National Talent Pipeline Challenge aims to boost construction employment

apprenticeship expansion
The expanded apprenticeship program seeks to help the state expand programming to underrepresented communities. (Photo from Southwestern Illinois College)

Chicago Construction News staff writer

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The White House has launched a summer-long initiative to encourage labor unions and industry to train more workers for jobs in the electric vehicle, broadband and construction sectors.

The “Talent Pipeline Challenge” encourages employers, state and local governments to use $800 million in job training funds from the $1 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Billions more will come from the American Rescue Program rescue package to boost the supply of workers for high-quality jobs.

The program is a nationwide call to action for employers, education and training providers, states, local, Tribal, and territorial governments, and philanthropic organizations to make tangible commitments that support equitable workforce development in three critical infrastructure sectors: Broadband, Construction, and “Electrification” (EV Charging Infrastructure and Battery Manufacturing).

“This is a nationwide call to action for employers, education and training providers, states, local, Tribal, and territorial governments, and philanthropic organizations to make tangible commitments that support equitable workforce development,” in the three sectors, the White House said in a statement.

Employers are encouraged to partner with and hire skilled workers from at least one training provider in each region in which the employer has operations, such as a registered apprenticeship program or a community college with a diverse student population.

As part of this pledge, employers can partner with national or regional intermediaries or training providers to build, scale, or support local training models to recruit, train, or hire workers in their sector.

Training partnerships will build on pathways to quality jobs for women, people of color, and underserved workers— including those from rural and Tribal communities and communities with persistent poverty.

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