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Admin Rolls Out Work Training Guide    09/29 06:20


   WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Biden administration on Friday is expected to release 
a playbook on best practices for training workers as the low 3.8% unemployment 
rate and years of underinvestment have left manufacturers, construction firms 
and other employers with unfilled jobs.

   Worker shortages have been a frustration for some employers, who upped their 
investments in new factories and construction projects after President Joe 
Biden signed into law funding for infrastructure, computer chips and a shift 
toward renewable energy sources. Finding employees to replace retirees also has 
become a challenge.

   As part of the 2021 pandemic rescue package, state and local governments 
have committed $11 billion to worker training. The money must be spent by the 
end of 2026 and the administration is trying to ensure the investments pay off 
as promised.

   "This is a chance to make a once-in-a-generation investment in the skills 
and well-being of workers in your communities -- an investment that will reap 
benefits well beyond pandemic recovery," Treasury Department official Veronica 
Soto says in draft remarks obtained by The Associated Press.

   The eight-page playbook being issued in conjunction with the remarks details 
possible models that the administration believes state and local governments 
can follow.

   The document encourages them to use registered apprenticeship programs, 
which have seen enrollment more than double over the past decade to 607,509 
active apprentices, according to the Labor Department. Starting salaries for 
those who complete the programs average $80,000.

   Harris County, Texas, committed $10.9 million to place 1,000 of its 
low-income residents into union apprenticeships and technology training 
programs, having put a focus on opportunities for women, people of color and 
those without a four-year college degree. The state of Maine plans to double 
its total number of apprenticeships with $11 billion.

   Funding also has gone to community colleges, with Oklahoma budgeting $80 
million to expand its nursing education programs. Connecticut is using $19.5 
million to improve the mentorship and coaching given to community college 
students, a program that has increased students' grades and kept more of them 

   Money also is going to supportive services for child care and 
transportation, which are two of the big reasons why people are unable to 
complete training or stay on the job. Iowa is making $26.6 million available to 
help employers make child care available, while Phoenix's airport is offering 
child care scholarships to workers.

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