Clark University has received a $10 million award from the Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration’s H-1B One Workforce Grant Program to help train the workforce of the future for jobs in critical industries such as information technology, advanced manufacturing, and transportation. Clark is the only educational institution in the Northeast that received one of these grants.
Clark University’s School of Professional Studies will administer the grant, and will establish the TechBoost Program, a collaborative partnership that will involve three other education providers: Florida Career College, Holyoke Community College, and Quinsigamond Community College; four workforce development boards: CareerSource Tampa Bay, MassHire Boston, MassHire Central, and Partner4Work; and six employers: City of Worcester, IQ4, Lucravalde, Ownforce, Public Consulting Group Inc., and the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, who will provide IT and IT-related industry sector-based credential and work-based training to participants.
The TechBoost Program will enable 800 primarily unemployed and underemployed workers—especially workers displaced due to Covid-19—to be trained and retrained in IT and IT-related industry career pathways. Participants will receive employability and soft skills training, and will also be placed into appropriate work-based learning opportunities including on-the job training, paid internships, and apprenticeship programs.
“COVID-19 has made it abundantly clear the important role technology plays in our ability to stay connected with community, and to remain effecive and empowered in a rapidly evolving economy,” said Clark President David Fithian. “I’m proud Clark has this opportunity to help train our future IT professionals, especially those whose livelihoods have been impacted by the pandemic.”
Clark will use innovative training strategies and training delivery methods to provide individuals with the skills necessary to succeed in middle- and high-skilled H-1B occupations, including information security analyst, computer systems analyst, data analyst/scientist, GIS technician, operations research analyst, software developer, and computer support specialist. Instruction models will combine on-the-job and other earn and learn training with socially distanced classroom or virtual training. New and existing LMS platforms will be utilized. TechBoost will also identify and explore the effectiveness of mobile learning, blended learning, video training, and simulation-based learning.
“The U.S. Department of Labor is challenging communities to think as ‘One Workforce’,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training John Pallasch. “In a post-coronavirus world, it is critical that local organizations think as one instead of independent parts of a process. Our goal is to create seamless community partnerships to build career pathways for local job seekers to enter middle- to high-skilled occupations in cyber security, advanced manufacturing, and transportation.”
“We are very pleased to be receiving this grant award,” said John LaBrie, dean and associate provost for professional education at Clark. “It adds considerable momentum to Clark University’s efforts to ensure learning pathways that lead to employability.”
This is the second eight-figure federal grant Clark has secured in the last 18 months. In August of 2019, Clark received a $12 million apprenticeship grant from the Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration to provide business technology training nationwide to people struggling with unemployment and underemployment. Through the Tech Quest Apprenticeship, Clark works with the Public Consulting Group (PCG) and a national consortium of workforce development boards and higher education institutions to provide 4,000 pre-apprenticeships and 1,000 IT and IT-related apprenticeships to unemployed, underemployed, and incumbent workers through 2023.
The U.S. Department of Labor awarded a total of $145 million in the H-1B One Workforce Grant Program to invest in training for key sectors of the U.S. economy. Details about the 19 awards can be found here.