As part of his proposed budget for FY24, President Joe Biden announced his intention to invest in evidence-based training programs to “ensure all workers — including women, workers of color, and workers in rural areas — have the skills they need for the good jobs” being created through legislative action, according to the White House March 9 announcement.
The budget sets aside $335 million for the federal Registered Apprenticeship program to build pathways to in-need industries highlighted throughout the proposal, including construction, clean energy and semiconductor manufacturing. Previous U.S. Department of Labor investments have focused on improving diversity in the RA program, as well.
The proposal also includes $200 million for the Sectoral Employment through Career Training for Occupational Readiness program — a public-private partnership program that aims to bolster training in high-need industries.
Sectoral training, in which workers (often without college degrees) are trained to work in a specific sector of the economy, has featured in previous Biden budget proposals. Employers are involved as “clients” for trainers, who train up workers to fill jobs at those employers, according to the Brookings Institution. While studies seem to be split on this format’s effectiveness regarding earning potential, Brookings said, it has garnered popularity and attention due to its ability to upskill workers into much-needed positions.
The proposal also would invest $100 million to help community colleges, employers and the public workforce align to design and implement effective training models.
Learning and development has been a key focal point for employers in the wake of the pandemic — particularly amid concerns regarding a recession.