Funding will create new opportunities for the smart and skillful while creating a wellspring of needed talent for the Nuclear Security Enterprise

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration has announced a funding opportunity of $5 million under the DOE National Laboratory Jobs ACCESS Program. Grants from ACCESS – Apprenticeships for Complete and Committed Employment for Specialized Skills – establish pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs for individuals to develop the skills and qualifications NNSA national laboratories and covered facilities require to meet their immediate and ongoing needs for traditional and emerging technician positions.

“Each of NNSA’s major facilities has unique needs and requires a steady flow of personnel to maintain a highly competent skilled and technical workforce in multiple disciplines,” said Jill Hruby, NNSA Administrator. “These grants will allow NNSA to train the smartest and most skilled while creating a direct pipeline into our robust workforce and improving workplace diversity.”

The vital national security missions of the Nuclear Security Enterprise require a workforce of unique skills and expertise, often in highly specialized fields. Apprenticeship programs are the path to good jobs in many skilled trade and technical fields, and NNSA’s support for these programs strengthens the pipeline of skilled workers. Some of the positions include machinists, welders, metal workers, IT/cybersecurity professionals, advanced manufacturing machine operators, fissile material handlers, radiological control technicians, industrial hygienists, and fire protection engineers.

Up to $5 million total is available under this opportunity with a funding ceiling of no more than $500,000 over a two-year grant, or no more than $1.25 million over a five-year grant.

Applicants must be U.S. owned and based entities. An eligible entity is a workforce intermediary or a qualified sponsor of a pre-apprenticeship or apprenticeship program that meet the following criteria:

  1. Demonstrates experience in implementing and providing career planning and career pathways toward preapprenticeship or apprenticeship programs;
  2. Has a relationship with a NNSA national laboratory or covered facility; has knowledge of the technician workforce needs of the laboratory or facility and the associated security requirements of the laboratory or facility; and is eligible to enter into an agreement with the laboratory or facility that would be paid for in part or entirely from grant funds received under this section;
  3. Demonstrates the ability to recruit and support individuals who plan to work in relevant technician positions upon the successful completion of the pre-apprenticeship or apprenticeship program;
  4. Provides students who complete the pre-apprenticeship or apprenticeship program with, or prepares such students for obtaining, a recognized postsecondary credential;
  5. Uses related instruction that is specifically aligned with the needs of the laboratory or facility and utilizes workplace learning advisors and on-the-job training to the greatest extent possible; and
  6. Demonstrates successful outcomes connecting graduates of the pre-apprenticeship or apprenticeship program to careers relevant to the program.

For more information, please visit under Assistance Listing: 81.251 or FOA: DE-FOA-0002681. Letters of intent are due June 23, 2022 and full proposals are due July 07, 2022. Awards are expected to be granted in October 2022.