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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.8 Million to Develop Healthcare Workforce Training Program in Central Iowa 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 $1.8 million American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge grant to United Way of Central Iowa, Des Moines, Iowa, to develop Central Iowa HealthWorks, a healthcare workforce training program.

This program will create new pathways to high-demand healthcare positions by partnering the leading healthcare employers in the region with community organizations and educational institutions to develop systems and training to support workers. The program will offer tailored skills and support services to ensure all participants can overcome barriers to employment.

“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 healthcare workforce training programs for Central Iowa, providing quality, demand driven training for workers and helping to grow the talent pipeline for the healthcare industry.”

“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. “Central Iowa HealthWorks will provide workers with the skills and support to obtain good-paying jobs with a path towards advancement, while supporting the critical healthcare industry and developing a stronger, regional economy.”

“I have heard every day since I entered office that we need more healthcare workers in Iowa. I am so pleased to see money I voted to secure in the American Rescue Plan being used to help United Way of Central Iowa develop Central Iowa Healthworks so they can train folks with the skills they need to obtain a good-paying job in the healthcare industry,” said Congresswoman Cindy Axne (IA-03). “This will help Iowans get good jobs and ensure local healthcare providers have the staff they need to expand service opportunities for folks across Iowa.”

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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