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U.S. Department of Commerce Announces Winners of American Rescue Plan $500 Million Good Jobs Challenge to Expand Employment Opportunities


Today, 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 and will enable communities across the country to invest in innovative approaches to workforce development that will secure job opportunities for more than 50,000 Americans.

The 32 winning projects were selected from a competitive pool of 509 applicants. By partnering with labor unions, community colleges, industry, and other stakeholders, these projects will solve for local talent needs and increase the supply of trained workers and help workers secure jobs in 15 key industries that are 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.

“A trained workforce is essential to ensuring that the United States can compete and succeed in the 21st century,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina 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.”

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 disorders. By providing access to high-quality jobs that include good pay, benefits and career mobility for Americans who need it most and simultaneously serving vital industries, these grants will support flourishing regional economies that in turn benefit the nation’s growth, competitiveness and resilience. Many of these investments also advance the goals of the President’s Talent Pipeline Challenge to create equitable workforce development opportunities for infrastructure jobs.

“Workforce development is a critical pillar to supporting innovative and competitive economic development, and the Good Jobs Challenge is working hand-in-hand with diverse partners and local leaders to strengthen local economic recovery and resiliency,” said Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves. “The Good Jobs Challenge prioritizes employer leadership and hiring commitments, which we know are critical to expanding career opportunities for more Americans to reach their full potential and secure good jobs, leading to a stronger regional and national economy.”

“By integrating industry in every step of the talent development process, these awardees are focused on supporting underserved communities in diverse areas across the country, helping to remove systemic barriers for workers and connecting employers with the trained workforce they need to grow and sustain competitive local economies,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Castillo.

The Good Jobs Challenge is part of a suite of American Rescue Plan programs developed by the Economic Development Administration (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.

For more information, please visit our fact sheet. (PDF)

The project leads for each awardee are listed below. (Project summaries are available via hyperlinks.)

Alaska Primary Care Association (Alaska)
Grant: $9.7 million
Industry focus: Healthcare

Charleston Chamber Foundation (South Carolina)
Grant: $8.4 million 
Industry focus: Healthcare 

Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership (Illinois)
Grant: $18.5 million 
Industry focus: Healthcare; Manufacturing; Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics; Information Technology  

City of Birmingham (Alabama)
Grant: $10.8 million 
Industry focus: Healthcare  

City of New York Human Resources Administration (New York)
Grant: $18.6 million
Industry focus: Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics; Building and Construction 

City of Springfield (Missouri)
Grant: $17.5 million
Industry focus: Healthcare; Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics; Education  

Dallas College (Texas)
Grant: $8.8 million
Industry focus: Bio-medical 

Economic Development and Industrial Corporation of Boston (Massachusetts)
Grant: $23 million 
Industry focus: Healthcare; Energy and Resilience; Childcare  

Florida Gulf Coast University Board of Trustees (Florida)
Grant: $22.9 million 
Industry focus: Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics; Healthcare; Manufacturing; Education  

Foundation for California Community Colleges (California)
Grant: $21.5 million 
Industry focus: Forestry and Fire Safety 

Fresno County Economic Development Corporation (California)
Grant: $23 million 
Industry focus: Professional and Financial Services; Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics; Manufacturing; Building and Construction  

Hampton Roads Workforce Council (Virginia & North Carolina)
Grant: $11 million 
Industry focus: Water and Blue Economy; Energy and Resilience  

Illinois Central College (Illinois)
Grant: $14.6 million 
Industry focus: Information Technology  

Lakota Funds (South Dakota) 
Grant: $5 million
Industry focus: Building and Construction  

Maryland Department of Labor (Maryland)  
Grant: $22.9 million 
Industry focus: Energy and Resilience  

Miami Dade College (Florida) 
Grant: $10 million 
Industry focus: Information Technology  

Mid-South Center for Occupational Innovation (Arkansas, Mississippi, & Tennessee)
Grant: $21.5 million 
Industry focus: Building and Construction; Manufacturing; Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics  

Nevadaworks (Nevada)
Grant: $14.9 million 
Industry focus: Healthcare; Information Technology; Manufacturing; Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics  

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (North Carolina)
Grant: $23.7 million 
Industry focus: Energy and Resilience 

North Central New Mexico Economic Development District (New Mexico)
Grant: $6.4 million 
Industry focus: Healthcare; Building and Construction 

Office of Workforce Strategy (Connecticut)
Grant: $23.9 million 
Industry focus: Manufacturing; Healthcare; Information Technology; Bio-medical

Ohio Manufacturers’ Association Educational and Industrial Development Institute (Ohio)
Grant: $23.5 million
Industry focus: Manufacturing 

Persevere (Tennessee) 
Grant: $15.4 million
Industry focus: Information Technology 

Philadelphia Works, Inc. (Pennsylvania)
Grant: $22.8 million 
Industry focus: Healthcare; Building and Construction; Energy and Resilience 

Southwestern Oregon Workforce Investment Board (Oregon) 
Grant: $3.4 million 
Industry focus: Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics 

The Chamber Foundation (Minnesota & North Dakota)
Grant: $9.6 million
Industry focus: Agriculture and Food Production; Information Technology; Manufacturing   

UnidosUS (Puerto Rico & Colorado)
Grant: $11.4 million
Industry focus: Aerospace & Defense; Building and Construction; Professional and Financial Services

United Way of Central Iowa (Iowa)
Grant:  $1.8 million
Industry focus: Healthcare  

University of Hawaii (Hawaii)
Grant: $16.4 million
Industry focus: Healthcare; Information Technology; Energy and Resilience; Film, Arts, & Media  

Washington Student Achievement Council (Washington)
Grant: $23.5 million  
Industry focus: Healthcare; Information Technology; Professional and Financial Services; Energy and Resilience; Manufacturing; Building and Construction   

Workforce Solutions Rural Capital (Texas)
Grant:  $12.1 million
Industry focus: Building and Construction; Information Technology; Healthcare  

WTIA Workforce Institute (Alabama, Louisiana, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington)
Grant: $23.5 million 
Industry focus: Information Technology 

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.