The massive $787 billion dollar stimulus package (HR 1) was signed in February by the President. The bill is designed, in part, to stimulate the economy and to create millions of jobs across the US.

As WLP professionals, what should you know about this bill; and what can you do to help your organization take advantage of and be supporting these opportunities? The bill will invest heavily into new technologies, infrastructure projects and health care. It will also invest in helping laid off workers get back to work. Also, there will be investment in training within high growth industries via grants.

You will find training resources included with many of these initiatives. In one case, the bill would like to "better green" government buildings; and this investment includes $100 million in training to support those projects.

But, the bulk of the training funds will be allocated through the publicly funded workforce system (Workforce Investment Act funding). You can access information about how much of these resources are coming to your communities by reaching out to your local Workforce Board executive director or the manager of you local One-Stop Career Center.

As far as the grants go, if history repeats itself, these grants ($750 million), will require active private sector participation with either community colleges or higher education institutions. It would be a good idea to reach out to those leaders in those institutions to see if you can partner on an upcoming grant. Stay tuned to the Department of Labor site for more information about these grants.

So, this is a great opportunity for the WLP profession to engage in the economic recovery efforts, help your organizations and your communities make the most of their investments in training and development, and do what we do best to help get the country back to work!

Would you like to meet with your member of Congress while at ICE? Stay tuned for more information about our Congressional Conversations program.