Building the Framework for Good Jobs in Great Cities 

Group of workers smiling at a conference table

The Biden-Harris administration is delivering historic investments to communities across the country, growing our economy from the middle-out and bottom-up, not top-down. Thanks to the Investing in America agenda – which includes legislation such as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Inflation Reduction Act, and CHIPS and Science Act – our nation has a once-in-a-generation chance to build America’s next-generation infrastructure, while also driving great innovation and equity across the county.

Achieving the promise of these investments will require a diverse, skilled and ready workforce in cities, towns, and villages across the county. The Department of Labor is committed to helping all workers – including women, workers of color, veterans, rural and dislocated workers and workers who need second chances – have equitable access to fill the jobs created by President Biden’s investments.

We recently announced $80 million in available funding to develop and scale equitable pathways to these good-paying infrastructure jobs. The Building Pathways to Infrastructure Jobs Grant Program represents an investment in workforce partnerships – partners in the public and private sectors who can help us develop and scale the training programs we need to prepare people for careers in manufacturing, information technology, renewable energy, electrical, industrial and civil engineering, and many other careers we’ll need to support America’s new infrastructure.

Partnerships are critical to building a better America. That’s why we are proud to partner with the National League of Cities to announce the 2023 Good Jobs, Great Cities Academy.Brent Parton speaks on a stage. His face is projected on a monitor above the stage.

For nearly a century, the National League of Cities has helped city leaders build better communities. The Good Jobs, Great Cities Academy will leverage the hands-on experience NLC has gained providing technical assistance, supporting research and offering peer network opportunities, with our expertise, resources and networks, to help cultivate the next generation of innovative sectoral partnerships in infrastructure.

From May 2023 to July 2024, up to 12 cities of all sizes will collaborate with the Department of Labor, National League of Cities, other federal agencies, and national and state partners to design, develop and launch workforce initiatives that build pathways to infrastructure jobs – especially for residents from historically underserved and underrepresented communities.

Led by their mayor’s office, interested cities should:

  • Invite relevant stakeholders to join their team.
  • Identify and address key gaps in their education and workforce ecosystems.
  • Develop and implement strategies to ensure the jobs created are high-quality and support long-term economic vitality for their individual communities. 
  • Consider the critical role the care economy plays in supporting workers and incorporate supportive services into the project design.

The Good Jobs, Great Cities Academy will help create a blueprint for America’s cities to connect people to good jobs and employers to skilled workers, while fostering an equitable economy for all workers.

Applications for the Good Jobs, Great Cities Academy are due April 28.

Richard Cesar serves as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of Labor. 

Brittany Stich serves as Senior Advisor to the Employment and Training Administration at the U.S. Department of Labor.