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From the U.S. Environmental Protective Agency  - 
Jim Jones, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention

EPA Connect - The official Blog of EPA's Leadership

America's Got (Manufacturing) Talent

Did you know that we help small-to-medium sized local businesses to be more sustainable? EPA works with five other federal agencies through a special partnership called E3: Economy, Energy and the Environment to connect these companies and their communities to technical experts.

Did you know that the Small Business Administration (SBA) has a network of Women’s Business Centers throughout the United States to help women start and grow small businesses?

Did you know that the Census Bureau has extensive county-level economic and demographic data and is making that data available to communities to help them assess their regional business environments?

You’ll find these resources in a new playbook recently created by a federal team of experts under the President’s Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP).  The IMCP Playbook pulls together existing federal planning grant and technical assistance resources and best practices in economic development.

The President’s IMCP is accelerating the resurgence of manufacturing and creating a competitive climate for communities to attract manufacturing jobs and investment. It rewards communities that do this by using best practices and smarter planning that integrates targeted investments in workforce training, infrastructure, research, and other key assets.

Will the playbook work? To answer that question, we first asked a panel of seasoned community leaders what they thought. Their response was very positive, with each offering additional ideas for improvement. But the real proof in this pudding will be known only after our first full season of implementation.

Is your community ready to start developing a strategy to attract or expand manufacturing?   Follow the playbook’s three-step approach to help you attract and strengthen manufacturing business and workforce opportunities.

Chem flow chart

Like any good playbook, we will look to make adjustments as we move forward.  Tell us what you think about the IMCP Playbook.  Send your thoughts and comments to murray.tom-hq@epa.gov.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations.

The official U.S. Department of Labor blog page is currently highlighting the role of Registered Apprenticeship in preparing a skilled workforce for today’s industries via a blog written by Administrator John Ladd.  

The blog can be found here: "APPRENTICESHIP 101: EARN WHILE YOU LEARN"

Over the last week we've shared that Registered Apprenticeship is getting quite a bit of national attention, including mentions of apprenticeship from the White House and President Barack Obama.  Following the mention of Apprenticeship in President Obama’s State of the Union address, Labor Secretary Tom Perez has also been continuously beating the drum for the expansion of the Earn and Learn model to help provide U.S. industries and employers a talent pipeline of workers with 21st century skills.  On January 31, Secretary Perez wrote of his visit to Tampa Electric and lauded their apprenticeship program and the “upward trajectory’ its apprentices are set on through high skills-training and education while receiving an excellent wage from day 1.  The Secretary’s blog on his visit includes the following:

“In his State of the Union address, President Obama called for “more apprenticeships that set a young worker on an upward trajectory for life.” I couldn't agree more, because I've seen firsthand the success of apprenticeships at companies across the nation in my first 6 months as secretary of labor. One example is Tampa Electric: I knew the minute I walked in that this was a model from which others could learn.

Tampa Electric apprentices make around $32 per hour while mastering the electrical journeyman trade, with the opportunity to gain college credits at the same time. They earn while they learn, and once the program is complete, they can do a variety of electrical-related jobs. Average starting salary? $70,000 a year plus the potential for overtime.”

The Secretary’s message was featured on the Department of Labor blog page and also ran in the Huffington Post.  More great promotion for Registered Apprenticeship. 

Access the blog via the Huffington Post here: 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/thomas-e-perez/apprenticeship-pathways-t_b_4704678.html

And find it here on DOL’s Blog Page here:

http://social.dol.gov/blog/apprenticeship-pathway-to-opportunity/

Also in the days after the President’s mention of Apprenticeship in his State of the Union address, the White House posted a series of great Infographics to tout the benefits and high earnings opportunities Registered Apprenticeship offers U.S. workers.  The images below were both issued by the White House since the State of the Union.  Below the infographics you'll find a link to access and print them to share with your partners and stakeholders.

                    


Access these Info Graphics at http://www.whitehouse.gov/share/all

Secretary of Labor Tom Perez recently visited a United Auto Workers (UAW) - Ford Training Center in Detroit, MI, and met with and observed apprentices participating in a machine repair program.  The Secretary had a busy day in Detroit and has posted a blog to detail his experience.  The blog includes photos from a round table discussion, some context around the broader meetings, and the Secretary’s time talking with an apprentice.  

Read more on Secretary Perez's visit to the UAW Training Center on the Secretary's Blog Page:

http://social.dol.gov/blog/made-in-detroit/

The Department of Labor Newsletter has also covered the visit and highlighted his meeting with the UAW Training Center students and staff.  More great coverage of how Registered Apprenticeship is impacting the lives of U.S. workers by creating an upward career path that offers hands-on training and education that meets the skill needs of today's industries.   

Read the full DOL Newsletter with additional coverage of the UAW visit. 

http://www.dol.gov/_sec/newsletter/     

And National Public Radio (NPR) offers yet more coverage of the Secretary's visit to Detroit.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2014/01/16/262797968/obama-jobs-pitchman-takes-labor-department-s-show-on-the-road

  

During President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address to Congress, Apprenticeship was highlighted as he discussed the need to continue to work to ensure U.S. workers have the skills to meet the needs of today’s industries and employers.  As part of his remarks, the President made the following statement:

“So tonight, I've asked Vice President Biden to lead an across-the-board reform of America's training programs to make sure they have one mission: train Americans with the skills employers need, and match them to good jobs that need to be filled right now," said the President.       

He went on to say...

"That means more on-the-job training, and more apprenticeships that set a young worker on an upward trajectory for life. It means connecting companies to community colleges that can help design training to fill their specific needs. And if Congress wants to help, you can concentrate funding on proven programs that connect more ready-to-work Americans with ready-to-be-filled jobs.” 

The “proven programs” the President mentions are exemplified through countless Registered Apprenticeship programs across the country, and our system will continue to work together to help U.S. workers prepare for 21st century careers, providing the upward trajectory mentioned by the President. 

Shortly following the President’s remarks, via Twitter, the Secretary of Labor and the Department shared the quote and an accompanying blog by Registered Apprenticeship Administrator John Ladd which highlights the basics and benefits of Registered Apprenticeship .  A link to the blog is below, and for our Twitter Users, the Tweet is included below also.

The blog can be found here: "APPRENTICESHIP 101: EARN WHILE YOU LEARN"

Below is the tweet sent out following the President’s remarks:

— US Labor Department (@USDOL) January 29, 2014 

President Obama in the #SOTU: #Apprenticeships "set a young worker on an upward trajectory for life." Here's how --> http://t.co/TyyK222MWQ