Made In America: Arkansas to receive $200,000 in grants to expand, expedite workforce apprenticeships

by Talk Business (roby@aristotle.net) 65 views 

Editor’s note: Each Sunday, Talk Business & Politics provides “Made In America,” a round-up of state and global manufacturing news.

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ARKANSAS TO RECEIVE $200,000 IN GRANTS TO EXPAND, EXPEDITE WORKFORCE APPRENTICESHIPS
The U.S. Department of Labor announced the award of $200,000 to the state of Arkansas to help integrate apprenticeships into education and workforce systems; engage industry and other partners to expand apprenticeships to new sectors and new populations at scale; conduct outreach and work with employers to start new programs; promote greater inclusion and diversity in apprenticeships, and implement state incentives and system reforms.

The grants – awarded to 51 states and territories, and the District of Columbia, totaling $10.4 million – are part of $90 million in funding announced in April to expand apprenticeships in the U.S.

The grants are part of ApprenticeshipUSA, the department’s coordinated effort with industry and education leaders, nonprofits, and local governments to highlight the benefits of apprenticeships and expand their use.

The new grant money will improve the future of apprenticeships in Arkansas, as well as help Arkansas employers get the skilled workers they need, said Arkansas Department of Workforce Services Director Daryl Bassett.

WORKPLACE BENEFITS ACCOUNT FOR 31% OF EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION
Employer costs for employee compensation averaged $33.94 per hour worked in March 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported.

Wages and salaries averaged $23.25 per hour worked and accounted for 68.5% of these costs, while benefits averaged $10.70 and accounted for the remaining 31.5%.

Total employer compensation costs for private industry workers averaged $32.06 per hour worked in March 2016. Total employer compensation costs for state and local government workers averaged $45.23 per hour worked in March 2016.

Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC), a product of the National Compensation Survey, measures employer costs for wages, salaries, and employee benefits for non-farm private and state and local government workers.

NAM USES POOR JOBS REPORT TO PUSH FOR TRANS-PACIFIC TRADE DEAL
Manufacturing leaders with one industry trade association are making a stronger case for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) amid a dismal jobs report earlier this month. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) issued a statement this week calling the 38,000 jobs added “pathetic,” stating that it is “a vivid example of why we need the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) now.”

SPRINGDALE HOSTS STATE’S FIRST EDUCATOR’S ACADEMY ON WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT, NEED EMPHASIZED FOR SKILLED TRADES EDUCATION
Workforce development continues to be a focus for Arkansas’ state and local officials amid a record low 3.9% state unemployment rate and 2.4% in the Northwest Arkansas metro area.

More than 60 educators in Springdale collaborated with local business leaders in the first Academy for Career Educators in Springdale on Monday (June 6) in hopes of creating a better prepared workforce. Monday’s event featured Gov. Asa Hutchinson who opened the academy which will continue through Wednesday (June 9).

Hutchinson said there is not enough being done in Arkansas in workforce development. He said there were 20 career centers available to Arkansas students in 2004, and today they are 40, but still there are areas of deficiency as more work and access is needed. Read more here of his comments from the conference.

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