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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $11.4 Million to Develop Workforce Training Programs Focusing on Latino Populations in Puerto Rico and Denver, Colorado, 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 $11.4 million American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge grant to UnidosUS, Washington, D.C. to implement multi-sector workforce training programs with a focus on Latino populations in Puerto Rico and Denver, Colorado.

This program will engage sector leaders to create pathways to well-paying jobs for the people of Denver and Puerto Rico. In Puerto Rico, the program will train residents in growing construction and aerospace industries. In Denver, the program will train residents in the professional services industry to strengthen growth industries in the region.

“President Biden is committed to creating good, quality jobs for all Americans,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment will provide a range of opportunities across diverse industry sectors for Latino communities in Puerto Rico and Denver while bolstering both regions’ economic resilience.”

“Equity is one of our top investment priorities at the Economic Development Administration,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “As the nation’s leading Latino civil rights organization, UnidosUS is committed to the principal of equity and through this EDA investment, will create critical workforce opportunities for underserved Latino communities.”

“UnidosUS works tirelessly to create more equity and opportunity in Colorado’s growing economy,” said Senator Michael Bennet. “This federal grant funding will go a long way to help UnidosUS and their Colorado affiliates empower Denver’s Latino community with the skills needed to secure good-paying jobs in our state’s booming construction and aerospace industries.”

“Our workers are the engine of our local economy. Ensuring they have access to high-quality, competitive training helps power our economy here in the Denver area,” said Congressman Jason Crow (CO-06). “It’s important to me to equip everyone with the tools they need to thrive – especially diverse and underserved members of our community. I’m proud we are doing just that with funding I helped deliver in the American Rescue Plan.”

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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