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9 Years In The Making, Labor Department Finally Spends $9M On Job Force Training

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — ICF International said it will support local disaster recovery efforts by implementing a workforce development program aimed at training Virgin Islanders for opportunities in hospitality, health care, information technology and other high-demand sectors, ExecutiveBiz reported recently.

The company’s work as project manager for the Skills for Today initiative is part of a $9 million contract with the Virgin Islands Department of Labor.

Mark Lee, executive vice president and public sector lead at ICF, said the company will help territorial residents to contribute to disaster recovery and economic growth efforts by providing them with skills and work credentials.

“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,” Lee said.

The local Labor Department has been fined thousands of dollars every year by the U.S. Department of Labor — for failing to provide job force training for young adults.

The fines by the federal government started in 2012 when current Governor Albert Bryan was the commissioner of the department under former Governor John P. de Jongh.

The fines — totaling nearly $20,000 annually — were also imposed for failing to spend federal dollars on job force training programs.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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