WASHINGTON – American Indians and Alaska Natives have traditionally faced higher unemployment rates and lower workforce participation, and attained lower levels of education – subjecting them to lower wages, fewer career opportunities and a continued cycle of unemployment and poverty.

Expanding opportunities for these communities is the impetus behind a $71 million in funding availability the U.S. Department of Labor announced today to provide training and employment assistance to American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians. The grants will support services to equip individuals in these communities with education, job search assistance and occupational skills training to improve their access to better jobs and increased wages.

Administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration, the funding will support approximately 167 grants ranging from $20,000 to $6 million, to deliver services under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act’s Indian and Native American programs.

“Once awarded, the grants funded by the Department of Labor’s Indian and Native American programs will deliver resources straight to the organizations – tribal organizations and the tribes themselves – who can best serve their communities,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. “These grants will empower American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians as they enter or return to the workforce by ensuring these communities have access to the education, job search assistance and skills training they need get on their way to providing a secure future for their families.”

Of the $71 million in funding available, approximately $57 million will support jobs and employment training for adults. The remaining $14 million will serve Native American youth on or near reservations and in Alaska, Hawaii and Oklahoma. The amounts of final awards will be determined using a funding formula for all U.S. geographic areas.

Eligible applicants for the award consideration include the following entities: federally recognized Indian tribes and tribal organizations, Alaska Native-controlled organizations, Native Hawaiian-controlled organizations, Indian-controlled organizations that serve Indians, state-controlled organizations and consortia of eligible organizations.

Learn more about grant eligibility and apply.

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