Seeking to address the job skills and placement gaps faced by U.S. businesses, U.S. Small Business Administration Acting Administrator Chris Pilkerton announced the launch of the agency’s Makerspace Training, Collaboration and Hiring (MaTCH) Pilot Competition.
By providing funding to create or expand programs with job-specific and soft skills training within existing makerspaces, the SBA is looking to the MaTCH Pilot Competition as a solution to developing much- needed job skills and filling those placement gaps faced by U.S. businesses.
“In today’s booming economy, our nation’s employers are searching for qualified workers to fill the increasing amount of positions currently available,” said Pilkerton. “The MaTCH Pilot Competition reaffirms SBA’s commitment to supporting new forms of vocational education, developing apprenticeships, independent work, and cultivating access to entrepreneurship. This pilot competition will help empower a stronger connection between the maker’s community and job creation, and ultimately provide an added economy boost to communities across our nation.”
“SBA believes that existing makerspaces are uniquely positioned to help increase workforce development in U.S. cities of our nation’s workforce,” said SBA Regional Administrator Steve Bulger, who oversees SBA’s programs and services throughout New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. “The MaTCH Pilot Competition is structured in a way that challenges individual organizations or teams to utilize existing makerspaces to create or expand programs that provide the job-specific and soft skills training within existing makerspaces, including industry or trade certifications.
“The goal is to have all program graduates immediately placed in positions with previously identified employers that are in need of skilled labor,” added Bulger. “The SBA will award up to $1 million in total prizes to fund selected winning proposals.”
To enter, applicants must submit a business plan that details their team’s qualifications, experience, and resources; the proposed training curriculum; the nature and length of the training/certification program; and the number of trainees that will be accommodated.
Submission Period: May 21 to July 8
Winners Announced: August 6
The MaTCH Pilot Competition entry form, rules and requirements available online at: https://www.sba.gov/match.
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