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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $15.4 Million to Advance Information Technology Workforce Training Program in West and Middle Tennessee 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 – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo today is announcing the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $15.4 million American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge grant to Persevere, Memphis, Tennessee to support the Tennessee Technology Workforce Alliance, an information technology workforce training program.

This program will scale Persevere’s model for training justice-impacted Americans through intensive skills training and work-based learning. With support from employers to design curriculum, train instructors, provide on-the-job training opportunities, and hire graduates, the program will work with community-based organizations and incarceration facilities to provide training in the information technology sector.

“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to creating new opportunities for American workers,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This program will provide new skills and job prospects for underserved Tennesseans, while advancing a stronger workforce for the information technology sector.”

“The Good Jobs Challenge is proud to fund this workforce training initiative in Tennessee,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “Led by Persevere, this program is bringing together information technology employers to provide high quality training to provide intensive skills training and work-based learning to justice-impacted Americans.”

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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