Southern Arizonans will have more opportunities to train for jobs in cybersecurity, manufacturing, and transportation, thanks to a $4 million grant to Pima County from the U.S. Department of Labor.
The four-year award from the Labor Department’s H-1B One Workforce Grants will be shared with Cochise and Santa Cruz counties and be used to fund training coordinated through Pima County’s One-Stop jobs agency, said Dan Sullivan, director of community and workforce development.
The Labor Department also awarded the Arizona Board of Regents a grant of more than $8 million, on behalf of Arizona State University for similar job training.
Sullivan said there are many job opportunities in manufacturing, information technology and transportation for trained workers who “upskill” through targeted training programs.
The new grant funding will be released in $1 million annual increments and funneled through One-Stop’s existing training programs and leverage existing partnerships with employer groups, such as Southern Arizona Manufacturing Partners, he said.
“There are a lot of opportunities around,” Sullivan said. “It’s really our goal to ensure those employers have a talent pipeline into the future.”
In announcing the state grants on Monday, Arizona Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly said the awards will help Arizonans get the training they need to land well-paying jobs in emerging industries, expanding economic opportunity to help rebuild the state’s economy.
The Department of Labor announced the availability of $150 million for H-1B One Workforce Grants last September. The program focuses on funding local public-private partnerships to advance career pathways to employment in “middle- to high-skilled H-1B occupations” — specialty occupations within key industry sectors.
The grants fund programs including classroom and on-the-job training, customized training, displaced worker retraining and registered and industry-recognized apprenticeship programs.
Eligible participants served through H-1B One Workforce Grants must be at least 17 years old, and not enrolled currently in high school.
Priority is given to veterans, military spouses, and transitioning service members.