FACT SHEET: President Biden Celebrates New Commitments toward Equitable Workforce Development for Infrastructure Jobs
Culmination of Talent Pipeline Challenge brings together hundreds of partners to train Americans for good jobs building a better America.
Today, President Biden will recognize the commitments made by more than 350 organizations in 50 states and territories as part of the Infrastructure Talent Pipeline Challenge. The Challenge, launched by the Biden-Harris Administration in June, is a nationwide call to action for employers, unions, education and training providers, states, local governments, Tribes, territories, philanthropic organizations, and other stakeholders to make tangible commitments that support equitable workforce development focused on three critical sectors: broadband, construction, and electrification.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law—along with the CHIPS and Science Act, Inflation Reduction Act, and American Rescue Plan—are creating millions of good-paying union jobs, and the Challenge aimed to ensure that workers across the country are trained for these jobs. The private, public, and non-profit sector commitments complement the Administration's investments in workforce development and help ensure a diverse set of workers have a fair shot at the good jobs created.
Commitments made through the Challenge will expand equitable pathways into good jobs, boost opportunities for union jobs, and meet critical employer skill needs.
- Nearly 150 employers, unions, and community-based organizations will create or expand pre-apprenticeships, registered apprenticeships, and other high-quality training programs.
- More than 60 organizations will increase recruitment among workers who are traditionally underrepresented in infrastructure sectors.
- Nearly 30 organizations will provide supportive services, such as child care and transportation assistance, to help workers overcome barriers to participating in apprenticeships and other training opportunities.
- More than 50 institutions of higher education—including over 30 community colleges and five community and technical college systems—will advance equitable workforce development for infrastructure jobs.
- More than $70 million in aligned philanthropic commitments that advances the goals of the Talent Pipeline Challenge will impact tens of thousands of underrepresented workers.
At today's event, tradespeople from unions participating in the Challenge will demonstrate how they train workers in skills critical to implementing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. These include:
- Communications Workers of America (CWA) will demonstrate fiber splicing, an essential task that joins fiber cables together and is a key part of expanding access to affordable broadband across the country.
- International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC) will demonstrate how to create a brick-and-mortar solid structure vital to foundations, dams, walls, and the construction of buildings.
- United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBC) will demonstrate how their members train welders using a virtual reality (VR) simulator.
- International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) will use a VR simulator to demonstrate training in professional painting techniques.
- International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) will demonstrate how they train members in the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP) to install and maintain EV chargers and showcase an electronic switchboard station used to train apprentice electricians.
- Teamsters aviation mechanics will demonstrate how they train members to service, repair, and overhaul aircraft components and systems.
- United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry (UA) will showcase a centralized gas distribution system found in hospitals and care facilities, where gasses are delivered through complex piping systems.
Notable commitments include:
- IBEW is training more than 12,500 members in the EVITP—exceeding its initial commitment of 10,000—preparing them to install EV chargers across the country.
- AT&T, Corning, and CWA are partnering to expand training and create a good jobs pipeline, including by bringing former broadband technicians back into the sector and encouraging companies engaged in AT&T and Corning training programs to attend additional safety courses, including those led by CWA.
- AT&T and CWA are creating a task force to design broadband apprenticeship programs, work with community colleges to expand career options for current employees, and streamline tuition reimbursement for AT&T's union employees.
- United Airlines and the Teamsters announced Calibrate, a new apprenticeship program for aviation technicians that will train more than 1,000 workers by 2026, ensuring at least half of all workers trained are women and people of color.
- Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA) and Welcome.US are identifying pilot sites and local partners to support Afghan and Ukrainian newcomers with trade skills to participate in labor-supported training, enabling them to work on projects supported by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
- Tritium, a manufacturer of fast chargers for electric vehicles, is partnering with the state of Tennessee, the local education system, and wrap-around service providers to support apprenticeships, childcare assistance, and a ride-share program for its diverse workforce.
- Lumen Technologies will invest more than $80 million annually to hire nearly 1,000 new employees, many of them in union jobs, to support its fiber broadband expansion program and will provide hundreds of in-person, hands-on technical training sessions. Lumen also provides employees with access to back-up adult care, child care, and pet care, as well as tutoring and extended family leave programs.
- Charter is increasing tuition assistance for its employees to $10,000 per year and expanding its military recruitment efforts to three additional military bases.
- Fluor Corporation is hiring 30 percent of the craft workforce at its Los Angeles International Airport joint venture project from the local community, supporting union-backed apprentices hired during the design and construction phase, and ensuring a diverse and inclusive workforce.
- Exelon is on track to invest nearly $14 million in 2022 to support more than 75 different workforce development programs, including infrastructure academies across all Exelon locations that prepare workers for jobs in the energy sector, and programs that give young women hands-on experience in STEM fields.
- Jobs for the Future (JFF), a workforce development organization, has convened hundreds of partner organizations to join and amplify the Challenge since its launch, and is seeking commitments from 400 employers to adopt diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) policies in registered apprenticeship programs.
Intermediary organizations, including Jobs for the Future and National Skills Coalition, assisted in catalyzing commitments for the Challenge.
These commitments will complement new and ongoing federal investments and administrative actions, including:
- The Biden-Harris Administration will release a new guide, Advancing Equitable Workforce Development for Infrastructure Jobs, to help infrastructure and workforce development stakeholders leverage funding provided in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and other federal programs for equitable workforce development for infrastructure jobs.
- The Department of Labor (DOL) will announce an $80 million competition to support training in eligible infrastructure occupations. DOL will also uplift a new Training and Employment Notice to help infrastructure project leads and other stakeholders implement BIL with strong workforce commitments and proven strategies that produce high-quality education, training, and employment opportunities for all workers.
- The Department of Transportation (DOT) will release a checklist on quality jobs and workforce planning for the $125 billion in competitive grants it will award through BIL, to help applicants develop plans for workforce training and equity in their applications.
- The Department of Commerce (DOC) released its Internet for All Workforce Planning Guide, which helps states and territories develop a workforce plan as required by the $42.5 billion Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program. The guide includes strategies to support a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive telecommunications workforce.
- The Department of Energy (DOE) began implementing its Battery Workforce Initiative, a collaborative effort between DOE, DOL, industry participants, and labor unions to identify shared workforce needs and develop national training standards and curricular materials. This initiative will support development of a skilled, diverse, and qualified workforce for the rapidly expanding U.S. battery manufacturing industry.
Additional Info on Talent Pipeline Challenge Commitments
Examples of commitments to expand pre-apprenticeship, registered apprenticeship, and other high-quality training programs:
- NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association and CWA are partnering to make registered apprenticeship more accessible to NTCA members companies—including by surveying companies on their training needs, co-hosting events on registered apprenticeships for NTCA members, and offering OSHA-10 training to employees of NTCA members.
- Sila Nanotechnologies, Inc. of Alameda, California is forming partnerships with Columbia Basin Technical Skills Center, Big Bend Community College, and other institutions to recruit, train, and develop women and other underrepresented candidates for skilled labor openings in Moses Lake, WA. Sila is providing support for curriculum, internships, and funding; and offering employees tuition and training assistance.
- ChargePoint of Campbell, California and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) are partnering to provide training to NECA members who install EV charging infrastructure.
- The Fiber Broadband Association (FBA) and the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) have entered into a collaborative workforce development agreement to promote registered apprenticeship, develop curriculum, establish industry-recognized credentials and certifications, and articulate career pathways in the broadband industry.
Examples of commitments from community colleges:
- Bunker Hill Community College is expanding its partnerships with companies and unions to respond to training needs in broadband, electrification, transportation, and clean energy.
- Northwood Technical College and NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association are partnering to develop training programs through which students can pursue Northwood's online academic offerings matched with mentored, on-the-job work experience with hundreds of NTCA rural broadband providers and earn proficiency badges in the process.
- Arizona Western College will expand its registered apprenticeship program to serve up to 200 workers in the broadband installation field.
- Louisiana Community and Technical College System is directing $20 million in funding to establish the Louisiana Infrastructure Skills Academy (LISA).
Examples of commitments to provide wrap-around and supportive services:
- Waste Water Industrial Solutions, a Black woman-owned contractor in Atlanta, Georgia, will explore expanding training opportunities and wrap-around supports for fabrication and construction careers.
- St. Mary Parish Economic Development in Louisiana will partner with community non-profits and employers to help non-traditional students address barriers to training, including a shuttle system to bring students and their children to and from campus, as well as a free child care and tutoring center for children of students.
Examples of commitments to expand or increase recruitment among workers who are traditionally underrepresented in infrastructure sectors:
- Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD) is partnering with the National Urban League to develop pre-apprenticeship programs that will lead 500-1,000 underrepresented individuals into registered apprenticeships in energy. This collaboration is supported by the IBEW.
- KORE Power, Inc., a battery cell technology developer, is building a large manufacturing facility in Arizona and will prioritize hiring from the local Native American workforce; partner with local colleges; provide stipends to workers; and invest in community outreach, scholarships, internships, education activities, workforce coaching and mentoring, and program evaluation.
- Kiewit Corporation, an employee-owned construction company, will expand and better publicize its workforce opportunities, including its Kiewit Scholars program, its partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and its local partnerships with training and apprenticeship programs.
Examples of state and local government commitments to invest resources and take policy action:
- The Maine Department of Labor is partnering with unions, educational institutions, and contractors using American Rescue Plan funds to develop new apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship initiatives to serve nearly 3,000 participants from underserved communities and local high schools.
- Salt Lake County is planning to create a pre-apprenticeship program in partnership with local unions and colleges to recruit, train, and provide wrap-around services for lower-income individuals for construction and building trades jobs with support from American Rescue Plan funds.
Examples of aligned funding commitments from the philanthropic sector:
- The Families and Workers Fund, the What Works Plus Collaborative, and America Achieves are coordinating philanthropic partners on $50 million in new funding commitments aligned with the Talent Pipeline Challenge in 2022, with a focus on community-rooted, scalable models. For example:
- The Families and Workers Fund will invest $1.6 million in Better Builder® in Texas to accelerate the creation of quality, mobility-boosting jobs with a focus on immigrant workers earning low wages in the construction industry. This effort will support up to 10,000 workers who will participate in constructing a multi-billion-dollar BIL-funded project.
- The James Irvine Foundation supported creation of the High Road Training Fund, a public-private partnership with the California Workforce Development Board that supports equity, job quality, and climate resilience by augmenting public workforce development funds and supporting community-based organizations. The Fund will test and expand promising models like the High Road Construction Careers program, which partners with the building trades unions and community-rooted organizations like the Anti-Recidivism Coalition.
- The Lumina Foundation is investing $400,000 in Virginia's Infrastructure Academy, a public-private partnership led by Virginia community colleges which will help 35,000 Virginians—particularly from communities of color—gain skills and credentials in the transportation, wind and solar, and broadband industries.
- The Robin Hood Foundation is supporting Nontraditional Employment for Women to provide training and supportive services—including access to quality, flexible childcare—to prepare women in New York for family-sustaining jobs in construction and green infrastructure.
- America Achieves, the Families and Workers Fund, and the What Works Plus Collaborative will help mobilize $20 million in philanthropic funding for workforce development and equitable access to quality infrastructure jobs. This includes a philanthropic registry and matchmaking service led by America Achieves and the What Works Plus Collaborative for promising local initiatives that have applied for—but may not have received—federal funds for all or critical parts of their proposals, as well as a pooled fund portfolio by the Families and Workers Fund.
Joseph R. Biden, FACT SHEET: President Biden Celebrates New Commitments toward Equitable Workforce Development for Infrastructure Jobs Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/358610