WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (Mo.), the Republican lead on the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor/HHS) Appropriations Subcommittee, announced today that The Labor/HHS Funding Bill for FY22 prioritizes funding for workforce development and skills training programs. The bill is expected to be considered by the full Senate later this week.
“Workforce development programs are key to helping people gain the skills they need to advance,” says Blunt. “This bill includes significant funding for programs that have been a top priority for our state, from connecting veterans with employers through HIRE Vets to preparing workers for high-paying jobs through the HIRE Vets program. ‘learning. I’ve been saying for a long time that an economy that makes stuff is much stronger than an economy that just trades in services. That’s why I’m pleased that this bill provides significant funding for a wide range of workforce development and skills training programs that have had a real impact in Missouri and across the country. I will continue to advocate for initiatives that help Americans create a better future for themselves and their families.
Here are some of the top workforce development priorities included in the Labor/HHS Bill:
• Career Paths Initiative: $15 million, an increase of $5 million, to continue a Department of Labor initiative to improve student career paths that can lead to the full range of post-secondary and career options.
• Post-Secondary Education and Rural Economic Development Program: $20 million, an increase of $10 million, to continue an initiative to improve access to and completion of post-secondary education for rural students by providing college-to-college student services and fostering partnerships between school districts, higher education institutions and regional economic partners. development organizations.
• Apprenticeship program: The bill includes a $50 million increase for the apprenticeship program, bringing the overall funding level to $235 million. This total represents an increase of $145 million since Congress began funding this program in fiscal year 2016.
• Veterans Employment and Training (VET): The bill provides $325.3 million, an increase of $9 million, for VETS. VETS provides intensive employment services to eligible veterans and spouses, transitioning military members, and veterans with disabilities. This increased funding will support Transition Assistance Program veterans as they enter the civilian workforce and help homeless veterans access employment and training services.
• HIRE Vets Medallion Program: The bill continues to provide the Department of Labor with the resources to implement Blunt’s HIRE Vets Act, which established a tiered recognition program within the Department of Labor to reward employers based on their contributions to the employment of veterans. In November, the department announced that six Missouri employers had received HIRE Vets Medallion program awards.
• Rural Workforce Training Initiative: Bill provides $45 million, an increase of $10 million, in ongoing funding for the displaced worker training initiative, Labor Opportunity for Rural Communities, to provide re-employment assistance and training for displaced workers in the Appalachian, Delta and Northern Frontier regions to ensure they can adapt existing skills and learn new skills demanded by other growing industries, and return to the work as soon as possible.
• Strengthening Community College Training Grants:The bill provides $50 million, an increase of $5 million, to better align the workforce development needs of in-demand industries with post-secondary education.
• Workforce Training Grants: The bill includes $2.8 billion in state grants, an increase of $34 million. These funds are distributed on a formula basis to states and localities to meet the unique training and workforce development needs of each state. Missouri received $33.86 million in grants for training and employment services in 2021.
• Youth Workforce Training: The bill increases funding for several other programs to provide at-risk youth with the opportunity to gain educational and employment skills:
- State Youth Grants: $933.1 million, an increase of $14 million; and
- YouthBuild: $99 million, an increase of $2.5 million. Two Missouri grantees, located in Columbia and St. Louis, received YouthBuild funds in 2021.