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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $16.4 Million to Develop Multi-Sector Workforce Training Program in Hawaii 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 $16.4 million American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge grant to the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Mānoa, Hawaiʻi, to create workforce training programs in four of the state’s major industries: healthcare, information technology, energy and resilience, and film, arts, and media.

This program will train thousands of workers, with a focus on Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities, to secure quality jobs with local employers and labor unions. This multi-sector coalition will help Hawaiʻi further develop a diversified economy while focusing on opportunities for underserved populations.

“President Biden’s American Rescue Plan funding through the EDA’s Good Jobs Challenge will provide necessary investments that will ensure economic prosperity for individual Americans,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment will provide a range of opportunities across diverse industry sectors for Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities while strengthening Hawaii’s economic resilience.”

“The Economic Development Administration is pleased to support the University of Hawaii and we are excited to see how this project will train workers to compete for good-paying, in-demand jobs,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “As a current EDA University Center and an Asian American- and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution, the University of Hawaii is uniquely positioned to effect lasting change for the state and underserved populations.”

“The State of Hawaiʻi is committed to the University of Hawaiʻi’s efforts to strengthen our state’s workforce development systems by aligning training programs with employer's needs and by coordinating community-based partners to provide residents with quality training, support services and placement in good jobs,” said Governor David Ige. “This project will develop and strengthen partnerships and solutions in the key sectors of health care, clean energy, technology and creative industries – all priorities for Hawai‘i.”

“By investing in workforce training programs in health care, technology, and clean energy, this new federal funding will connect industries that need workers with people who need jobs and help grow our local economy,” said Senator Brian Schatz.

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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