WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) today announced 10 recipients of labor-management grants totaling $895,096 to fund cooperative projects addressing disruptive workplace issues, including the “skills gap” between applicants and job vacancies in fields such as manufacturing and the building trades.
In this year’s grants program, FMCS especially sought applications targeting a shortage of skilled workers for U.S. manufacturing jobs and other vital economic sectors. Grant recipients reflected a variety of approaches to developing a more skilled workforce as well as proposals that jointly tackle other workplace issues for labor and management. The successful labor-management applicants reflect both economic and geographic diversity, including diverse industries and regions.
“I am extremely gratified by the outstanding applications we received for this year’s grants program. Our grantees represent the best of the best. They offer real creative approaches to building skill levels in young workers for our nation’s workplaces. In addition, our grantees are showing innovative ways that labor and management can team up to jointly resolve other, potentially disruptive workplace issues,” said FMCS Acting Director John Pinto.
“It is my belief that management and labor, working collaboratively, and with FMCS assistance, can develop plans to suit their individual circumstances and special needs, whatever they might be,” he added. “A strong labor-management relationship is a key factor in the success of businesses and labor organizations that build their communities while they fuel regional and national economies. At FMCS, we are all about growing these relationships.”
Under the Agency’s grants program, FMCS awards a limited number of competitive grants to encourage and promote labor-management cooperation as well as joint, innovative solutions to workplace issues.
Through its grant awards, the Agency supports best practices in labor-management cooperation as a way of improving collective bargaining and proactively mitigating labor-management disputes. The grants program helps foster the establishment and operation of joint labor-management committees at the company level, on a community or area-wide basis, within a particular industry, or for public sector employees.
The grants program, which began in 1981 under the authority of the Labor-Management Cooperation Act of 1978 (PL 95-524), has funded a broad range of projects including outreach, communications, strategic planning, minority recruitment and process development.