Kansas City’s Full Employment Council is doubling down on its efforts to train techies.
U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor Chris Lu is visiting Kansas City Wednesday as part of the FEC’s announcement that it earned a $5 million grant to train young adults in IT, healthcare, financial services and advanced manufacturing. And thanks to matching funds from private and philanthropic groups, the FEC will have nearly $10 million to accelerate tech talent development.
The funds will support various efforts by the FEC’s Greater Kansas City Technology Career Collaboration program. In 2015, the FEC received a $500,000 grant as part of the TechHire program.
The FEC grant is a part of President Obama’s TechHire initiative, which offered $150 million in Department of Labor grants to 39 partnership organizations across the country. The initiative aims to support “innovative ways to get workers on the fastest paths to well-paying information technology and high-growth jobs in in-demand sectors,” the White House said in a release.
The grant will leverage an additional $4.97 million in matching private and philanthropic support to boost the program’s local efficacy, the FEC said in a release. The program specifically will target young adults age 17 to 29 that face barriers to training and employment in Cass, Clay, Jackson Platte and Ray counties in Missouri.
The FEC will work with Think Big Partners, the National Machining and Tooling Association, and the Missouri and Kansas hospital associations to train 2,000 participants in the program.
According to the White House, the grant will enable the FEC to:
1) Expand access to accelerated learning options that provide a quick path to good jobs, such as “bootcamp”-style programs, online options and competency-based programs.
2) Use data and innovative hiring practices to expand openness to non-traditional hiring by working with employers to build robust data on where they have the greatest needs, identify what skills they are looking for and build willingness to hire from both nontraditional and traditional training programs.
3) Offer specialized training strategies, supportive services and other participant-focused services that assist targeted populations. Offerings will aim to overcome barriers, including networking and job search, active job development, transportation, mentoring and financial counseling.
4) Leverage the high demand for tech jobs and new training and hiring approaches to improve access to tech jobs for all citizens, including out-of-school and out-of-work young Americans, people with disabilities, people learning English as a second language and people with criminal records.