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H-1B Technical Skill Training Grants (SGA/DFA 99-019)

Final Summary

H-1B Technical Skills Training Grants

First Round

Awardee: Regional Employment Board of Hampden County, Inc.

1441 Main Street, First Floor

Springfield, Massachusetts 01103

Contact: J. William Ward, Executive Director

Phone: (413) 755-1357

Proposed Award Amount: $1,500,000

Project Emphasis: H-1B Technical Skills Training

Summary Paragraph: The Hampden County Regional Employment Board (REB) in collaboration with its partners proposes establish the Information and Telecommunication Technologies workforce development project entitled IT Squared. There are two primary purposes to IT²: (1) train and upgrade the technical skills of 210 employed and unemployed (130 employed and 80 unemployed) workers for highly skilled jobs in the information and telecommunications technology industry; and (2) create a sustainable multi-region network of IT Squared training providers, businesses and workforce investment boards to focus on the long-term workforce needs of the information and telecommunications industry.

Community Served: Primarily Hampden, Franklin and Hampshire Counties in Western Massachusetts; Secondarily Worcester County (Mass.), Hartford County (Ct.), and parts of Southern Vermont and New Hampshire

Barriers/Target Group: The primary target group includes 80 unemployed individuals with computer-related background and skills for entry level positions who need further training to attain credentials for high-level jobs and 130 currently employed workers who are in lower level positions in companies but have been identified as possessing the capacity for growth into positions requiring higher proficiencies and skills.

Partnerships: One Workforce Investment Board (Franklin/Hampshire Counties, Mass.), two One stop Career Centers in Hampden County, Springfield Technical Community College, Greenfield Community College, Telitcom Development Corporation, Inc., Northeast Center for Telecommunications Technology, Systems Software Support Inc., JDS Uniphase, RCN Javanet, Valley Communications, Coghlin Electrical Contractors.

Innovations/Service Strategy: Creative approaches to the delivery of training will include distance learning via creation of a "virtual" campus for asynchronously delivered, on-demand technical training models. This method will be combined with campus classroom training and work site internships.

H-1B Technical Skills Training Grants

First Round

Awardee: NOVA Private Industry Council

505 W. Olive Ave., Suite 550

Sunnyvale, California 94086

Contact: Michael J. Curran

Phone: (408) 730-7248

Proposed Award Amount: $1,320,938

Project Emphasis: H-1B Technical Skills Training

Summary Paragraph: The goal is to equip participants with training to bridge the "Digital Divide" (a growing phenomenon in Silicon Valley that separates individuals of different socio-economic groups into information technology "haves" and "have nots"). Several partners in the project will employ recruitment efforts. Intake and a combination of tools and assessment will be administered to determine whether the individual seems to have the appropriate interests, aptitudes and/or the experience necessary for H-1B occupational skills training. Participants chosen for H-1B training will be provided with one-on-one assistance from counselors/training coaches in selecting the most appropriate training for his/her occupational goal. Support service will also be provided, as will job development and placement services for job seekers who have been trained through the grant.

Community Served: Santa Clara County

Barriers/Target Group: The grant will target several diverse populations: low-income, multi-ethnic adults and older youth (18-24), dislocated workers, and incumbent workers. This project will also involve recruitment of individuals from the poorest neighborhoods in Silicon Valley with predominantly Hispanic, African-American, and Pacific Islander populations.

Partnerships: The consortium brings together business, training, and service organizations which include the NOVA Private Industry Council, Mission Community College, Evergreen Valley Community College, Opportunities Industrialization Center West, University of California Santa Cruz Extension, Joint Venture:Silicon Valley Network, California Employment Development Department, Sun Microsystems, and Cisco Systems.

Innovations/Service Strategy: Industry giants Sun Microsystems and Cisco Systems have contributed equipment and expertise in curriculum development to this project. A new program called STEP (Systems administration Training and Employment Program) was designed by a team including representatives from Sun Microsystems, Cisco Systems, NOVA, and local community colleges to enable an individual to become a certified systems administrator in less than one year. The NOVA PIC and the Silicon Valley PIC will provide high-level technical skills training to an estimated 200 individuals over the next two years.

H-1B Technical Skills Training Grants

First Round

Awardee: Pima County Community Services Department

32 N. Stone, 16th Floor

Tucson, Arizona 85701

Contact: Henry G. Atha,

Phone: (520) 740-5205 Fax: (520) 798-3206

Proposed Award Amount: $1,500,000

Project Emphasis: H-1B Technical Skills Training

Summary Paragraph: Grantee will build on High Tech/High Wage project that has been piloted since 1998 and expand opportunities under it. Training will be provided in five H-1B technical skill areas that are in short supply in Pima County: Health, Information Technology, Educational, Electrical and Electronics, and Accounting and Management. Employers from the targeted occupations will join with Pima County Community Service Department, the University of Arizona, and Pima Community College to become a WIB Technology Skills subcommittee. As a WIB entity, this permanent partnership provides all members input into the overall strategic direction of the workforce investment effort. The employer subcommittee members articulate skill requirements, participate in curriculum design, teach courses, hire workers, and provide mentors to project participants. Training provider representatives furnish the training vehicles, including new initiatives such as web-based components and evening/weekend delivery schedules.

Community Served: Pima County, Arizona (including the city of Tucson)

Barriers/Target Group: Wide range of participants including high- and low-skilled workers, minorities, women and people with disabilities. People with sufficient skill level backgrounds will enter H-1B training. Those who do not will be trained using linked resources (under JTPA or WIA) to backfill vacant positions. Grantee is committed to training single parents and women, with a focus on non-traditional fields for women.

Partnerships: Pima Community College, University of Arizona, employers from targeted occupations.

Innovations/Service Strategy: Modular training and education products that are offered evenings and weekends, plus a fast track program that follows employer and participant timelines rather than school semesters; a web-based Individual Training Account system that includes certification of distance training providers, especially important to Pima County's rural workforce; Internet published Employer Skill Standards and Career Ladders for workers to use in career selection; a 360 degree performance feedback system that includes employer focus groups, participant satisfaction surveys, and training provider input; and Development of a 2+2+2 technical skills education continuum, linking high school, community college, university coursework, with entry at any of the three ports.

H-1B Technical Skills Training Grants

First Round

Awardee: The City of Chicago

510 North Peshtigo Ct., Suite 2a

Chicago, Illinois 60611

Contact: Linda J. Kaiser

Phone: (312) 744-7700, (312) 744-7456

Proposed Award Amount: $1,500,000

Project Emphasis: H-1B Technical Skills Training

Summary Paragraph: The long-term goal of the pilot project is to develop an information technology worker training model that meets the needs of business and includes both entry into the IT industry and paths to career advancement. The purpose of the project will be to prepare incumbent workers for more skilled, highly paid positions within their companies, placing City College Silicon Seed graduates and other qualified workers into the positions vacated by promoted workers, and helping IT companies fill entry-level positions. This will be accomplished by many components that include: project partners identifying specific training needs and selecting trainees; DePaul Institute of Professional Development developing the H1-B training program based on university resources; project partners identifying and meeting business needs for entry-level positions and second-tier positions (which typically require post-secondary training or bachelor's degrees); One Stop Career Centers providing support services; and the Illinois Coalition, Mayor's Office Technology Initiative, and Chicago Workforce Board participating in efforts to establish regional coalition to permanently establish a comprehensive career track to meet the needs of the high-tech industry.

Community Served: The City of Chicago

Barriers/Target Group: Employees of participating companies will be selected, based upon pre-requisite training and job performance, to train for H1-B designated positions.

Partnerships: This pilot project brings together business, training, and service organizations which include The Chicago Workforce (Investment) Board, The City of Chicago Mayor's Office Technology Initiative, The Illinois Coalition, DePaul University, City Colleges of Chicago, System Development•Integration, uBID, Inc., Xpedior, Catalyst Consulting Group, Inc., Big Edge, The Mayor's Office of Workforce Development and the One-Stop Career Centers.

Innovations/Service Strategy: DePaul University has begun research on distance learning and will explore the feasibility of using this medium as this initiative continues. An estimated 425 incumbent workers will be enrolled in training, with 200 new openings created through promotion and training.

H-1B Technical Skills Training Grants

First Round

Awardee: Seattle-King County Private Industry Council

Market Place One, Suite 250

Seattle, Washington 98121-2162

Contact: Alfred Starr

Phone: (206)-448-0470 ext. 3013

Proposed Award Amount: $1,500,000

Project Emphasis: H-1B Technical Skills Training

Summary Paragraph: The Seattle- King County Private Industry Council, in partnership with the University of Washington, and three community colleges and numerous other partners will provide an innovative solution to one of the country's most pressing educational problems: the lack of skilled technology professionals needed to design, implement and manage the computer-based enterprises that will drive commerce and education into the twenty-first century. Through a collaborative effort, the partners will build a system of articulated and integrated technology modules and provide training for up to 500 students in a demonstration of the new programs. The educational partners will also work together to ensure that articulation among institutions provides a clear progression in which students are equipped to enter the workforce or proceed on to four year and graduates degrees in information technology and computer science. The sets of program modules in the skill shortage occupations covered under this effort are, applications programming, information engineering, and systems analysis.

Community Served: Snohomish, King and Pierce Counties

Barriers/Target Group: The goal of the project is to develop new building blocks for IT training, geared to several target populations at various stages on the career ladder.

The target groups are unemployed workers who require additional skills to gain employment in IT professions and currently employed workers who wish to advance in their professions or change career path.

Partnerships: The consortium brings together business, training, and service organizations which include the Seattle-King Private Industry Council, the University of Washington, Bellevue Community College, Edmonds Community College, Pierce Community College and the Washington Software Alliance with over 1400 member companies in the technology industry.

Innovations/Service Strategy: Through this collaborative effort, the partners will build this system of technology certificates and provide 500 hundred training vouchers in a demonstration of the new programs. In addition, the UW will work with the participating community colleges to ensure that current and future IT and computer science courses meet UW standards of quality assurance and articulation.

H-1B Technical Skills Training Grants

First Round

Awardee: The Workplace, Inc.

350 Fairfield Avenue

Bridgeport, Connecticut 06604

Contact: Joseph Carbone

Phone: (203) 576-7030x309

Proposed Award Amount: $1,500,000

Project Emphasis: H-1B Technical Skills Training

Summary Paragraph: The project's goal is to create real and viable new career-paths to provide adequate domestic labor pools for the H1-B growth occupations; create employer-based Certified Skills Centers at which the program trainees receive experiential and on-the-job training in the occupations which deliver skills certification and valuable job references; expand the capabilities of the workforce development system without a proportionate increase in costs; and incorporate Equipped for the Future (by the National Institute for Literacy) and Best Practices concepts to create a sustainable system that effectively dissolves the barriers that have caused an increasing employer reliance on imported foreign labor to fill high-skill high-wage jobs.

Community Served: 20 communities of the Valley-Bridgeport-Norwalk-Stamford region

Barriers/Target Group: The target population includes both unemployed and employed, as well as young adults entering the workforce. Emphasis will be placed on training incumbent workers in both related and unrelated industries whose skills match those of the H1-B occupations.

Partnerships: This project brings together business, training, and service organizations which include The Workplace, Inc., SACIA, Pepperidge Farm, Pitney Bowes, Norwalk Community-Technical College, and The Community Action Agencies for Norwalk (NEON, Inc.) and Stamford (CTE, Inc.).

Innovations/Service Strategy: One of the principal innovations of the project is the creation of Certified Skills Center at employers. Each participating company has agreed to be designated as a Certified Skills Center. This designation required the following: all training is structured on National Skills Standards Board (NSSB) standards; all training results in formal certification in NSSB skills; all training results in college credits; all training results in additions to a lifelong resume; all certification in skills competency is maintained in a site database and that data is shared with the Substate grantee for the purpose of maintaining a workforce certification database; and all instruction is delivered by trainers who themselves are certified in the NSSB skills as well as certified as instructors by the State. An estimated 540 participants will be trained.

H-1B Technical Skills Training Grants

First Round

Awardee: Philadelphia Workforce Development Corporation, Inc.

1617 JFK Boulevard, 13th Floor

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103

Contact: Ernest E. Jones

Phone: (215)-963-3473

Proposed Award Amount: $563,057

Project Emphasis: H-1B Technical Skills Training

Summary Paragraph: The major goal of the effort is to address the needs of area employers for nurses at all levels and especially for the highest skilled nurses-registered nurses and licensed practical nurses. The program design is built around an accessible career ladder in nursing, enabling all levels of participants to access training and employment based on the needs. Motivated and experienced entry level health care workers will be targeted for training as skilled nurses supporting employer efforts to assist their incumbent workers in upgrading their skills. A backfilling system will allow low-wage workers, their unemployed, and younger workers to become trained as nurses aides, and backfill the entry-level workers vacated jobs. This project includes a comprehensive support system to ensure success of the skilled nursing students in an extremely challenging academic experience. The project design integrates the new One Stop System into the service delivery strategy, enabling the consortium partners to become involved in the development of the new system. And finally, the project is employer driven. The project is designed to be responsive to employer needs, and sustained through employer support.

Community Served: Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Bucks County, Delaware County, Montgomery County

Barriers/Target Group: To address the shortage of high skilled nurses in the Philadelphia and the four surrounding counties. Incumbent workers, low wage workers, younger workers, and the unemployed.

Partnerships: The consortium brings together organizations including: the Philadelphia Workforce Development Corp., Inc., One Stop Center, Career Link, Job Security Fund, Temple University Healthcare system, New Courtland, Inc., Tenet-owned Medical College of Pennsylvania, National Union of Hospital & Health Care Employees, AFSCME, AFL-CIO District 1199C and 60 area hospitals.

Innovations/Service Strategy: Through this collaborative effort, 80 Philadelphia residents will be trained as high skill nurses. Of those, fifty participants will become licensed as registered nurses and 30 participants will become licensed practical nurses. In addition 200 low- wage, younger workers, and unemployed residents of Philadelphia will be trained as nurses aides and placed into jobs that will increase earnings.

H-1B Technical Skills Training Grants

First Round

Awardee: New Hampshire Job Training Council

64 Old Suncook Road

Concord, NH 03301

Contact: John D. Hamilton

Phone: (603) 228-9500

Proposed Award Amount: $1,500,000

Project Emphasis: H-1B Technical Skills Training

Summary Paragraph: The New Hampshire Job Training Council and its partners will implement job training and career development programs which increase companies' ability to access and retain skilled workers in the State. The funding will be used to develop and implement a technical skills feeder system for high technology firms, a career ladder development process for individuals with suitable aptitudes for positions in identified industries, and an ongoing commitment by businesses in the State to incumbent worker training. The project will work along a continuum of skills development, with career awareness/planning and technical skills aptitude analysis, Individual Training Accounts (ITAs) for qualified unemployed workers, and company-based Customized Training Programs (CTP) for incumbent workers. Technical skills training programs will include seamless transition from Community Technical College System (CTCS) degrees through Information Technology (IT)-based bachelor's degree programs at the College for Lifelong Learning, and in-house online training options for incumbent workers.

Community Served: State of New Hampshire

Barriers/Target Group: The grant will target both unemployed workers and also incumbent workers in 10 to 15 companies around the State.

Partnerships: The consortium brings together organizations including: the New Hampshire Department of Resource and Economic Development, the New Hampshire Community Technical College System, the New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the University of New Hampshire College for Lifelong Learning, the New Hampshire Job Training Council, New Hampshire Employment Security, plus several business partners including the Software Association of New Hampshire, the High Tech Council, and the Business and Industry Association.

Innovations/Service Strategy: The range of training programs will be tailored to worker needs and relate specifically to company human resource benchmarks established by business assessment tools. One important innovation is the use of a newly-developed bachelor's degree program in information sciences, with the bulk of the coursework delivered via online educational segments. In addition, up to 120 Individual Training Accounts (ITAs) will be created to meet individual needs for career growth within the targeted sectors.

H-1B Technical Skills Training Grants

First Round

Awardee: Prince George's Workforce Services Corporation (WSC)

1802 Brightseat Road

Landover, Maryland

Contact: Joseph T. Puhalla, President

Phone: (301) 386-5522 Fax: (301) 386-5533

Proposed Award Amount: $1,500,000

Project Emphasis: H-1B Technical Skills Training

Summary Paragraph: Applicant will provide a targeted multi-regional program to recruit, assess, train, and place participants into the telecommunications and Information Technology (IT) fields. Program training will take place at existing training facilities administered by the Communication Workers of America (CWA) located in Fremont, California and in Washington, D.C. Participants for the training program will be recruited and screened for the program by their local Private Industry Council (PIC) (Prince George's WSC or Oakland PIC). Following successful screening outcomes, entry into the program begins with a skills assessment using an Internet based tool developed through the partnership of CWA, Cisco Systems, Aires Technologies, and Arizona State University. Training is presented in four stages leading top three industry-recognized certifications: Basic computer literacy, data cable installation (Building Industry Consulting Services International (BICSI) Certification), computer technician skills (A+ Certification) and network technician skills (CCNA/Cisco Certified Network Associate). Benchmarks in the program allow the participants to elect for job placement with one of the CWA participating employers.

Community Served: East Bay Area of Northern California, Washington, D.C. metropolitan area

Barriers/Target Group: employed and incumbent workers with some emphasis on a nontraditional IT workforce which includes minorities, women and the handicapped.

Partnerships: Prince George's WSC, Oakland, Cal. Private Industry Council, CWA National Education and Training Trust, Cisco Systems, CWA-represented employers including Lucent Technologies, AT&T, Bell Atlantic, GTE, Bell South , US West, PacBell.

Innovations/Service Strategy: Distance learning, skills assessment using an Internet based tool developed through the partnership of CWA, Cisco Systems, Aires Technologies, and Arizona State University.