White House Releases Workforce Development Roadmap

The Biden administration's new workforce development plan includes funding for apprenticeships and community college training initiatives.
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Updated on June 6, 2023
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  • The White House released a roadmap for the Biden administration's "Investing in America" initiative.
  • The roadmap includes investments in workforce development in a bid to cut back on nationwide skills gaps.
  • Investing in America will include five new "Workforce Hubs" in key areas for emerging technologies.
  • The initiative also includes millions in funding for new apprenticeship programs.

The Biden administration announced a new roadmap Tuesday for cutting back on national workforce shortages — and community colleges are a key partner in that vast training initiative.

The "Investing in America" roadmap includes a four-pronged approach to workforce development. The initiative aims to:

  • Connect people to relevant, skill-based jobs
  • Prepare workers for jobs that are being created as a result of recent federal legislation like the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the CHIPS Act
  • Boost local education-to-workforce efforts in areas like healthcare and teaching to cut back on worker shortages
  • Improve worker retention by ensuring apprenticeships lead to high-quality jobs

Those workforce development efforts will include $85 million in Department of Labor grants toward Registered Apprenticeship programs, according to the press release, as well as a $200 million Department of Commerce program aimed at boosting job creation in "persistently distressed communities."

Apprenticeship programs have been a key area for federal workforce development efforts in recent years. BestColleges previously reported that the Biden administration launched an Apprenticeship Ambassador Initiative last September with a goal of hiring 10,000 new apprentices and developing 460 new apprenticeship programs in a single year.

"At the heart of this effort is ensuring the full range of our education and training systems, including middle and high schools, community colleges, community organizations, unions, and more, work in lockstep with employers to prepare and place millions of students and workers from all backgrounds in sustainable quality jobs across critical sectors — including clean energy, semiconductor manufacturing, construction, healthcare, information technology, education and child care, and biotechnology," the White House roadmap release reads.

The Investing in America plan also includes five "Workforce Hubs" in a bid to partner with state and local leaders to further expand apprenticeship programs and career opportunities. Those initial five hubs include locations in:

  • Phoenix, which is a "growing hub for semiconductor manufacturing, optical cable, and critical mineral and battery manufacturing efforts," according to a fact sheet. The nearby Four Corners region is also a key area for renewable energy programs that support tribal communities, according to the fact sheet.
  • Columbus, Ohio, where Intel is investing billions in a new semiconductor manufacturing plant. BestColleges previously reported that Ohio community colleges are partnering with Intel to train workers for the thousands of jobs that the plant is set to bring to the region.
  • Pittsburgh, which is a "hub for innovation across critical sectors" like robotics and biomanufacturing, according to the release.
  • Baltimore, which is uniquely positioned to boost rail infrastructure as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
  • Augusta, Georgia, which is "on the forefront of the Administration's sustainable domestic production agenda, with $1.4 billion in recently announced private-sector investments, including in batteries," according to the fact sheet.

The Department of Labor also announced more than a dozen cities across the country that will take part in a "Good Jobs, Great Cities Academy" that will aim to upskill workers with a focus on historically underserved communities.

The Department of Commerce will award $500 million via its region-based Tech Hubs program to boost emerging technologies, according to the release.

Other significant investments involving community colleges will include $150 million from the Department of Energy to expand its "Industrial Assessment Center" program. That program, which aims to support small to medium-sized American manufacturers and create clean energy job pathways for workers, will feature partnerships with community colleges, trade schools, and union training programs, according to the roadmap.

The Department of Transportation will also announce $1.7 billion in grants for buses and bus facilities — and transit agencies shifting to zero-emission fleets can request up to 5% of the grant for workforce development and support services to both upskill current workers and train new hires, according to the release.