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State council gets federal workforce improvement grant

Staff Report | August 9, 2022 1:45 AM

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Washington Student Achievement Council has been awarded a $23.5 million grant under a U.S. Department of Commerce workforce training program.

The grant, part of the $500 million Good Jobs Challenge program created under the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan passed by Congress in 2021, is designed to help state agencies train future workers for jobs in 15 key industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, information technology, agriculture and food production, according to a USDC press release.

“A trained workforce is essential to ensuring that the United States can compete and succeed in the 21st century,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said in the press release. “Thanks to funding from the American Rescue Plan, the Commerce Department is able to make once-in-a-generation investments in industry-driven and locally-led workforce systems that will create high-quality jobs and accelerate regional economic growth, especially for underserved communities.”

WSAC, which supports higher education across the state, is one of 32 grant recipients nationwide, the press release said. According to the Commerce Department website, the grant will help the WSAC improve its Career Connect Washington program and focus on helping students prepare for and obtain jobs in advanced manufacturing and aerospace, construction, energy and clean technology, financial services, healthcare, information technology and cybersecurity.