The U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration on January 23 announced a new competition to build the capacity of the energy industry by providing potential workers with skills-based job training at the regional level.

"There is a shortage of energy workers in this country. This $10 million grant competition under the President's High-Growth Job Training Initiative will help workers access the training they need to get good paying jobs in the growing energy industry," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao.

This competition for $10 million in funding, held under the auspices of the President's High-Growth Job Training Initiative, is open to public, private for-profit and private nonprofit organizations, including faith-based and community groups. Applicants must clearly identify the nature of their organizations and describe their capacity to deliver energy and skilled trades training. Proposed strategies should be based on existing workforce development models and promising practices in a particular region, or they should be adapted from successful strategies already in place in another region.

Proposed training strategies must: target skills and competencies in demand by the energy industry; provide participants with pathways to long-term career growth; and result in participants earning an energy industry-recognized degree or license proving a level of competence or mastery in a given job.

The energy industry accounts for four percent of the nation's gross domestic product and employs more than one million workers nationwide. Impending retirements, coupled with inadequate numbers of new workers entering energy-related careers, have created a need for innovative training strategies. Energy industry growth is currently hindered by a shortage of skilled trade and construction workers who are needed to build new infrastructure, install equipment, operate facilities and make repairs to existing structures.

This Solicitation for Grant Applications appears in the January 23 Federal Register and will be available online at www.grants.gov. This competition will close March 25 at 4 p.m. EST. A Webinar for prospective applicants will be held online on February 1. For information on how to participate, visit www.workforce3one.org.