The United States on Thursday announced that it will invest $150 million (over Rs 1,100 crore) to train middle-to-high-skilled H-1B occupations in major sectors of the country’s economy, PTI reported.

The US Department of Labor said that cybersecurity, transportation, information technology and advanced manufacturing are among the major sectors where the H-1B One Workforce grant programme would be used to train a new generation of workers as well as upskill the current workforce.

“The US Department of Labor is challenging communities to think as ‘One Workforce’,” Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training John Pallasch said. “In the current job environment, it is critical that local organisations work as one, instead of independent parts of a process. Our goal is to create seamless community partnerships to build career pathways for local job seekers to enter middle-to-high-skilled occupations in the cybersecurity, advanced manufacturing and transportation sectors.”

The department said in a statement that the coronavirus pandemic has not only affected the labour market but also forced training providers to assess how to impart training.

The department’s Employment and Training Administration is pushing for an integrated workforce system, which will drive applicants to impart a mix of training strategies, by using innovative modes of training delivery, including distance, online and other technology-enabled learning.

The training will be delivered through local public-private partnerships where the grantees will provide individuals in their communities with skills important to move forward their career in middle-to-high-skilled H-1B occupations within major industry sectors.

The training programme will include a range of classroom and on-the-job training, incumbent worker training, customised training, industry-recognised apprenticeship programmes and registered apprenticeship programmes.

These public-private partnerships will utilise resources across local, federal and state and local funding streams as well as from the private sector to support the training and employment services in order to boost access to employment opportunities, the statement said.

All applicants must show that they were using at least 25% of the grant funds requested, it added.

The US has so far reported 69,77,658 coronavirus cases and the toll stood at 2,02,798, according to John Hopkins University data.