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EDA’s Good Jobs Challenge nets 509 proposals for $500 million initiative

June 23, 2022

Manufacturing, healthcare services, information technology, building and construction, and transportation, distribution and logistics are the top five industries by number of applications submitted to the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Good Jobs Challenge, according to EDA. Grantees for the $500 million program are expected to be announced this summer, with 509 proposals totaling $6.4 billion in requested funds submitted from every state and territory. The initiative is focused on removing barriers to training, particularly for those workers hit hardest by the pandemic, including women and people of color.

As part of the American Rescue Plan, the Good Jobs Challenge was designed to expand pathways for more Americans to access good-paying jobs and help local economies recover from the pandemic. With a focus on equity, the challenge was launched to build and strengthen systems and partnerships, bringing together employers who have hiring needs with other key entities to train workers with in-demand skills. EDA reports that the proposals’ “commitment to equity is exemplified through applicants’ who provided clear strategies to recruit high proportions of participants from underserved populations and to provide participants with wraparound supports to make high quality training and good jobs more accessible.”

More than 100 industries were represented in the proposals, with many targeting industries that are essential to the supply chain and global competitiveness, including but not limited to aerospace and defense, green energy, transportation and logistics, advanced manufacturing, and information technology, according to EDA.

EDA is evaluating the proposals and expects to announce grantees by Sept. 30, 2022.

eda, jobs, funding