U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.9 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Update and Expand Workforce Training Programs in Williston, North Dakota
Award is Part of the Department of Commerce’s $300 million Coal Communities Commitment
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.9 million grant to Williston State College, Williston, North Dakota, to acquire new equipment need to support workforce training programs. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan and EDA’s $300 million Coal Communities Commitment.
The region has been economically impacted by fluctuations in the energy sector and this project will allow the college to update and expand its Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and crane operating workforce development capacity and train workers with the skills they need to secure good-paying jobs in these industries. The EDA investment will be matched with $464,000 in local funds and is expected to create 549 jobs, according to grantee estimates.
“President Biden’s American Rescue Plan offers direct relief to American communities as they work to build back better from the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment will support Williston State College through our Coal Communities Commitment to support hard-hit coal communities as they diversify their economies and create new, good paying jobs for North Dakotans.”
“The Economic Development Administration supports community-led economic development through targeted investments that address a changing economy,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will allow Williston State College expand its training capacity and to incorporate technological advances into the curriculum to better prepare participants with the most in-demand knowledge and skills for the future.”
This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Tri-County Regional Development Council (Tri-County). EDA funds Tri-County to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.
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.
EDA’s Coal Communities Commitment allocates $300 million of EDA’s $3 billion American Rescue Plan appropriation to support coal communities as they recover from the pandemic and to help them create new jobs and opportunities, including through the creation or expansion of a new industry sector. Specifically, EDA has dedicated $100 million of its Build Back Better Regional Challenge funds and $200 million of its Economic Adjustment Assistance funds to directly support coal communities.
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.