Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today announced during a conference call with reporters more than $183 million in grants to 43 public-private partnerships serving 28 states through the second round of funding under the H-1B Technical Skills Training Grant Competition. The grants will provide education, training and job placement assistance related to high-growth fields in which employers are currently using the H-1B nonimmigrant visa program to hire foreign workers.
"The federal grant awards announced today will provide U.S. workers with the training they need to succeed in the high tech, high-growth jobs of the future," said Secretary Solis. "Developing a strong and vibrant workforce that fits the needs of American businesses is critical to forming an America built to last."
Last October, the Labor Department awarded more than $159 million to 36 grantees in the first round of the competition. Between the two rounds of grants, more than $163 million has been designated to provide on-the-job training, allowing participants to learn new skills while earning a regular paycheck. More than $200 million has been designated for grantees that serve participants who have been identified as long-term unemployed. The grants also represent significant investments in fields such as information technology, advanced manufacturing and health care.
These grants are funded through fees paid by employers to bring foreign workers into the United States under the H-1B program. They are intended to raise the technical skill levels of American workers and, over time, help businesses reduce their need to use the H-1B program.
The original solicitation for grant applications announced funding of $240 million to be awarded through two rounds of funding. Because additional H-1B visa fees have been collected, about $100 million more than anticipated has been awarded.
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