Press Release
August 3, 2022

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $21.5 Million to Develop Forestry Training Program in Northern California 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 $21.5 million American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge grant to the Foundation for California Community Colleges, Sacramento, California, to develop and launch California Resilient Careers in Forestry, a forestry workforce training program.

This program will partner with industry and leading educational institutions to scale a statewide infrastructure for training in forest health and fire safety. By working to recruit, support and train local communities in partnership with multiple Hispanic-serving institutions, Indigenous-led partners, and other local community-based organizations, the project will expand the industry’s talent pool and diversify the field.

“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 a workforce training program that leads to good-paying jobs in forestry and fire safety for Californians, supporting communities as they strengthen resiliency to the economic impacts of wildfires.”

“The Good Jobs Challenge is bringing together diverse partners and local leaders to advance workforce training programs across the United States,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “Led by the Foundation for California Community Colleges, California Resilient Careers in Forestry will bring together employers from across the Golden State to recruit and train workers for careers in forestry and fire safety, helping fill a projected shortages in this critical field.”

“With California on the front lines of climate-driven catastrophic wildfires, it is imperative that we work to build climate resilience alongside inclusive regional economies,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “This investment will empower Californians in impacted regions with workforce training opportunities in fire safety and our growing forest sector, advancing our work to improve forest health and build more resilient communities.”

“I proudly voted to pass the American Rescue Plan because it would help rebuild our economy by expanding job opportunities in our most important sectors,” said Senator Alex Padilla. “A diverse workforce that is well trained in forest health and fire safety is critical to California’s future. This funding will not only help California better prevent wildfires and protect rural communities, it will prepare workers across the state for good paying careers in forestry.”

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 build 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 (
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.


  • American Rescue Plan