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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $23.5 Million to Develop Multi-State Information Technology Workforce Training Program 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 $23.5 million American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge grant to WTIA Workforce Institute, Issaquah, Washington, to develop information technology workforce training programs across eleven U.S. states: Alabama, Louisiana, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.

This program will help these 11 regions develop their local information technology workforce with a focus on diverse talent pools and underrepresented communities. Building on WTIA’s apprenticeship programs in the industry, the program will train workers for high-paying cloud computing jobs and increase economic competitiveness and growth.

“President Biden is committed to expanding career opportunities for more Americans to secure good-paying jobs,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This funding is an impressive economic investment for communities across the country, bolstering resilience within often underrepresented sectors like information technology.”

“The Economic Development Administration is dedicated to expanding workforce opportunities in communities across the country,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This program will utilize apprenticeships in the Information Technology industry to provide those traditionally left out of the tech-workforce an opportunity to gain useful skills and enter a growing industry with on-the-job training.”

“The Good Jobs Challenge grant is going to help many communities, especially those that have been overlooked and underrepresented in our economy, take control of their futures,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. “Crucial programs like these will help us provide every hard working New Jerseyan with ample opportunities to secure proper training for the jobs they seek. This grant will ensure that everyone in New Jersey can find their place in the economy of tomorrow.”

“This investment in good-paying tech jobs, training, and workforce opportunities is one that will ensure success and stability for both Pennsylvanians and our economy for years to come,” said Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf. “It’s wonderful to see the success of individuals prioritized by the Biden Administration. The success of individuals builds stronger communities for a stronger nation.”

“The Economic Development Administration’s investment in the WTIA Workforce Institute will create opportunities for Texans to gain critical knowledge and skills to excel in the ever-growing information technology industry,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott. “We look forward to welcoming these new information technology training programs into the state to help prepare our skilled workforce for good-paying jobs as we unleash the full might of the Texas economy.”

“I applaud today’s announcement to invest in communities throughout the Commonwealth,” said Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin. “By strengthening our incredible tech community, we are ensuring that Virginia continues to innovate as it becomes the best place to live, work and raise a family.”

“I’ve been working throughout my time in the Senate to make sure Nevadans have the support they need to find good-paying jobs in emerging and innovative industries,” said Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto. “This grant funding will be critical to helping Nevadans pursue the careers they want.”

“Apprenticeships like these are exactly the type of smart investments that New Jersey needs to train a diverse workforce for high-paying technology jobs. This will increase our state’s economic competitiveness in the long term and lift up underrepresented communities,” said New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez. “I applaud the Biden Administration’s steps to implement the provisions we passed in the American Rescue Plan to help us build a more resilient economy.”

“Recent growth in the information technology sector has helped increase America’s economic competitiveness and also provided workers with good, high-paying jobs,” said New Jersey Senator Cory Booker. “This funding will continue to build on that success by funding workforce training programs in underserved communities across New Jersey and our nation, which will create greater opportunities for Black, Brown, and low-income people in the IT field.”

“We need to build an economy that empowers workers: that means making real investments to expand access to quality jobs and workforce training,” said Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown. “This Good Jobs Challenge investment, made possible by the American Rescue Plan, is providing communities throughout Ohio with more resources to support and develop their technology workforce.”

“Now more than ever, Pennsylvania needs highly-trained workers in tech to meet the demands of an increasingly virtual world,” said Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey. “Thanks to the American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge, WTIA Workforce Institute will have the support to train our workers to meet these demands – with a focus on women, people of color, veterans and Pennsylvanians with disabilities. I was proud to advocate for WTIA Workforce Institute and I will continue to work with the Biden Administration to support workers and create jobs right here in Pennsylvania.”

“This investment will help boost Virginia’s economic competitiveness by training our workforce for highly skilled, competitive jobs,” said Virginia Senator Mark Warner. “I am glad to see this funding provide opportunities for Virginians underrepresented in this field to access the training and support services needed to break into the technology industry.”

“There’s a growing demand for qualified talent in the information technology industry, and we must continue to strengthen this part of our workforce,” said Virginia Senator Tim Kaine. “I’m glad the WTIA Workforce Institute will receive federal funding to provide information technology job training programs for those from underrepresented communities. These efforts are critical to enhancing our economy and remaining competitive in the 21st century.”

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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