U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $23.7 Million to Develop Clean Energy Workforce Training Program in North Carolina 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 $23.7 million American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge grant to North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, North Carolina, to create STEPs4GROWTH, a clean energy workforce training program.
This program will create quality, demand-driven training for the region’s growing clean energy sector. With a focus on equity, the program will utilize mobile training units in 16 distressed North Carolina counties to remove barriers to access and meet workers where they are.
“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 for the clean energy sector, providing quality, demand-driven training for workers and a workforce to grow and expand the industry.”
“The Good Jobs Challenge is bringing together diverse partners and local leaders to advance workforce training programs across the country,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “Led by North Carolina A&T, the nation’s largest Historically Black College and University, this program is bringing together education and clean energy employers to create an effective, inclusive workforce training program.”
“North Carolina is quickly becoming the center of our country’s emerging clean energy economy,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “This transformative grant will invest in our state’s diverse workforce as we continue to create high paying clean energy jobs and bolster NC A&T’s reputation as a national leader preparing students for the economy of the future.”
“Workforce development and apprenticeship programs are the building blocks of a strong economy. With the rise of new technologies and clean-energy manufacturing in North Carolina, it’s more important than ever that our workforce has the tools, skills, and training they need to excel in these industries,” said Congresswoman Kathy Manning (NC-06). “I proudly supported North Carolina A&T’s application to the Department of Commerce earlier this year to implement their Steps4Growth program. I’m thrilled to see the Department now leveraging the American Rescue Plan to give A&T funding to build a workforce development program centered around clean energy jobs.”
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.