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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $23 Million to Develop Workforce Training Programs in Growth Industries in California’s Central Valley Through American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge

Competition Provides Once-In-A-Generation Funding to Locally Driven, Diverse Partnerships to Create and Develop Workforce Training Programs that Support Local Economies

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $23 million American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge grant to the Fresno County Economic Development Corporation, Fresno, California, to develop and launch a program that aims to bolster and diversify the regional economy by placing thousands of workers into good-paying jobs.

This program will unite dozens of employers in the financial services, manufacturing, transportation and logistics, and construction industries to develop apprenticeships, bootcamp-style and individualized training programs, and career placement services to develop the local workforce and strengthen the region’s economy.

“President Biden is committed to expanding career opportunities for more Americans to secure good-paying jobs,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment will create workforce training programs leading to good-paying jobs in four high-growth sectors, providing quality, demand-driven training for workers and a workforce to grow and expand the region’s economy.”

“The Good Jobs Challenge is bringing together diverse partners and local leaders to advance workforce training programs across the country,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “Led by the Fresno County Economic Development Corporation, this program will bring together employers in four growth industries to create effective and inclusive workforce training programs that respond to the needs of the California Central Valley’s businesses and residents.”

“This funding will launch quality workforce training programs and opportunities to help workers develop new skills, address workforce needs and connect people with good-paying jobs in the Central Valley,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “I thank the Biden Administration for investing in our efforts to support businesses and workers throughout California.”

“This is a major investment in the Central Valley’s economy now and into the future, and another reason I proudly supported the American Rescue Plan,” said Senator Alex Padilla. “Building partnerships with employers in multiple sectors will help thousands of Californians find jobs. Specialized training programs and support will help workers earn better wages and salaries, and put them on the path to stable, successful careers.”

“This announcement is a big deal for our Valley! Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, we are accelerating America’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic,” said Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16). “This $23 million grant will bolster our regional economy by creating new, good-paying jobs in construction, financial services, and manufacturing industries. I am proud to have advocated for this project and voted to provide the funding that made it possible. This will help build a stronger, more resilient economy for the people of the San Joaquin Valley.”

This grant is funded through the American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge. The program awarded grants to 32 worker-centered, industry-led workforce training partnerships across the country. The $500 million program is expanding opportunities for more Americans to access and secure good-paying jobs by investing in innovative approaches to advance worker-centered, industry-led workforce training partnerships.

The 32 awardee projects were selected from a competitive pool of 509 applicants. By partnering with stakeholders such as labor unions, community colleges and industry, these projects will solve for local talent needs, 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. Through a holistic, integrated partnership approach, these projects will provide tangible opportunities and security for American workers, focusing on serving and supporting a broad range of underserved communities and connecting workers with the training, skills, and support services needed to successfully secure a good job. For more information on the grantees, please visit our fact sheet. (PDF)

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 4 a better America by accelerating economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and building local economies that will be more resilient to future economic shocks.

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.

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