Good Jobs Challenge Awards 32 Entities Grant Money

Part of the American Rescue Plan, the program through the U.S. EDA focuses on assisting innovations in workforce development.

Earlier this month, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced grant awards to 32 industry-led workforce training partnerships across the country as part of the $500 million Good Jobs Challenge funded by President Biden’s American Rescue Plan. The Good Jobs Challenge is administered by the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) and is focused on enabling communities across the country to invest in innovative approaches to workforce development.

The 32 winning projects, announced in early August, were selected from a competitive pool of 509 applicants. By partnering with labor unions, community colleges, industry, and other stakeholders, these projects are expected to address local talent needs and increase the supply of trained workers and help workers secure jobs in 15 key industries essential to U.S. supply chains, global competitiveness, and regional development. This funding will advance a broad range of sectors—including agriculture and food production, energy and resilience, healthcare, manufacturing and information technology—jumpstarting the design, development, implementation, and expansion of training programs that are tailored specifically to each community.

American Rescue Plan
Image: U.S. EDA

“A trained workforce is essential to ensuring that the United States can compete and succeed in the 21st century,” said Secretary Raimondo. “Thanks to funding from the American Rescue Plan, the Commerce Department is able to make once-in-a-generation investments in industry-driven, and locally-led workforce systems that will create high-quality jobs and accelerate regional economic growth, especially for underserved communities.”

Further, these projects will expand access to the workforce and increase labor participation through a focus on job quality and equity. The projects will serve and support a broad range of individuals from underserved populations across the country in urban and rural areas, including members of Latino, African American, Indigenous, Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities, as well as women, the formerly incarcerated, and those recovering from substance abuse disorder. Many of these investments also advance the goals of the President’s Talent Pipeline Challenge to create equitable workforce development opportunities for infrastructure jobs.

The Good Jobs Challenge is part of a suite of American Rescue Plan programs developed by EDA to equitably distribute its $3 billion allocation to assist communities nationwide in their efforts to build a better America by accelerating economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and building more resilient, shockproof local economies. EDA is currently evaluating all applications and will announce grantees for the full suite of programs by September 30, 2022.

The project leads for each awardee are listed below.

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