Press Release
September 19, 2023

Biden-Harris Administration Invests $4.5 Million in STEM Workforce Training Efforts Across the Country

Latest Department of Commerce Investments Help Bolster STEM Workforces in Technology Innovation Sectors

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced the 11 recipients of the 2023 STEM Talent Challenge, a national competition overseen by the EDA that supports programs to train science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) talent and fuel regional innovation economies across the nation. Making smart investments in American workers and workforce pipelines, like these awards, is a fundamental part of President Biden’s economic plan, Bidenomics.

The $4.5 million competition provides up to $500,000 in funding for programs that complement their region’s innovation economy, create pathways to good-paying STEM careers, and build talent pipelines for businesses to fill in-demand jobs in emerging and transformative sectors.

“As part of the Biden Administration's commitment to investing in America, we are making sure workers have access to the skills and training they need to get good-paying jobs in growing STEM industries,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Through the STEM Talent Challenge program, we're making substantial investments in communities across the country to encourage innovation, create opportunities, and build local workforce pipelines in everything from semiconductor manufacturing to AI development."

“The STEM Talent Challenge helps communities leverage their greatest asset – people,” said Alejandra Y. Castillo, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “We are thrilled to partner with these 11 grant recipients to strengthen training programs and apprenticeship opportunities that will ensure that individuals can build careers in STEM fields in their communities. This program builds on EDA’s mission of seeding the emerging and critical industries of tomorrow, and ensuring that we are strengthening a workforce that can propel these sectors to success.”

The 11 awardees, selected from a pool of 90 applicants, will leverage an additional $4.7 million in matching funds from a variety of private and public sector sources. The grantees’ projects support work-and-learn programs to increase America’s STEM-capable workforce in the emerging and transformative sectors such as aerospace, biomanufacturing, cybersecurity, data science, geospatial, artificial intelligence, information technology, and advanced manufacturing.

The STEM Talent Challenge grant recipients are:

Austin Community College District (Austin, Texas)
Project: STARS Training Program (Semiconductor Technician Advanced Rapid Start)
Grant Amount: $364,548

Bowling Green State University (Bowling Green, Ohio)
Project: Advancing Regional Talent in Smart Technology Enabled Manufacturing
Grant Amount: $332,828

CodePath (Atlanta, Georgia)
Project: Pathway to Tech in Atlanta
Grant Amount: $500,000

Electrical Training Institute (San Diego, California)
Project: Resilience in a STEM Economy (RISE) Program
Grant Amount: $496,693

Goodwill of Western Missouri and Eastern Kansas (Kansas City, Missouri)
Project: Bridge to Technology and Careers in Greater Kansas City
Grant Amount: $499,196

Liberty Science Center (Jersey City, New Jersey)
Project: High Schools of the Future
Grant Amount: $500,000

Middlesex Community College (Lowell, Massachusetts)
Project: Industry-Integrated Computer Aided Design Expansion Program
Grant Amount: $409,410

St. Petersburg College (St. Petersburg, Florida)
Project: Geospatial/Artificial Intelligence (AI) STEM Training Program (GSTP)
Grant Amount: $323,832

South Texas College (McAllen, Texas)
Project: STEM Registered Apprenticeship Program
Grant Amount: $283,262

University of Arkansas System (Fayetteville, Arkansas)
Project: BioAR Train Biomanufacturing Workforce Initiative (BTBWI)
Grant Amount: $493,521

Washington State University (Pullman, Washington)
Project: Washington's High-Demand Advanced Civil Engineering Workforce Development
Grant Amount: $252,933