The Delaware Department of Labor will be receiving a $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to provide job training and job search assistance to displaced workers who have been challenged over the long term by residual effects from the economic downturn. The funding expands training for unemployed individuals to acquire industry-recognized credentials that lead to new career opportunities.
It supports on-the-job training, customized training, registered apprenticeships and other approaches that connect individuals with employers, with a focus on providing these services to those in longer-term unemployment. Delaware defines this as individuals who have been unemployed for a minimum of 27 weeks.
“This funding will help us break some of the barriers preventing some Delawareans from returning to work, including training that will assist those who can transfer skills or learn new skills and return to the workforce,” said Gov. Jack Markell. “Our state Department of Labor has been focused on developing innovative programs that connect individuals with jobs that match their employable skills with potential employers. A combination of training, credentials and work experience brings long-term employment success.”
Delaware is piloting the National Career Readiness Certificate, a portable credential that demonstrates achievement and a certain level of workplace employability skills in applied mathematics, locating information and reading.
“The attainment of meaningful credentials is already a focus in Delaware,” said Delaware Secretary of Labor John McMahon. “Our training activities will be targeted to Delaware’s Career Ladder Initiative, providing some short-term training for many dislocated workers whose skills are transferable, particularly in information technology fields where the number of jobs is growing, and advanced degrees are not necessarily required. We are working with business to identify talent gaps and discuss how we can bridge some of the skill gaps for people who need jobs.”
The Delaware Department of Labor job bank - Delaware Joblink - assists workers with case management, job search, labor market information, job matching and training provider information. The Joblink is also used by employers in their search for their next employee.
The U.S. Department of Labor invited states to apply for one-time funding in May and asked them to prioritize training efforts on long-term unemployed workers, many of whom would be likely to soon exhaust their unemployment insurance benefits. The funding is being provided through Dislocated Workers Training National Emergency Grants.