WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Labor today announced five grants totaling more than $4.9 million to improve English language skills in the workplace. The grants will train approximately 4,400 individuals in California, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York and Texas.
"To succeed in the workplace, workers must know how to communicate in English," said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "These $4.9 million in English skills training grants will help thousands of workers realize the American dream for themselves and their families."
In California, San Diego's Imperial Counties Labor Council was awarded a $1 million grant to increase the workplace literacy of 150 incumbent Hispanic workers in the steel and shipbuilding sector of the construction industry. Participants will obtain an apprentice level entry into the industry after completing training.
The Career Launch! project will use its $1 million grant to deliver customer service and health care industry training to approximately 200 Somali, Ethiopian, Southeast Asian and Hispanic participants in Minnesota.
Through a grant of over $800,000 awarded to Nebraska's Metropolitan Community College, approximately 1,389 individuals will receive English language training for careers in the construction, healthcare and transportation industries.
A $1 million grant will allow City University of New York Research Foundation to use cutting-edge instructional technologies to train approximately 240 persons in skills sought after by New York retail and food employers.
In Texas, a $1.1 million grant to SER-Jobs for Progress National Inc. will fund a work-based English skills program in four cities to prepare approximately 2,430 Hispanic workers for careers in the hospitality industry.
"Growing industries constantly seek out workers taking action to enhance their skills," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training Emily Stover DeRocco. "Developing English language skills will enable workers associated with these five projects to compete for sought-after jobs in growing industries."
The grants awarded today are the result of a competitive Solicitation for Grant Applications aimed at seeking strategies to address challenges and increase rates of English proficiency and high school graduation. For more on this and other employment and training programs at the Department of Labor, please visit http://www.doleta.gov.