WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the availability of $15 million in grants to help address challenges the workforce system faces in training people for good jobs in critical sectors including care, climate resiliency, and hospitality.
Administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration, the Critical Sectors Job Quality grants will enable organizations such as state and local workforce boards, labor unions, employers, tribal governments, and various other workforce organizations and intermediaries to pilot strategies for improving job quality and increasing the availability of good jobs. Specifically, these grants will support industry-led, worker-centered sector strategies built through labor-management partnerships. These partnerships will address equity, job quality, and worker voice as they design training models and prepare workers for family-supporting jobs.
By increasing the availability of better jobs in critical sectors, the grants will promote upward mobility for workers and their families and make businesses more competitive globally. These grants align with the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to supporting equitable access to opportunities for all workers and deliver on a key directive of the President’s Executive Order on Increasing Access to High-Quality Care and Supporting Caregivers.
Although the care, climate resiliency, and hospitality sectors support a variety of jobs critical to a growing and vital economy, these sectors have offered lower-wage jobs historically. These jobs often had fewer worker protections, less flexible schedules, and less stability, which made it harder for employers to attract and retain workers.
“Critical sectors including care, climate resiliency, and hospitality are experiencing a job quality shortage,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training Brent Parton. “While hiring outpaces quitting in every major sector, workers have been resigning from jobs in record numbers, particularly jobs in lower-paying sectors. We celebrate that workers feel empowered to seek new and better opportunities—but we must also improve job quality to attract and retain workers in sectors that are foundational to our communities. The Department of Labor is committed to creating good, family-sustaining jobs in critical sectors, and connecting people to them.”
The Critical Sectors Job Quality Grant Program, which builds on previously successful partnerships that involve both industry and worker voices to develop strategies for improving job quality, also aligns with the Good Jobs Principles, which the department launched in partnership with the Department of Commerce.
Learn more and apply for this funding opportunity.