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ETA News Release: [07/30/2009]
Contact Name: Jaime Zapata
Phone Number: (202) 693-4676
Release Number: 09-0890-NAT

U.S. Department of Labor awards $10 million to train older workers for jobs in growing industries

Department's partnership with Atlantic Philanthropies will bring additional $3.6 million

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today awarded $10 million in funding to organizations that connect older Americans to career opportunities. The Aging Worker Initiative: Strategies for Regional Talent Development is designed to train workers aged 55 and older for jobs in high-growth, high-demand industries, and increase the public workforce system's capacity to effectively serve an aging worker population. The department also has launched a unique private-public partnership with the Atlantic Philanthropies, which will invest an additional $3.6 million in this effort.

"Older Americans are an important part of the workforce, and their skills and experience are of tremendous value to our nation," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "With expanded education and training opportunities, such as those made possible through this grant, older workers can broaden their own career opportunities and further contribute to the growth of industries across the United States."

Ten awards of approximately $1 million each have been made to organizations in Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Washington state and Wisconsin. The grants awarded today target older individuals who have been laid off and are seeking re-employment; need to stay in the workforce beyond the traditional retirement age but need training to increase their skills; and face other barriers to employment such as disabilities or low levels of English proficiency.

As part of its investment in the Aging Workforce Initiative, the Atlantic Philanthropies has funded the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning and the Council on Competitiveness to provide assistance to the grantees, and document and disseminate effective strategies to promote career opportunities for older workers.

The ability to develop, attract and retain a well-educated and skilled workforce is a key factor in economic growth. Successful applicants recognized that older workers are a valuable, though often underutilized, labor pool that can meet the workforce needs of regional economies. Currently, 22.6 percent of the U.S. population is over the age of 55.

"In the wake of the economic downturn, the impact of the Aging Worker Initiative is all the more important," said Marcia Smith, senior vice president of the Atlantic Philanthropies. "This effort will create opportunities for older adults to work, support themselves and their families, and contribute to the reinvigoration of their local economies."

To access a fact sheet on the Aging Worker Initiative and information about the individual grantees, visit http://www.doleta.gov/pdf/AWI_One_Pagers_Fact_Sheet.pdf. For information on the range of Department of Labor employment and training programs, visit http://www.doleta.gov.

Editors Note: A complete list of award-winning organizations is below.


U.S. Department of Labor Grants to Connect
Older Workers to Career Opportunities

Organization

State

Industry/Sector

Amount

Tecumseh Area Partnership Inc.

Indiana

Health care, Advanced Manufacturing, Information Technology and Transportation

$1,000,000

Quad Area Community Action Agency Inc.

Louisiana

Health care/Science, Construction/Skilled Labor, Energy, Transportation, Architecture/Engineering, and Financial and Administrative Office Support

$1,000,000

Coastal Counties Workforce Inc.

Maine

Health care and Energy/Green Construction

$1,000,000

Baltimore Country Office of Workforce Development

Maryland

Health care

$967,005

Macomb/St. Clair Workforce Development Board Inc.

Michigan

Demand occupations in multiple industries

$979,400

South Central Workforce Investment Board

Pennsylvania

Health care, Information Technology and Advanced Manufacturing

$971,000

Goodwill Industries of Houston Inc.

Texas

Accounting and Financial Services, Health care, Computer Technology, and Specialized Construction

$999,949

Vermont Associates for Training and Development Inc.

Vermont

Information Technology, Finance and Administrative Support Services, and Health care

$1,000,000

Seattle-King County Workforce Development Council

Washington

Health care, Information Technology and Green Jobs

$1,000,000

Fox Valley Workforce Development Board

Wisconsin

Health care, Telecommunications and Manufacturing

$1,000,000