Local Solutions with National Applications to Address Automotive Industry Workforce Needs
In September 2004, the U.S. Department of Labor has announced a series of new investments totaling more than $6.3 million to address the workforce needs of the automotive industry. Over the past two years, the U.S. Department of Labor has invested $5.6 million dollars to assist automotive workers to quickly and efficiently transition to new production processes as well as to develop industry-standard automotive technician training programs at technical high schools.
DOL has sought to understand and implement industry-identified strategies to confront critical workforce shortages. It has listened to employers representing dealerships, manufacturers, and suppliers, industry association representatives, educators, the public workforce system, and others associated with the automotive industry regarding some of their efforts to identify challenges and implement effective workforce strategies. DOL's Employment and Training Administration is supporting comprehensive business, education, and workforce development partnerships that have developed innovative approaches that address the workforce needs of business while also effectively helping workers find good jobs with good wages and promising career pathways in the automotive industry.
This set of workforce solutions is based on the automotive industry's priorities that address issues such as:
- expanding the pipeline of youth entering the automotive industry;
- helping alternative labor pools gain industry-defined skills and competencies;
- developing alternative training strategies, such as apprenticeship, distance learning, and accelerated training, for training automotive professionals;
- developing tools and curriculum for enhancing the skills of automotive professionals for nationwide distribution;
- enhancing the capacity of educational institutions to train to industry-defined competencies;
- developing industry-defined career ladders and lattices and corresponding competency models and curriculum;
- developing strategies to retain and help incumbent workers move into higher level positions; and
- assisting transitioning individuals from declining industries to high growth industries by building on their existing skills and training them for high growth automotive occupations.
The grants are intended to provide genuine solutions, leadership, and models for partnerships that can be replicated in different parts of the country.