for skilled trades careers.

The first round of the Gable Grants will focus on community and technical colleges, through which the foundation aims to address the skilled trades labor shortage, with a focus on young adults, especially from underrepresented and rural communities. April 10 is the deadline to apply.

The skilled trades is in a workforce crisis, with 85% of contractors reporting trouble finding skilled workers, according to the foundation. An estimated 546,000 new skilled tradespeople are needed to meet the demand in 2023 alone, on top of the normal hiring.

“Community colleges are uniquely qualified to provide the skills education necessary to fill the workforce pipeline,” said Walter Bumphus, president and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges. “The commitment to skilled trades education in our community colleges by the Lowe’s Foundation will help thousands of hard-working individuals access and enter stable, fulfilling careers in fields like electrical, plumbing, HVAC, construction, appliance repair and carpentry.”

The Lowe’s Foundation will host webinars on March 9 and March 22 for two-year colleges interested in applying. To register for a webinar or to apply for a grant, go here.

DOL training grants to help homeless veterans

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is accepting applications to provide training for military veterans who are facing homelessness.

Through its Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program, DOL will award a total of $25 million to efforts that aim to reduce homelessness among veterans by helping them to reenter the workforce, specifically by providing occupational skills training, support participation in registered apprenticeship programs or other on-the-job training opportunities, and provide job placement assistance.

Selected applicants will receive up to $500,000 annually for up to three years, for a total of $1.5 million. Higher education institutions are eligible to apply. March 30 is the deadline.

DOL will hold a webinar for prospective applicants on March 7. Register for the webinar.

House GOP reintroduces college cost transparency bill

House Education and the Workforce Committee Chair Virginia Foxx (R-North Carolina) and Secretary of the House Republican Conference Lisa McClain (R-Michigan) on Thursday reintroduced H.R. 1311, the College Cost Transparency and Student Protection Act.

Republicans say the bill would ensure that aid offers are clear and comparable for students and families by establishing standardized terms and definitions for key information on costs, grant aid and other financing options. It also would require student aid offers to be sequenced so students are first presented the direct costs they must pay to enroll, and then an itemized list of indirect costs they have the option to finance and what resources they have available to do so.

In addition, the bill would require the U.S. Education Department to update its College Scorecard to include information on costs, earnings and loan payments so that students can see the total cost of attendance and out-of-pocket costs that students typically pay, as well as direct and indirect costs.

Women in construction webinar

The Federal Highway Administration will hold a webinar on March 21 to outline how federal and state departments of transportation support the initiatives of women-focused organizations.

“The shared goal is to advocate for women interested in building a trade career and providing equality and economic security for women and their families,” it said in a release.

Register for the webinar.

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
Matthew Dembicki edits Community College Daily and serves as associate vice president of communications for the American Association of Community Colleges.
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