Obama administration awards $50M in apprenticeship grants

The Obama administration on Friday announced it is awarding about $50 million in grants to expand apprenticeships.

The grants, from the Labor Department, give funds for apprenticeship efforts in 36 states and Guam. The projects funded with the grants will aim to get workers from diverse backgrounds into industries including advanced manufacturing, information technology and healthcare, according to a White House fact sheet.

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The grants are part of the administration's efforts to expand access to training for jobs that require advanced skills.

"Job-driven apprenticeships are among the surest pathways to provide American workers from all backgrounds with the skills and knowledge they need to acquire good-paying jobs and grow the economy," the White House said.

The administration used funds from fiscal 2016 appropriations to award the grants. The White House urged Congress to include funds for apprenticeship programs in the final version of spending legislation for 2017. A bill approved by the House Appropriations Committee does not include apprenticeship funds, while a bill from the Senate Appropriations Committee does.