Department of Labor sign in front of building
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Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh headshot
Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh

The Department of Labor announced last week that it is offering apprenticeship grant funding totaling $113 million to pay for worker apprenticeship programs, in an effort to bolster its registered apprenticeship program.

Funding for the department’s new “Apprenticeship Building America” program will include up to $50 million to support equity partnerships and pre-apprenticeship activities to increase enrollment. The effort falls under the Biden administration’s ongoing effort to promote apprenticeship programs

“For a young person starting their career or someone seeking a career change, registered apprenticeships provide equitable pathways to the middle class,” Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh stated in a press release.

A representative from Argentum told the McKnight’s Business Daily that the association is studying how the apprenticeship grant funding could affect long-term care. 

“At the same time, we continue to push for workforce measures included in the recently introduced SENIOR Act that if enacted would help relieve the staffing shortage crisis in senior living communities,” the spokesperson said.

The Argentum-proposed Safeguarding Elderly Needs for Infrastructure and Occupational Resources (SENIOR) Act would create a $10 billion sustainability fund for senior living providers. Sponsored by U.S. Reps. Lori Trahan (D-MA) and Brian Fitzpatrck (R-PA), the SENIOR Act also would create $1.25 billion in grant programs through the Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources Services Administration for workforce development.

“Argentum’s support of apprenticeship programs in general is based on the positive results and feedback we are receiving through our Healthcare Apprenticeship Expansion Program grant from the Department of Labor,” the representative said.

Argentum is the lead applicant and fiscal agent for the $6 million HAEP project that is being funded by a four-year Labor Department Employment and Training Administration “Closing the Skills Gap” grant begun in 2020. The HAEP project is focused on expanding apprenticeship pathways for positions such as certified nursing assistants, licensed practical nurses, registered nurses and rehabilitation technicians, as well as creating new apprenticeship programs for healthcare leadership positions such as nursing directors and executive directors.

Argentum and its partners plan to enroll and support more than 7,200 apprentices by February 2024. In 2021, Argentum announced that the apprenticeship program exceeded its first-year expectations.