The Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Labor recently awarded global consulting and digital services provider ICF a new $9 million contract to implement a new workforce development program to train local workers to support the territory’s recovery from hurricanes Irma and Maria. The contract has a term of two years.
The Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funded program, entitled Skills for Today, will train low-to-moderate income individuals in occupations that will support recovery efforts and help spur economic development on the islands. ICF will serve as the program’s project manager, providing strategic planning, stakeholder and performance management and other services.
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The company will also provide access to workforce development training programs for jobseekers in entry-level construction fields, as well as incumbent worker training and registered apprenticeships in high-demand sectors such as hospitality, health care, IT and marine services.
“Building on our local partnerships with workforce, education and economic development agencies, our goal is that Skills for Today will create sustainable solutions that build resiliency,” said Mark Lee, ICF executive vice president and public sector lead. “Led by ICF workforce expert and native Virgin Islander Adele Soto, this work will positively impact the lives of many Virgin Islanders, providing residents the opportunity to be a part of recovery and economic growth while achieving lifelong skills and recognized credentials.”
ICF has conducted workforce projects in the U.S. Virgin Islands since 2018 and is currently implementing the territory’s Restoring Futures initiative, which brings together workers with employers through on-the-job and customized industry sector training.
ICF approaches complex workforce challenges with customized application of innovative and sustainable solutions, including job readiness assessment, work-based learning, labor market analysis and employer and community engagement. ICF is also an established leader in disaster management, providing communities with end-to-end recovery and mitigation services—from assessment to public engagement and planning through implementation.