On Wednesday, President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden visited Pennsylvania to announce new actions to enhance job-driven training across America. A key focus of the president’s remarks was how apprenticeships are one of the clearest paths to good, high-paying jobs. As he mentioned, 9 out of 10 apprentices get hired for full-time jobs after completing their program, and the average starting wage for apprenticeship graduates is more than $50,000. Expanding apprenticeship opportunities will give more Americans a chance to secure a foothold in the middle class.

Several new efforts will help double the number of apprenticeships over the next five years, a goal the president laid out in his State of the Union address. For the first time, the Labor Department is making $100 million available help more workers participate in apprenticeships. The grant competition will launch this fall and will be funded by fees employers pay through the H-1B visa program to hire temporary high-skilled foreign workers. [read more…]

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Investing in Skills to Build a Secure Middle Class

by Secretary Tom Perez April 17, 2014

In today’s economy, access to training for in-demand jobs can help American workers punch their tickets to the middle class, and it can help American businesses continue to grow.  However, as our economy continues to expand, too many businesses can’t find the skilled workers they need, and too many people don’t know how to access [...]

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Meeting the Demands of an Expanding Health Care Workforce

by Kathy Martinez April 15, 2014

If you’ve ever seen the “Because” public service announcement from the Office of Disability Employment Policy, you’ve seen Kayla Woolridge swim. While filming the PSA, Kayla, who has spina bifida and uses a wheelchair, got to chatting with my staff about her career goals. Although still a few years out from college, Kayla has been thinking [...]

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Celebrating Women with Disabilities: An Interview with Kathleen Martinez

by Employer Assistance and Resource Network April 12, 2014

Editor’s note: Although Women’s History Month is behind us, the Employer Assistance and Resource Network continues to celebrate the history of women with disabilities and their incredible contributions to the worlds of sport, art, culture and work. Recently, EARN staff interviewed Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathleen Martinez on this topic. The following [...]

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When Experience Pays: Paid vs. Unpaid Internships

by Laura Fortman April 11, 2014

Every spring, as college students nationwide prepare for finals and pull all-nighters to wrap up their spring semesters, many simultaneously ramp up their search for the perfect internship. The Wage and Hour Division understands that these “foot-in-the-door” opportunities can provide invaluable experience and have a great impact on future career paths. But when can internships [...]

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Share on Instagram: What Does Raising the Minimum Wage Mean to You?

by Laura Miller April 11, 2014

People often forget that behind each data point around raising the minimum wage, there are real people − each with their own unique story to share. Sometimes we get so caught up in policy discussions that we forget about people struggling to make ends meet and those who have to make hard decisions, such as [...]

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Giving Apprentices More Tools to Succeed

by Eric Seleznow April 10, 2014

After serving in the Army National Guard for six years as a radar repair specialist, Kevin Burton knew she wanted to continue developing her skills and pursue a career as an electrician. So she enrolled in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 26 electrical apprenticeship program, one of the top training programs in the [...]

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Take Control of Your Financial Life

by Phyllis Borzi April 9, 2014

Empower yourself. Strengthen your financial capability. Get the information you need to make financial decisions and take charge of your financial future. April is National Financial Capability Month. It is a time, as President Obama has said, to help all Americans develop the financial capability to take control of their financial lives, gain financial security and [...]

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Every Day an Equal Pay Day

by Secretary Tom Perez April 8, 2014

Today, President Obama asked me to join him in solving a problem that should have been solved long ago. The pay gap costs the typical working woman hundreds of thousands of dollars over her career, and for women of color, the gap is even larger. Women working hard every day to support their families aren’t [...]

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My First Day

by Chris Lu April 8, 2014

Yesterday was my first day as the deputy secretary of labor. And if there’s one way to calm first-day jitters at a new job, it’s an auditorium full of high school students – laughing and shouting, buzzing with anticipation for the arrival of the president of the United States. On the morning of my first [...]

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