Registered Apprenticeship a Key Partner in SBA Regional Cluster Initiative

Posted by Chad Aleshire - On July 27, 2010 (EST)

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has launched a Regional Clusters Initiative that focuses on accelerating small business growth and job creation through clusters that leverage and align a region’s economic, business and workforce assets.  Regional clusters are networks of organizations and businesses in a geographic area that grow through increased collaboration, efficiency and innovation.


SBA has released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for entities that lead existing regional clusters. SBA intends to provide resources to 10-15 regional clusters nationwide to provide business training, counseling, mentoring, commercialization and technology transfer services, and other services that support the growth and development of small businesses.  The due date for proposals is August 13, 2010. 


SBA is requiring that proposals describe efforts to build and nurture public-private partnerships aimed at growing the cluster.  Key partners include, among others, workforce investment boards, community organizations, Registered Apprenticeship programs, institutions of higher education (including community colleges), and non-profit organizations.  Proposals must also identify the unique assets and competitive advantages in the region, including the educational and training programs designed to develop a skilled workforce for the cluster.


Although additional workforce development resources are not available through this RFP, SBA’s Regional Cluster Initiative will create opportunities for workers to find and retain good jobs in the selected regional clusters.  Therefore, the Employment and Training Administration encourages workforce investment boards and other workforce development organizations to partner with entities that will be submitting proposals for the Regional Cluster Initiative.


More information on SBA’s Regional Cluster Initiative is available at

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Modified On : August 02, 2010
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