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High Growth Job Training Initiative – Advanced Manufacturing June 1, 2006

Posted by Tom in Economic Development, Innovation, Workforce.
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The US Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration released a solicitation for grants for their High Growth Job Training Initiative Grants for the Advanced Manufacturing Industry. Following is a copy of the release received from DoL:


ETA Announces Availability of Grant Funds for New and Innovative Approaches in Meeting Workforce Challenges of the Advanced Manufacturing Industry

The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) has announced the availability of approximately $10 million in grant funds for new and innovative approaches to meeting the workforce challenges of the advanced manufacturing industry under the President's High Growth Job Training Initiative.

ETA defines "advanced manufacturing" as the use of technology or other productivity-enhancing business processes in the manufacturing enterprise and/or value-added supply chain. These advanced manufacturing technologies and processes may be used in a variety of industry sectors.

Grant funds awarded under this Solicitation for Grant Applications (SGA) should be used to develop and implement innovative and industry-driven training solutions that address the advanced manufacturing industry's critical workforce challenges. Each solution must take place in the context of a strategic partnership between the workforce investment system, business and industry representatives, and education and training providers such as community colleges. The projects selected for funding under this SGA are intended to complement and enhance existing ETA investments for the advanced manufacturing industry available on ETA's Web site at http://www.doleta.gov/BRG/Indprof/Manufacturing.cfm.

Applicants may be public, private for-profit, and private non-profit organizations. It is anticipated that individual awards will fall within the range of $750,000 to $1.5 million.

The solicitation consists of eight parts:

  • Part I describes the funding opportunity, provides background information on ETA's demand-driven workforce investment strategies and the President's High Growth Job Training Initiative, and highlights the critical elements and special emphases for this solicitation.
  • Part II describes the award amount and performance period of the award.
  • Part III describes eligible applicants and other grant specifications.
  • Part IV provides information on the application and submission process and various funding restrictions.
  • Part V describes the criteria against which applications will be reviewed and explains the proposal review and selection process.
  • Part VI provides award administration information.
  • Part VII contains DOL agency contact information.
  • Part VIII lists additional resources of interest to applicants.

The closing date for receipt of applications is July 25, 2006.

Go to : http://www.doleta.gov/sga/sga.cfm for complete information. (not a hot link.)

The grant announcement will be published in the Federal Register the week of June 5.


This is a fascinating project (and a well-funded one at that). It's clear that the ETA has done their homework, involving a host of industry leaders and associations in developing a "Framework of Competencies by the Advanced Manufacturing Industry." This Framework, which is also included in the back of the grant announcement document, is the philosophical foundation of the world of work in advanced manufacturing, starting with basic work attitudes and rising through academics and workplace skills to advanced technical competencies. The Framework is worth the read even if you don't intend on applying for a grant.The High Growth Job Training Initiative has many philosophical similarities to Indiana's Strategic Skills Initiative:

  1. Demand-driven, public-private partnerships are the organizational cornerstone of this program
  2. The grantees will develop innovative programming that could be replicated in other parts of the country
  3. The grants are to be looked at as angel investment, with consideration given to the sustainability of the programs after the funding ends
  4. Outcomes, outcomes, outcomes. Ongoing judgement will be based upon the outcomes generated.

They also take the concepts a few steps further, sometimes delving deeper into maufacturing processes:

  1. Emphasis on facilitation of enterprise and supply chain transformation within the host region
  2. Development of comprehensive career lattices
  3. Innovative learning methodologies
  4. Increasing the regional capacity for training in industry-wide technical competencies

Other important elements are integration of existing (and somewhat restrictive) Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funding streams and development of the projects within the context of existing state and regional economic development activities – or alignment between workforce and economic development.

It's a "Convergence Grant" program. Should be a very interesting one to watch.

(Side note: This is not the first round of High Growth Job Training Initiative grants. An earlier round, covering the health care industry, was awarded in 2005.)

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