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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.2 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Boost Agricultural Workforce Development and Entrepreneurship Training Efforts at Vermont Technical College

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.2 million grant to Vermont Technical College, Randolph Center, Vermont, to expand the college’s agricultural workforce development and entrepreneurship training programs. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This EDA investment will support the establishment of agricultural coursework designed to spur innovation and train workers for good-paying jobs. This EDA grant will be matched with $314,775 in local funds and is expected to create 690 jobs, according to grantee estimates.

“The Biden-Harris Administration applauds community-led efforts to grow regional economies,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment will support workforce development efforts designed to spur innovation, fill job vacancies and graduate the next generation of agricultural entrepreneurs.”

“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in supporting local economic development strategies designed to boost regional economic growth and resiliency,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will enhance Vermont Technical College’s workforce development efforts, providing the hands-on training and certification that students need to secure quality jobs.”

“Vermont’s agricultural sector is the backbone of our rural economy and a major contributor to our state’s culture and brand,” said Governor Phil Scott. “This grant represents an important investment in our future and will create new opportunities for many Vermonters. I want to thank Secretary Raimondo and her team at the Economic Development Administration for their hard work and commitment to our state.”

“This funding will provide vital support for keeping agricultural land in production and for educating young and beginning agricultural entrepreneurs,” said Senator Patrick Leahy. “For many years, agricultural businesses and organizations in Vermont have struggled to find staff to meet the sector’s growing workforce needs. This investment in Vermont Technical College will create jobs and strengthen our rural economies.”

“When I visited VTC last summer to talk about workforce challenges, we spoke about how important funding like this is to support their plans to grow and develop our workforce,” said Congressman Peter Welch (VT-01). “VTC has demonstrated incredible commitment to expanding opportunities for Vermont’s workers and employers, and I’m thrilled they’ll receive this additional support from EDA.”

This project is funded under EDA’s American Rescue Plan Economic Adjustment Assistance program, which makes $500 million in Economic Adjustment Assistance grants available to American communities. The Economic Adjustment Assistance program is EDA’s most flexible program, and grants made under this program will help hundreds of communities across the nation plan, build, innovate, and put people back to work through construction or non-construction projects designed to meet local needs. Effective May 26, 2022, EDA has officially closed all of its American Rescue Plan programs for applications. The $3 billion program funding will be awarded on a rolling basis through September 30, 2022.

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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