Reporter’s notebook

Second round funding for infrastructure jobs grants

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced Wednesday that eligible entities, including community colleges, can now apply for the second round of grants through the Building Pathways to Infrastructure Jobs program. The deadline is July 1.

The grants aim to foster public-private partnerships to develop, implement and scale workforce training programs for in-demand fields such as advanced manufacturing, information technology and professional, scientific and technical service occupations. Last fall, the department awarded nearly $94 million in first-round Building Pathways to Infrastructure Jobs grants to 34 recipients, including seven community colleges and a state system. (Successful lead applicants from round one may not apply as lead applicants for round two but are eligible to apply as partners in this round.)

DOL said in a release that second-round applicants may choose one of two tracks:

  • Development track: Establishes local and regional partnerships to implement new sector-based training programs in infrastructure-related sectors.
  • Scaling track: Expands an existing local or regional training partnership model with success in a specific infrastructure-related sector to the state or national level.

Commerce coordinates workforce, economic development efforts

The U.S. Commerce Department this week announced plans to better link its workforce development and economic development efforts.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo this week signed an administrative order to establish a Commerce workforce policy agenda that aims to prepare workers — especially from underserved populations — for jobs in “critical and emerging technologies,” according to a release. The order states that the department’s recruitment and hiring efforts should focus on evaluating applicants’ relevant skills and minimize “unnecessary educational, credentials and experience requirement.”

“The diversity of our workforce is our greatest asset, and to make our country even more competitive, we can’t have any Americans stuck in the margins of our economy,” she said.

The strategy identifies 11 highly effective workforce investment attributes that will guide the department’s efforts. Among these “Principles for Workforce Investment” are: guidance from community partners, such as educational institutions; proving wraparound services for the most vulnerable populations; and priority for proven earn-and-learn models, like registered apprenticeships.

Commerce also will create a workforce council comprising representatives from several of its agencies, such as the Economic Development Administration and the Census Bureau.

NYC college starts diplomatic training office

Borough of Manhattan Community College has launched a new program to provide professional development for diplomats, consular officials and others. Classes will begin next month.

There are more than 116 foreign consulates and 193 permanent missions in New York City, which has the largest diplomatic corps in the world, according to Daniel H. Katz, inaugural director of the college’s Office of Diplomatic Engagement and Training. Speaking at the office’s opening event this month, Katz told attendees that he looks forward to learning from representatives in this sector on how the new office can best partner with their missions in New York and globally.

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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