Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su argued “too many people have been left out of the promise of a good job” during remarks at the Milwaukee Electrical Joint Apprenticeship & Training Center north campus building.

“Not this time,” she said Friday. “We’ll build workforce system infrastructure that’s as strong as our physical roads and bridges, and as powerful as the new charging stations that you all are going to build.”

The U.S. Department of Energy on Friday announced more than $46 million in new funding for dozens of projects that touch the electric vehicle industry, from developing resiliency plans for states to testing business models for public charging services and much more.

One of these plans is being led by the Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership, one of the groups that hosted Friday’s announcement event. With just over $1.5 million in federal funding and $135,000 cost share, WRTP and other partner organizations will advance the EV Skilled Trades Employment Program, according to a White House fact sheet.

This program aims to address systemic workforce barriers for women and people of color — as well as those involved in the justice system and underserved youth — seeking employment in the clean energy sector. Partners plan to establish new career pathways through pre-apprenticeship programs focused on work in the EV sector.

The project has a stated goal of exposing 200 people to employment opportunities and starting training for 100 workers.

Other local partners in the effort include the Milwaukee Urban League, The Way Out and My Way Out — which help people with criminal history find work and housing — and EmpowHer, an organization supporting women in the trades.

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