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Labor Accepting STEP Grant Applications

JUNEAU, Alaska—The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development is accepting grants applications for the State Training and Employment Program. STEP will competitively fund $4 million in worker training and employment projects from July 1 through June 30, 2013 to help thousands of Alaskans upgrade their job skills and get them into higher paying jobs in critical demand occupations.

“Grant applications that prepare Alaskans with high-demand skills needed to obtain current and emerging jobs in the priority industries as identified by the AWIB are encouraged for this solicitation,” Business Partnerships Director Corine Geldhof said.

According to the latest outcome data from the program’s 2010 performance period, those who completed training earned about $70 million in the 12 months following training, increasing their earnings almost 11 percent. About 90 percent of STEP participants remained in Alaska.

STEP is administered on behalf of the Alaska Workforce Investment Board by the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Division of Business Partnerships. STEP targets training for individuals who contributed to the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and are drawing or have exhausted their unemployment insurance benefits. The program also targets workers who are employed but likely to lose a job within six months due to a workforce reduction or who need training to improve prospects for obtaining or retaining employment.

The program also targets training projects that will increase participant earning potential in areas of the state where there are documented employment opportunities due to either labor shortages or rapidly expanding job opportunities, in occupations that have a high number of non-residents; and, in geographic areas with high numbers or rates of unemployment or discouraged workers.

STEP grants, which are funded by a share of employees’ unemployment insurance tax contributions, are awarded through a competitive process. Applications are accepted through the EGrAMS web-based system. An EGrAMS tutorial is available online at labor.alaska.gov/bp/egrams/.

The Request for Proposal is on the state’s Online Public Notice System (http://notes.state.ak.us/pn). Applications are due at 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 26. For more information, email Christine.Sanderford@Alaska.Gov with “STEP” in the subject line.

Business Partnerships
Labor.Alaska.Gov/bp/

State Training and Employment Program
Labor.Alaska.Gov/bp/step.htm

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