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The U.S. Department of Labor is awarding $15.2 million in grants to enable 23 local areas to develop new systems to train American workers for high-skill jobs in places where companies are facing labor shortages, as part of the department's continuing, comprehensive efforts to close America's skills gap.

"We don't have a worker shortage in this country - we have a skills shortage," Secretary of Labor Alexis M. Herman said. "With these grants, 23 communities are going to identify what skills are needed and build systems to help workers acquire those skills."

Grants were awarded to organizations and regional partnerships of organizations that demonstrated in their proposals the capacity to develop a comprehensive skill training plan for the area. The intent is to create broadly inclusive partnerships focusing on a single industry or skilled occupation in an area. Specifically, these partnerships include businesses, business and trade associations, labor unions, community colleges and other post-secondary institutions, and community- and faith-based organizations.

The Regional Skills Partnership grants are funded, with Congressional authorization, through the department's National Reserve Account.

(A list of the grant awards follows)

Alabama Federation of Southern Cooperatives (West Alabama) $750,000
Alaska Alaska State Hospital & Nursing Home Association $638,000
Arizona Northern Arizona University (Colorado River Region in Arizona) $750,000
California Labor Community Services Of Los Angeles $750,000
California Farmworker Institute for Education & Leadership Development (Kern County, CA) $750,000
Colorado State Board for Community College and Occupational Education $515,322
Florida Florida AFL-CIO (Dade, Broward, Palm Beach Counties) $535,940
Hawaii State Department of Labor and Industry $500,000
Iowa Indian Hills Community College (Oskaloosa area, Ottumwa area) $500,122
Illinois Chicago Federation of Labor & Industrial Union Council $750,000
Maryland St. Mary's Board of County Commissioners $500,000
Massachusetts Employment & Training Administration, Metro South/West REB $613,967
Minnesota Hennepin County Department of Training & Employment Assistance $750,000
Mississippi Department of Economic & Community Development $640,000
New York City University of New York Research Foundation (Borough of Manhattan) $750,000
Oklahoma City of Oklahoma City $750,000
Oregon Rogue Community College (Southern Oregon) $598,212
Pennsylvania Southern Alleghenies Planning & Development Commission $533,000
South Carolina Enterprise Development, Inc. (Columbia, SC) $500,000
Vermont State of Vermont $616,900
Vermont River Valley Education Center (Springfield, VT) $1,000,000
Washington SnoNet (Puget Sound Region) $750,000
Wisconsin University of Wisconsin (Racine and Kenosha counties) $750,000