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Implementation of the H-1B Technical Skills Training Grants: Grantee Characteristics and Experiences Providing Employer-Based Training

Karin Martinson, Glen Schneider, Mike Fishman Katherine Gan, April Yeaney, Carly Morrison, Tresa Kappil


January 12, 2017
This report describes the implementation of the U.S. Department of Labor's H-1B Technical Skills Training Grants program, led by Abt Associates in partnership with MEF Associates. To address skill shortages in the U.S. labor market, the Employment and Training Administration awarded 76 grants, in 2011 and 2012, to partnerships of workforce agencies, training providers, employers, and other organizations. The grant programs were designed to train unemployed individuals and incumbent workers for middle-skill positions in such sectors as information technology; communication and broadband technology; advanced manufacturing; and healthcare, including health IT. The grant program is funded by fees paid by businesses seeking to hire foreign individuals requiring an H-1B visa. This report documents grantees' experiences operating their training programs and spotlights two employer-based training strategies: incumbent worker training, where employers refer employees to training to upgrade workers' skills, and on-the-job training, where the individuals' wages are subsidized as an incentive for employers to hire and train workers.