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Department of Labor announces new round of infrastructure job grants

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The U.S. Department of Labor announced a new round of $35 million in funding for the Biden administration’s Building Pathways to Infrastructure Jobs Grant Program.

This is the second round of funding for the program, which aims to expand access to training for good-paying infrastructure jobs.

“The Biden-Harris administration’s historic investments in clean energy and infrastructure projects are creating hundreds of thousands of good jobs for workers across the country,” Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training José Javier Rodríguez said in a press release.

“The Building Pathways to Infrastructure Jobs Grant Program helps honor the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to ensuring all workers – including women, people of color, veterans and those who have been historically left behind – have access to the training and skills needed to fill the good jobs being created,” Rodríguez said.

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The program was developed under the Biden administration’s “Investing in America” agenda, which puts emphasis on bringing manufacturing back to the U.S. In its plans, the administration said that the U.S. has exported jobs and imported products for decades, while other countries surpassed the U.S. in sectors like infrastructure.

In September, the Building Pathways to Infrastructure Jobs Grant Program awarded nearly $94 million in grants to 34 recipients across 25 states and the District of Columbia in its first round of funding.

With this second round, grant applicants can choose from two tracks.

The development track helps establish “local and regional partnerships to implement new sector-based training programs in infrastructure-related sectors,” the Department of Labor said in a press release. The scaling track expands on an already existing partnership model of that kind at the local or regional level and helps elevate it to a state or national one.

“We’re really trying to create a system around workforce where people can have alternatives to going to college, to have something that really works for them for a future career,” said Neera Tanden, domestic policy adviser to President Biden.

Applicants who were awarded grants in round one may not apply as lead applicants for round two. However, they are eligible to apply as partners in the second round.

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