Labor pledges $150 million for new job-training program

The Labor Department said Monday that it would make up to $150 million available for a new worker-training program.

The funding would go toward training workers who lost their jobs in high-demand industries and would help create or expand employer partnerships such as on-the-job training and apprenticeships that lead to industry-recognized credentials.

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"These grants will provide states with critical funding to implement and expand proven strategies so that workers can secure a foothold in the middle class and businesses can grow," said Labor Secretary Thomas Perez.

The money also will be used to provide job coaching, counseling and job placement, helping laid-off workers, including the long-term unemployed, connect with companies that are hiring.

The funding also would help align services with other federal, state or local programs, such as unemployment insurance and Trade Adjustment Assistance. 

The Senate passed a bill earlier this month that would provide five months of emergency jobless benefits for those who have been out of work for at least six months. Republicans supporting the measure have argued that more job-training programs are needed to help those improve or learn new skills.

Grants will range from $500,000 to $6 million.