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ADVOCACY & POLICY UPDATE - February 28th, 2022

Biden Administration Highlights Apprenticeships and CTE

Washington Update

House Education and Labor Committee Hearing

On Wednesday, March 2, at 10:15 a.m. ET, the House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Investment will hold the hearing “Investing in Economic Mobility: The Important Role of Hispanic Serving Institutions and Other Minority Serving Institutions.”

Click here to access the hearing.

Registered Apprenticeship Grant Program

On Wednesday, February 23, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a grant program to strengthen, modernize, expand and diversify the Registered Apprenticeship Program to enable more workers to earn while they learn and find reliable pathways to the middle class. Part of President Biden's ongoing strategy to strengthen Registered Apprenticeships, the department's "Apprenticeship Building America" program will make $113 million in grant funding available, including up to $50 million to support equity partnerships and pre-apprenticeship activities to increase enrollment in Registered Apprenticeship Programs. The grants will further the Administration's goals and priorities for a strong and equitable post-pandemic economic recovery by connecting Americans to good quality jobs in priority industry sectors, including critical supply chain industries and among populations disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

Apprenticeship Building America program grant recipients will work with various partners to support and develop the Registered Apprenticeship ecosystem. These partnerships will include:

  • State apprenticeship system building and modernization.

  • Expansion of Registered Apprenticeship Program opportunities for youth.

  • Ensuring equitable Registered Apprenticeship Program pathways through pre-apprenticeship leading to RAP enrollment and equity partnerships.

  • Registered Apprenticeship hubs.​

Eligible applicants include nonprofits, labor organizations, public and state institutions of higher education, and county governments. Additional eligibility requirements will be included. Finalists will receive awards from $1 to $8 million.

Click here to learn more about the grant program.

Department of Education ARP Factsheet

On Friday, February 25, the U.S. Department of Education released a new fact sheet that highlights ways states and school districts are using American Rescue Plan funds to re-engage students and enhance academic learning by expanding career and technical education (CTE) opportunities. The American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ARP ESSER) has provided nearly $122 billion to states and school districts to invest in K-12 schools and meet the urgent needs of schools and students as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new fact sheet highlights examples of how states are using relief funds for CTE programs in high schools as part of their work to help students and communities recover and create opportunities for students to pursue higher education and successful careers.

Click here to read the press release and access the fact sheet.

Initial Jobless Claims

In the week ending February 19, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 232,000, a decrease of 17,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 248,000 to 249,000. The 4-week moving average was 236,250, a decrease of 7,250 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 250 from 243,250 to 243,500. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.1 percent for the week ending February 12, unchanged from the previous week's revised rate.

Click here to access the report.

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