Workforce Development in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Projects
June 14, 2024

Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) Grant Program: FORWARD Orlando

Orlando, FL | Planning & Demonstration Grant | Award: $3,200,000

Project at a Glance: The City of Orlando, Florida, received a planning and demonstration grant for $3.2 million to update its Vision Zero Safety Action Plan and perform several Quick Build safety demonstration projects. The projects are designed to improve multimodal traveler safety, walkability, and accessibility in a High Injury Network; and expand connectivity to critical community services like schools, healthcare, jobs and businesses.

Access Orlando’s winning SS4A application here 

Workforce Development in Action

  • Orlando will prioritize strong labor standards for construction, aiming to provide equitable access to workforce training opportunities. 
    • The Rapid Increase of Skills & Employment (RISE) Employment & Training Program, in partnership with CareerSource Central Florida, offers residents access to assessment, education, training, coaching and support services to enhance employability.  
    • The program offers in-person assistance by appointment, connecting individuals ages 18+ to job training, employment options and wrap-around services such as social support and case management. 

The city has set goals of 12% for minority-owned and 6% for women-owned business enterprises in contracts and subcontracts for supplies, services and construction. Workforce data will be tracked and reported on the city’s website.  

Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program: Reconnecting A Post I-81 Viaduct Syracuse  

Syracuse, NY | Planning Grant | Award: $500,000

Project at a Glance: The City of Syracuse, New York, received $500,000 in planning funds to develop an Action Plan to address a predominantly Black neighborhood that was previously victimized by redlining from the construction of the elevated Interstate 81 viaduct, and reconnect Southside residents into Syracuse’s economic center, providing greater access to jobs, healthcare and recreation. 

Since receiving this funding, Syracuse has partnered with the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) and received subsequent capital funding under the Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods grant program of $180,010,000 to collaboratively redress the legacy of harm from transportation infrastructure, enhance economic opportunity, advance equity, promote accessibility, and strengthen connections throughout the region for generations to come. 

Access Syracuse’s winning Reconnecting Communities application here

Workforce Development in Action

  • The respondents to the RFP for a consultant/consulting team for this planning study will be subject to Syracuse’s procurement guidelines which require that all professional contractors meet a 30% local MWBE requirement (18% minority/12% women).
  • The planning study and resulting project will leverage the workforce development and local hiring progress happening in Syracuse:
    • Working with community stakeholders, the city created the Syracuse Build construction career training program built in partnership with organized labor, community-based jobs advocates and sponsors of major construction projects. The program is graduating participants to construction apprenticeships and providing certifications in other construction industry skills.
    • In collaboration with community-based jobs advocates and the offices of Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer, the city operates an Interstate 81 Jobs Big Table forum. The program, which involves more than 100 local decision makers and stakeholders and USDOT representatives, now meets regularly to ensure the 15% local hiring goal for the I-81 project is met.
  • The project area is home to the Southside Campus for the New Economy, a critical component of the Syracuse Surge (the city’s strategy for inclusive growth in the New Economy) that provides training and career development in digital skills and technology.


Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Grant Program: Reconnecting Downtown Burlington

Burlington, VT | Capital Grant | Award: $22,384,000

Project at a Glance: The City of Burlington, Vermont, received more than $22 million to fund final design and construction of multiple streets that were previously rezoned and redlined in efforts to establish better access to public transit, reduce emissions and travel time for all transportation, improve public safety and quality of life, and improve economic conditions and opportunities for disadvantaged residents to rebuild the community. This project includes a workforce development project that will train approximately 120 youth with in-demand skills and build community capacity that will enhance safety in Burlington.  

Access Burlington’s winning RAISE application here

Workforce Development in Action

  • Towards a Safer Downtown Burlington (TSDB) is a workforce development program component of this project that will provide multiple pathways to learn the right skills to thrive in a world of rapid change and invest resources that strengthen community capacity for supporting youth development and employment opportunities. TSDB consists of five interlinked components, two of which are geared toward workforce development:
  • A Youth Development and Skills Gap study aimed at better understanding youth definitions of success, obstacles in achieving success, skills needed to succeed, and how they feel they can be helped to succeed.
  • A Youth Workforce Training program that provides multiple pathways to learning job-appropriate and academic skills including digital literacy; critical thinking/problem solving; initiative and entrepreneurship; communication and collaboration skills; emotional intelligence and self-awareness; and oral and written communication skills.
    • Other dimensions of the Youth Workforce Training program will include Personal and Professional Development (PPD) training; sports and mentoring; volunteering/service learning; enrollment of highest risk youth in structured programs for 6 months; pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship-style training; supports including transportation and childcare; and post-placement and follow-up for 6–12 months.

Charging and Fueling Infrastructure (CFI) Grant Program: Increasing Access to Electric Vehicle Charging in Boise

Boise, ID | Community Grant | Award: $3,200,000

Project at a Glance: The City of Boise, Idaho, received a $3.2 million grant to implement public electric vehicle charging sites, install charging ports and create a workforce development program to incorporate electric vehicle charging training into two local electrician apprenticeship programs. Boise’s proposal includes strong stakeholder engagement as well as a demonstrated, data-based commitment to prioritize the needs of disadvantaged communities.

Access Boise’s winning CFI application here 

Workforce Development in Action:

  • Boise’s CFI project will create a workforce development program to aid in bridging the gap between the current electrician and EV charging infrastructure maintenance and operation workforce in the Boise area. The workforce development program will consist of three main activities: 
    • Stakeholder Engagement (estimated budget: $50,000): Connect with local partners to design and implement the program. This includes engaging with local unions and companies that hire electricians to discuss job-quality enhancement strategies and developing supportive services to help train, place and retain electrical students and electricians within their organizations and businesses.
    • Program Development and Implementation (estimated budget: $150,000): 

Design education and outreach materials that introduce the gaps and the work involved in the EV charging workforce and introduce apprentices and prospective students of the apprentice programs. Programs could be offered during coursework for electrical apprentices and/or develop content to introduce students and prospective students to workforce opportunities in EV charging.

  • Electric Vehicle and Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Job Fair (estimated budget: $150,000): Design an “Electric Vehicle and Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Job Fair” for professionals and prospective professionals interested in electrical work and vehicle maintenance to come together to learn more about the work needed to support the EV transition. Registration discounts would be available for students and those who are from underserved/underrepresented populations, including women, minorities, people with limited incomes, people with disabilities, and people who have been incarcerated. This event will be held annually for a minimum of two years, and hopefully extended to five or more years, depending on budget and feedback on the event’s impact as reported by attendees and stakeholders. 

Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling (SWIFR) Grant Program: Austin Reuse Warehouse

Austin, TX | Award: $4,000,000

Project at a Glance: Austin, Texas, received $4 million to open a new warehouse to accept, reuse and redistribute used furniture and building materials to nonprofit organizations in the city, particularly those assisting people transitioning out of homelessness. The warehouse will also have an “innovation lab” space built in that will provide workforce development and training in how to upcycle used furniture for resale. 

Access Austin’s winning SWIFR application here

Workforce Development in Action:

  • Austin will use part of the warehouse funded by this project as an “Innovation Lab” that will provide workforce development and training opportunities. 
    • The training program will train individuals experiencing homelessness how to repair, remanufacture, and upcycle city surplus furniture into “made new” pieces through a standardized process.
    • The workforce program would provide employment opportunities for populations with barriers to employment, such as individuals experiencing homelessness, where they will sort inventory, track data, assist with loading/deliveries and learn how to upcycle city surplus furniture. If successful, the program could expand to offer vocational training in furniture repair, reupholstery, transportation/moving, and partner with existing apprenticeship programs that teach repair-related skills to use the warehouse and/or bring graduates of the Reuse Warehouse cohorts into their programs. Although the workforce program would be supported by non-grant funding (through the city’s Civilian Conservation Corps, supported by ARPA and general funds), without the grant funding for the facility, the workforce program cannot proceed. 
      • A long-term goal, outside the assistance funded period, is to create pathways from this program to help prepare individuals and provide them with access to necessary basic resources prior to participating in a more intensive apprenticeship program. 
  • The project will support three full-time employee positions from the onset of the program, and the department anticipates being able to continue supporting these positions at $250,000/year after the assistance period ends, working collaboratively with other city departments to identify funding to continue the programming if the pilot is successful.  


Other Resources