CHEYENNE, WYO. – The United States Department of Labor awarded a grant of nearly $5 million to the Wyoming/Montana Partnership, which includes Laramie County Community College as well as Northern Wyoming Community College District (NWCCD), Casper College, and Montana State University Billings-City College.
The Educating Toward Economic Diversity Partnership in Wyoming and Montana is one of only seven awards to multi-state Regional Workforce Partnerships. Half of the $4,998,585 grant award will provide tuition assistance for adults 18 and older with financial barriers.
According to Terry Harper, interim vice president for academic affairs at LCCC, NWCCD will be the lead for administering the grant, with each participant providing the training needed for their service area.
The project will serve students who are preparing for a variety of occupations, industries that pay fees to bring foreign workers into the U.S. under the H-1B temporary visa program. According to the U. S. Department of Labor these grants are intended to raise the technical skill levels of American workers and, over time, help businesses reduce their reliance on temporary visa programs.
"The funds will provide training and employment for qualified participants through tuition free education programs," Harper said. She added that cybersecurity, information technology, financial services, healthcare, and educational services will be LCCC's focus.
LCCC's funding is $1,000,000 over the next three years. Since many of the processes and partnerships are already in place, recruitment associated with this grant could begin immediately. The official start date is January 1, 2017.
The H-1B America's Promise educational grants awarded by the Labor Department total over $111 million to 23 regional workforce partnerships providing career-oriented education across 28 states. The department estimates that approximately 21,600 participants will be served through the America's Promise grant program.