The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the availability of nearly $60 million in grants for employment and training services through the Workforce Investment Act's Section 166 -- Indian and Native Programs. The purposes of the grants are to develop the academic, occupational and literacy skills of the individuals served, making them more competitive in the workforce, as well as to promote the economic and social development of Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities in accordance with their own goals and values.
"Tribal communities have an important role to play in our improving economy," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "The programs funded by the grants announced today will provide vital training for workers and youth in order to enhance the economic development of these communities."
Today's grant announcement reflects the Obama administration's commitment to expanding the availability of employment and training programs to serve Indian tribes, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians. Through these grants, tribal governments, tribal consortia and nonprofit organizations will be able to ensure that programs currently available through the workforce investment system reach individuals in some of the most geographically challenged areas in the United States.
The Labor Department anticipates awarding a total of 178 grants, with approximately $47.5 million designated for adult programs and $12.4 million for youth programs.
Section 166 of the Workforce Investment Act authorizes programs to serve the employment and training needs of Indian and Native American adults and youth through competitive two-year grant awards to Indian tribes, tribal organizations, Alaska Native entities, Indian-controlled organizations serving Indians and Native Hawaiian organizations. This grant is administered in a manner consistent with the principles of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, 25 U.S.C. 450 et seq., and the government-to-government relationship between the federal government and Indian tribal governments (WIA Section 166(a) (2)).
The solicitation for grant applications will be published in the March 16 edition of the Federal Register. The solicitation and information on how to apply for a grant are available at http://www.doleta.gov/grants/find_grants.cfm.
Interested parties are encouraged to review online resources made available by the Labor Department's Employment and Training Administration for grant applicants -- including "Grant Applications 101," an interactive, self-paced tutorial -- at http://www.workforce3one.org/page/grants_toolkit.