In order to meet the challenges of attracting and training a skilled labor force to work in the advanced technology fields of the Twenty First Century like Broadband, Construction, and “Electrification” (EV Charging Infrastructure and Battery Manufacturing,) the Biden/Harris Administration has launched the Talent Pipeline Challenge. 

What is the Talent Pipeline Challenge?

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According to the White House Press Office, the Talent Pipeline Challenge is an effort:

“…to fill high quality jobs that will help rebuild our infrastructure and supply chains here at home, and continue our transition from a historic economic recovery to steady and stable growth in the years ahead. This is a nationwide call to action for employers, education and training providers, states, local, Tribal, and territorial governments, and philanthropic organizations to make tangible commitments that support equitable workforce development in three critical infrastructure sectors: Broadband, Construction, and “Electrification” (EV Charging Infrastructure and Battery Manufacturing.)”

How does the Talent Pipeline Challenge Pipeline Work?

The Biden/Harris Administration will provide financial and administrative support/oversight to:

  1. Employers who are encouraged to forge partnerships with an approved training provider (like a community college or career preparation program) that will educate and apprentice students in a field in one the three critical infrastructure sectors.
  2. Programs where special attention will be given to efforts that recruit women, racial minorities, and underserved areas like rural communities and tribal nations.
  3. State and local governments may use funds from either the American Relief Plan, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and State Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act to help cultivate and fund these partnerships between students, prospective employers, and training providers.

Current Projects the Biden/Harris Administration is Participating in.

The Biden/Harris Administration has taken several steps to support infrastructure workplace development.

These include funds for:

  • The Department of Labor (DOL) announcing an additional $50 million in Strengthening Community Colleges Training grants available to support the development and expansion of high-quality workforce training programs at community colleges.”
  • “The Department of Energy (DOE), in consultation with DOL, is providing $5 million to support a national battery workforce sectoral strategy.”
  • “The Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) NOFO makes workforce development an eligible use of grant funds, and requires a highly-skilled workforce, which can be fulfilled through use of graduates of registered apprenticeships or other joint labor-management training programs.”
  • “DOE’s Solar Energy Technology Office, with Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding, is supporting quality pre-apprenticeships for clean energy construction careers.”
  • “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides the first-ever dedicated investment in our transit workforce to support the transition to clean technologies like battery electric buses. Five percent of grants under the program – up to $280 million over five years – will be used to fund workforce development training, including registered apprenticeships and other labor-management training programs, to train and upskill transit workers to maintain and operate zero emission vehicles and related charging infrastructure.”

 

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego Reacts to the Biden/Harris Launch of the Talent Pipeline Challenge

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, whose efforts along with the rest of the Phoenix City Council mirrors the goals of the Biden/Harris plans, said of the Talent Pipeline Challenge:

“We are one of the fastest growing cities in our nation, both in terms of population and new industries, and Phoenix understands the importance of preparing people for careers in high-growth sectors. We work to match this pace of growth with a skilled workforce, and have launched programs with Maricopa Community Colleges to meet industry talent needs in semiconductors, electric vehicles, healthcare, construction, and others. I applaud the equity in the Talent Pipeline Challenge. One of our top priorities in Phoenix is making certain residents, regardless of barriers, have access to education, training, and assistance to access good jobs that support themselves and their families.”

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