Workforce Development, Training & Education Support Via Federal-Aid Highway Program Formula Funds in States

Last Updated: 03/07/2024

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States are encouraged in Guidance for Use of Federal-aid State Core Program Funds for Training, Education, and Workforce Development to consider using highway funding resources to create workforce opportunities, especially for underrepresented populations including women, people of color, and youth with justice system involvement. [Section 504(e) of title 23, U.S.C.]

State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) can use certain Federal-aid highway program formula funds to support workforce development, training, and education activities. These include:

  • Opportunities to bring underrepresented populations into highway construction jobs.
  • Support for youth pathways that begin in high school and can continue through postsecondary education.
  • Registered apprenticeships.

Under the U.S. Department of Education’s Unlocking Career Success initiative, there are four key strategies to strengthen youth career pathways starting in high school:

  • career navigation
  • workforce credentials
  • work-based learning
  • dual enrollment.

As described in the Guidance, State DOTs can work with their state education agency to identify potential local education agencies and schools for partnerships. State workforce boards can help State DOTs to identify community-based organizations and others that are receiving federal funding to support opportunity youth. State DOTs can also work with local YouthBuild and Job Corps sites.

Funds can support the following types of efforts (the range of fundable efforts are described in the Guidance):

  1. Provide youth with career guidance and career navigation supports.
  2. Give all youth the option to earn their first industry credential(s
  3. Expand opportunities for youth to engage in paid work-based learning.

In the fall of 2023, State workforce boards and State departments of education worked on State plans to submit to the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Labor.


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