V.I. Department of Labor (DOL) Commissioner Gary Molloy, after learning of concerns being expressed by some radio talk show personalities about the DOL ‘Skills for Today’ program, visited the training site for a second time. The commissioner reported that he was pleased with what was observed and offered words of encouragement to all the stakeholders.
Molloy will continue to reinforce the hard work of the department and the current push to support the individuals as they approach completion and prepare to kick-off the training opportunities for St. Thomas for 2022.
Molloy reiterated that the value of ‘Skills for Today’ is a needed resource for the Virgin Islands and emphasized that preserving the program is an opportunity for eager participants to gain useful skills.
“Our trainees come from all walks of life as some range from single young adults to middle aged men and women with families. This means that the ‘young people’ are not the only targets for the opportunity being provided by the ‘Skills for Today’ program.
“Given the devastation caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria, the department worked through the constraints of COVID-19 to keep the program alive and viable, notwithstanding the legal procedures required to provide a transparent process.
“How can we better address the limited living spaces of tomorrow without driving these skill-gaining opportunities today? DOL is open to direct reports to help monitor the program for success,” Molloy said.
The Labor commissioner further elaborated that the department continues to reinforce the facts to clarify misinformation. Clarifications to common misunderstandings regarding the ‘Skills for Today’ program are as follows:
- ‘Skills for Today’ is an initiative designed through a training and development program that is funded by Housing and Urban Development (HUD) via the V.I. Housing and Finance Authority (VIHFA) through the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery application process.
- ‘Skills for Today’ is supported by a collaborative partnership. The program is an opportunity to recruit, train and retain professionals in the V.I. workforce by using the best practices indicated by the industry and employment training. These programs are based on national industry, learning development standards and best practices. The ultimate goal is to provide the Virgin Islands community and economy with skilled workers in specific demand sectors that are tied to the territory’s recovery efforts.
- The implementation of this program involves the DOL as the grants sub-recipient, ICF as the contracted project manager, and Pinnacle as the training provider, contracted in partnership with ICF, to do the instruction and development of program participants for the construction trades portion of the program.
Anyone with questions or concerns about the ‘Skills for Today’ program is encouraged to call 773-1994 ext. 2114, or send messages to firstname.lastname@example.org