Joe Biden

FACT SHEET: On One-Year Anniversary of President Biden's Care EO, the Biden-Harris Administration Celebrates New Progress Toward Providing Care and Other Supportive Services for Workers

April 17, 2024

White House Hosts Event and Issues Call to Action to Government Leaders, Employers, and Others to Build on These Efforts

During Care Workers Recognition Month and the Month of Action on Care, the Biden-Harris Administration will mark progress toward expanding access to care and other supportive services workers need to train for and stay in good-paying jobs. Today, Senior Biden-Harris Administration officials—including White House Domestic Policy Advisor Neera Tanden, Director of the Gender Policy Council Jennifer Klein, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, and Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Shailen Bhatt—will be joined by Governor Tina Kotek of Oregon, Governor Kathy Hochul of New York, and Governor Maura Healey of Massachusetts along with tradeswomen, care advocates, and business community representatives for a Making Care Work event. Participants will announce new actions that advance President Biden's call to strengthen the nation's Care Economy and discuss the importance of supportive services, including child care and long-term care, for building a skilled, diverse workforce.

Workers cannot train for or stay in good jobs if they cannot meet basic needs, such as access to child care and transportation. That is why supportive services are critical to building the workforce necessary to carry out President Biden's Investing in America (IIA) agenda. Building on the Department of Commerce's historic requirement that companies receiving major CHIPS and Science Act grants provide child care for their workers, the President's Executive Order on Increasing Access to High-Quality Care and Supporting Caregivers (Care EO) directed every cabinet-level agency to determine how they can require, preference, or encourage their own federal funding applicants to provide supportive services, including care, for workers.

Today's event will highlight how agencies are implementing the President's Care EO, including by making funds available for supportive services in their grants and loans where allowable, strengthening language in their funding opportunities, producing key resources for applicants, and more. The event will also showcase examples of how grantees—from states to employers, unions, community colleges, and more—are leading the way on care and other supports for workers. Administration officials will announce the first National Child Care Innovation Summit, and issue calls to action to employers, governors, and others to further expand care and other supports for workers.

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration will make new announcements, including:

  • Secretary Raimondo will announce that the Department of Commerce (DOC) will cohost, in collaboration with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the first National Child Care Innovation Summit this summer. The Summit will bring together key public- and private-sector stakeholders to discuss the vital role of child care as economic infrastructure and will encourage action by the private sector as an ally and force multiplier to the public sector.
  • The Department of Transportation (DOT) will release a new $4.2 million funding opportunity authorized under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, providing grants for educational institutions and State Departments of Transportation to develop or scale workforce development programs for highway construction. Projects will be evaluated on how closely they align to the Biden-Harris Administration's goal to include supportive services as part of high-quality workforce development programs to train, place, and retain people in good-paying jobs and Registered Apprenticeships. State DOTs that are applying are encouraged to show how they will also use FHWA formula funds and other sustainable funding sources for workforce development projects.
  • The Department of Treasury will publish a fact sheet highlighting that employer-provided "work-life referral services"—such as services that help an employee identify a child care provider or other services aimed at assisting an employee or negotiating on an employee's behalf—are generally considered a de minimis fringe benefit and therefore excluded from an employee's taxable income.
  • The Biden-Harris Administration will release new resources:
  • The White House Council of Economic Advisers will publish Seven Facts About the Economics of Child Care, laying out the research-based imperative for investing in child care—including how access to affordable, high-quality care can encourage U.S. labor force participation, particularly among women.
  • The White House will release a new guide, Advancing Care as a Supportive Service, to help care and workforce development stakeholders leverage federal funds to support care and other supportive services for workers, including on federally funded and federally supported projects.
  • The Department of Labor (DOL) will release new guidance to help agencies, federal funding recipients, employers, and care community stakeholders make thoughtful investments in child care and long-term care to support workers. The guidance provides best practices as well as example strategies for designing care solutions for workers.

States will expand commitments to care and other supportive services for workers, including:

  • Oregon is announcing it will expand its investments to support construction workers across the state—building on its successful Highway Construction Partnership program. For over a decade, the program has leveraged FHWA formula funds to support construction apprentices with supportive services, including covering child care costs of up to 7 percent of household income (or up to $2,500 per child each month).
    • The state will invest $7.5 million in the new Oregon CHIPS Childcare Infrastructure Fund, expanding the Highway Construction Partnership model to fund supportive services and child care for workers in the semiconductor supply chain.
    • Oregon Department of Transportation will double its workforce investments from FHWA formula funds using new flexibilities from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, creating a new $1 million program to enable women returning from incarceration to directly transition into highway apprenticeships upon release.
  • New York's state Department of Transportation and Department of Labor are collaborating closely to ensure that workforce development and supportive services are available for transportation projects in Syracuse and Buffalo. The state is leveraging a $5 million Quality Jobs, Equity, Strategy and Training (QUEST) grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to expand child care access, legal services for drivers' licenses, and other necessary supportive services for workers looking to join the I-81 project workforce. The project includes a first-in-the-nation local hire initiative of 15 percent, which aims to give opportunity to Syracuse's most disadvantaged neighborhoods, including the same communities that have been divided by this highway for decades.
  • Massachusetts will seek to invest $20 million in a Workforce Training System (WTS) that will help align child care, education, job training, and employment opportunities in Western Massachusetts' Springfield and Holyoke—two communities with predominately residents of color—through the U.S. Economic Development Administration's Recompete Pilot Program, authorized by the CHIPS and Science Act.
  • Maryland's state Department of Transportation, in support of the Baltimore Workforce Hub and the state's workforce development efforts, is allocating an unprecedented $24 million of federal funds over six years to support transportation infrastructure workforce in the state. This initiative, developed in partnership with Maryland Department of Labor, will help Marylanders enter good jobs in the transportation sector through increasing access to resources, occupational training, and critical wraparound services including quality affordable child care. This will complement and leverage the state's historic investment of over $300 million in fiscal year 2025 for child care scholarships to make high-quality child care more affordable.
  • Washington tripled investment in its Pre-Apprenticeship and Supportive Services (PASS) grant program, providing $6 million in the 2021-2023 period to colleges, labor unions, and workforce organizations that are helping individuals get into Registered Apprenticeship programs, including by providing care and other supportive services to participants. Since 2015, the program has served nearly 2,800 participants, of whom 20 percent are women, 13 percent are Black, 32 percent are Hispanic, and 9 percent are Native American. The state is now expanding this successful model to maritime workforce training.

Today's announcements build on the robust action that agencies have already taken to implement the President's Care EO. Recent actions include:

  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made supportive services, including care, an allowable use of funds in the major Investing in America (IIA) investments it will soon be awarding, including its Solar for All (Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund) program, Climate Pollution Reduction Grants, and Environmental and Climate Justice Community Change Grant program.
    • Selected applicant spotlight: Nonprofit coalition Power Forward Communities will use its $2 billion award through EPA's National Clean Investment Fund to decarbonize and transform American housing—saving families money, reinvesting in communities, and tackling the climate crisis. The coalition will invest in new and existing pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs, including, when possible, investments in supportive services to increase participation from individuals in low-income and disadvantaged communities.
  • The Department of Labor (DOL) announced on April 10 it will award a total of $65 million in Strengthening Community Colleges grants to 16 community colleges and their partners nationwide, helping expand access to high-quality, equitable training for in-demand industries.
    • Grantee spotlight: Columbus State Community College (CSCC) will partner with International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1105 and two other community colleges to expand engineering training—particularly among women—to help fill good semiconductor manufacturing jobs spurred by the President's CHIPS Act. CSCC has budgeted project funds for supportive services, emphasizing provision of accessible child care for students who are parents.
  • The Department of Energy (DOE) has made supportive services, including caregiving assistance that enables students to participate in DOE-supported training and technical assistance, an allowable use of funds in its open $24 million funding opportunity to establish new centers as part of the Industrial Assessment Centers (IAC) network. The IAC program supports inclusive access to high-quality training programs in clean energy, energy efficiency, and advanced manufacturing, and helps small and midsized manufacturers save money, reduce energy waste, and improve productivity. Additionally, DOE requires applicants for nearly all of its competitive BIL and Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) programs to develop a Community Benefits Plan (CBP) detailing how the project will invest in good-quality jobs and support inclusive access to those jobs, among other objectives geared towards increasing the success of the project. To help applicants develop strong CBPs, DOE released a comprehensive FAQ that provides effective strategies for applicants to consider, including related to supporting workers' access to high-quality, affordable child care and other forms of caregiving assistance.
    • Grantee spotlight: Ascend Elements, which will receive a total of $480 million in BIL Battery Manufacturing grants to build its new Apex facilities—the first commercial-scale, integrated metal extraction, pCAM (precursor Cathode Active Material), and CAM (Cathode Active Material) facilities in the United States—plans to offer community benefits such as affordable child care, workforce training and education, and affordable transportation initiatives in Hopkinsville, a disadvantaged community in southwestern Kentucky.
    • Grantee spotlight: The Midwest Hydrogen Hub will enable decarbonization through strategic hydrogen uses, including steel and glass production, power generation, refining, and heavy-duty transportation. The Midwest Hub will work with local businesses and community-based organizations to support transportation and child care, as well as provide services such as low-cost internet and workforce training programs, to make job opportunities more equitable.
  • Yesterday, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) announced a new funding opportunity for the NSF Regional Innovation Engines (NSF Engines) program, with a key focus on technology development and creating pathways to good-paying jobs, including by enabling wraparound supports for learners and students. The inaugural 10 NSF Engines, announced in January, are receiving more than $530 million in federal and matched investments over the next two years to catalyze place-based innovation and boost economic growth. In addition, NSF's Experiential Learning for Emerging and Novel Technologies (ExLENT) program—which invested $18.8 million in September to provide for experiential learning opportunities in advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence, biotechnology and other technologies. ExLENT allows for some funding to support child care, transportation, and stipend costs to enable learners to participate in these opportunities.
    • Grantee spotlight: The Central Florida Innovation Engine, which will build a next-generation semiconductor technology innovation ecosystem, has budgeted $600,000 to support students and trainees. This will include child care, to be provided in partnership with CareerSource and the Osceola County Early Learning Coalition for Childcare, as well as other wraparound services like transportation and utility and rental assistance.
  • DOT published guidance clarifying that Federal-aid highway program funds may be used for supportive services—with no cap—in connection with workforce development, education, and training activities. Subsequently, in February, DOT released its Investing in America best practices report with recommendations to state and local transportation agencies to enhance construction workforce diversity. Providing child care, including at nonstandard hours, is a key recommendation to increase the number of women in the construction workforce.
    • Grantee spotlight: The City of Philadelphia will use its $25 million award from DOT's Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Grant to implement vital transportation safety improvements along seven neighborhood streets in historically disadvantaged communities—including investing $500,000 to deliver equitable workforce development. Workers participating in Registered Apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs will receive supportive services such as child care, transportation assistance, and training stipends.
  • DOC signed non-binding preliminary memoranda of terms (PMTs) with multiple applicants for its CHIPS Incentives Program, several of which include workforce development commitments to provide affordable, accessible, high-quality child care for workers across proposed facilities. DOC has also published resources to help applicants for its CHIPS and Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) programs implement high-quality, affordable, child care.

Joseph R. Biden, FACT SHEET: On One-Year Anniversary of President Biden's Care EO, the Biden-Harris Administration Celebrates New Progress Toward Providing Care and Other Supportive Services for Workers Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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