- Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) on Thursday received a $22.9 million grant to assist in workforce development and job placement
- The U.S. Department of Commerce selected the university as one of thirty-two awardees in a candidate pool of over five hundred
- The program is part of the American Rescue Act passed in 2021
Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) on Thursday received a $22.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The university is one of the thirty-two industry-led workforce training partnerships spread throughout the nation that are a part of the $500 million Good Jobs Challenge financed by the American Rescue Plan.
With the additional funding, FGCU will accelerate credential attainment and job placement in four leading local industries to support Southwest Florida’s economy. FGCU plans to recruit into pipelines that result in industry-recognized credentials and a career with local employers, including Lee Health, NCH Healthcare System, and K-12 school districts in five local counties.
FGCU is also partnering with Airglades, which is developing a new cargo airport, and Arthrex, which is addressing global shortages in critical medical devices. With attention to equity, FGCU will work in partnership with Goodwill and United Way, to provide wraparound supports and to design systems that meet the needs of local underserved communities.
The projects funded through the grant will help solve local talent needs and increase the supply of trained workers and help workers secure jobs in key industries like healthcare, manufacturing, and education.
“A trained workforce is essential to ensuring that the United States can compete and succeed in the 21st century,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “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.”
The Good Jobs Challenge is part of a suite of American Rescue Plan programs developed by the Economic Development Administration (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 more resilient, shockproof local economies.
“Workforce development is a critical pillar to supporting innovative and competitive economic development, and the Good Jobs Challenge is working hand-in-hand with diverse partners and local leaders to strengthen local economic recovery and resiliency,” said Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves. “The Good Jobs Challenge prioritizes employer leadership and hiring commitments, which we know are critical to expanding career opportunities for more Americans to reach their full potential and secure good jobs, leading to a stronger regional and national economy.”