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U.S. Labor Dept. Names AAPA Steward of Training Grants

file photo
file photo courtesy of Georgia Ports

By The Maritime Executive 02-20-2020 07:13:33

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) has been chosen by the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) as among 28 U.S. entities to administer nearly $100 million being awarded through the Apprenticeship: Closing the Skills Gap grant program.

Grant awards ranged from $500,000 to $6 million and for AAPA’s $5,888,738 they will be used for the building and expansion of apprenticeship programs within the transportation and maritime industry. The grant places a heavy emphasis on private sector partnerships, with a corresponding 45 percent match of federal funds.

AAPA President and CEO Chris Connor notes that America’s ports are undergoing tremendous changes due to factors such as supply chain digitalization, artificial intelligence, automation, cybersecurity advances and other technology “disruptors.” These disruptors create workforce capability gaps that are best filled through apprenticeships.

“As part of our grant application,” he said, “we were able to assemble a national team of 10 employers, three institutions of higher education, three industry associations and one workforce intermediary. We’re confident the team we’ve assembled will enable AAPA to implement a proposed plan to register more than 5,000 apprentices nationwide, utilizing the nearly $6 million in USDOL funds requested through the proposal.”