Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor announced nearly $147 million in Workforce Innovation Fund (WIF) grant awards, according to a press release from the department. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis stated that the fund “was created to cultivate and test innovative approaches to workforce training and encourage the replication of evidence-based practices in the workforce development field.” The fund is intended to develop strategies that help Americans return to work through more efficient service delivery and partnerships with industry sectors and employers to cultivate programs that reflect current and future skill needs, the release said.

Twenty-six grants were awarded to a combination of state workforce agencies and local workforce investment boards, ranging from $1 million to $12 million each. Ohio submitted six WIF grant proposals, two of which were awarded grants totaling $18 million. The two recipients are:

  • Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) — ODJFS was awarded $12 million to provide core and intensive online services, which will provide Ohioans access to workforce services wherever Internet is available. 
  • Workforce Initiative Association — The Workforce Initiative Association was awarded $6 million to create a business resource network, which is a strategic alliance of resource providers collaborating to streamline access to programs and services to address business challenges.

For more information on the WIF grant fund and the award winners, read the press release.