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Project LIFT Awarded $5M to Expand Programming

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A young woman is introduced to welding at Project LIFT

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A young man learns carpentry skills at Project LIFT

Project LIFT has been awarded $5,000,000 by the U.S. Department of Labor through the Apprenticeship Building America grant to fund the Community I.M.P.A.C.T.S. (Innovative Model for Pre-apprentices & Apprentices in Construction, Transportation, & Solar) project. The goal of this project is to increase the skilled workforce for construction-related trades in southeast Florida by expanding pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship offerings at existing and new Project LIFT locations, in partnership with Associated Builders and Contractors Florida East Coast Chapter (ABC-FEC).

On July 7, the U.S. Department of Labor announced it awarded $121.7 million in Apprenticeship Building America (ABA) grants to “strengthen and modernize Registered Apprenticeship programs and enable workers to find a reliable pathway to the middle class.” Project LIFT was one of only 30 applicants selected nationwide, and the only Florida applicant selected.

Four categories of grants were offered with different funding caps for each category, ranging from $1M to $8M. All applicants were required to “incorporate cross-cutting principles to ensure access to quality Registered Apprenticeship Programs, including equity, job quality, sustainability, evidence-based approaches and new opportunities for innovation, engagement, and ease of access.”

Project LIFT requested and received the maximum funding amount of $5M for a 4-year project. ABC-FEC, through its education and training arm ABC Institute and Apprenticeship College, will serve as the Registered Apprenticeship Program provider for the Community I.M.P.A.C.T.S. program. In addition to skilled construction workforce training, ABC Institute and Apprenticeship College will also offer Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Training to Project LIFT participants.

“Thirteen years ago, Project LIFT set out to change a system and disrupt the way that traditional mental health programming was delivered to at-risk teens”, said Bob Zaccheo, Project LIFT founder and Chief Executive Officer. “Since then, we’ve worked with almost 5,000 teens and young adults and more than 100 industry partners to incorporate mental health supports in the workplace, provide paid training and employment opportunities to fill the trades gap, and destigmatize mental health through industry. This grant focuses on expansion and complements the philanthropic support that Project LIFT has received from funders and donors who have helped us build a replicable, national model of workforce development that will continue to move us forward.”

The four goals of Project LIFT’s Community I.M.P.A.C.T.S. program are:

1) Increase the number of participants in Solar Installation, Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)Training, and Construction Related Trades pre-apprenticeship programs at Project LIFT locations over the next 4 years.

2) Increase enrollment in Construction-Related Trades Registered Apprenticeship Programs.

3) Increase awareness, exposure, and relationships with pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs among organizations serving youth.

4) Secure and deepen partnerships with workforce development entities, industry associations, and employers to increase their investment in and use of pre-apprenticeships and RAPs.

“Associated Builders and Contractors Florida East Coast Chapter is excited to work alongside Project LIFT to educate and train skilled construction workers, which are essential to our economy,” said Peter Dyga, President and CEO of ABC-FEC.

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