Workforce Innovation Fund awards $35M in grants to enhance, evaluate training and employment strategies

Workforce Innovation Fund awards $35M in grants to enhance,

evaluate training and employment strategies

US Labor Department continues effort to strengthen workforce development

WASHINGTON — To ensure that public workforce systems evolve to serve the needs of job seekers and businesses alike, the U.S. Department of Labor is awarding more than $35 million in grants to support and study federally funded employment and training programs.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez announced the Workforce Innovation Fund awards today to help Americans return to work in Connecticut, Kansas, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and the Inter-Tribal Council of Louisiana. The funds will help implement and test innovative ways to deliver services more efficiently, facilitate cooperation across programs and funding streams, and create programs aligned to fulfill the skill needs of specific employers or industry sectors.

“States and tribes have consistently been at the forefront of innovative approaches that help connect job seekers with businesses looking to hire and grow, said Perez. “Today’s investments through the Workforce Innovation Fund will not only lead to improved services in these areas, but will provide invaluable data about effective and sustainable strategies that can be scaled around the country.”

Today’s award is the third round of WIF grants. Since 2012, the fund has provided the support to enhance and study workforce development programs and enable sharing of best practices.

In June 2012, the department announced the award of 26 grants totaling $147 million. In September 2013, it awarded nearly $24 million in additional grants for three for Pay for Success pilot projects. One year later, the department announced 11 grants in September 2014 worth a total of $50.7 million.

All WIF grantees are required to procure an independent evaluator to evaluate the project rigorously. These evaluations are likely to yield significant new evidence and best practices to stimulate innovation throughout the broader workforce system.

This is the first round of WIF funding since the passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014. The act emphasizes the coordination and alignment of resources across the federal agencies and with state and local partners.

Additional information about Workforce Innovation Fund grants, their evaluations, and the lessons learned is available at and

Editor’s Note: A chart listing the states receiving awards and grant amounts follows this release.





Connecticut Department of Labor




Inter-Tribal Council of Louisiana, Inc.




Ohio Department of Job and Family Services




Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry




Kansas Department of Commerce




Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development

Saint Paul







ETA News Release: [09/28/2015]
Contact Name: David Roberts or Joe Versen

Phone Number: (202) 693-5945 or x4696

Email: or

Release Number: 15-1913-NAT

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