By Pacific Island Times News Staff
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced that it has received 509 applications for its American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge program.
Among the applicants is Guam Community College for the Community College WORC Boot Camp.
During a presentation to the Rotary Club of Guam in December, GCC president Mary Okada said the boot camps covered a variety of critically needed areas for employment in Guam’s economy.
In September 2020, Guam Community College, in partnership with the Guam Department of Labor, hosted the Workforce Opportunities Reimagined Conference (WORC), to identify areas of greatest need in Guam’s economy within a post-Covid environment.
In November, GCC hosted WORC2 to provide an opportunity for the diverse economic sectors to examine the training needs and economic potential as Guam rebuilds after the Covid-19 economic shock, and to create an Action Plan to launch workforce initiatives.
As a result of the WORC conferences, GCC has developed and is rolling out 19 boot camps over the next seven months to help individuals who were left jobless or with reduced work hours. The boot camps will focus on areas of critical need, which were identified as a result of the WORC conferences.
At the U.S. Department of Commerce, applicants represent significant interest from a diverse range of stakeholders in communities across America: EDA received applications from partnerships in all States, territories and the District of Columbia, and applicant partnerships are comprised of State, local and Tribal governments, Institutions of Higher Education, non-profit organizations, and organized labor.
Together, these applicants demonstrate a strong commitment to supporting underserved communities and groups with barriers to employment. The high interest in the program shows the need for workforce development opportunities for communities, workers, and businesses across the country.
The Good Jobs Challenge is designed to help get Americans back to work by developing holistic regional workforce systems with strong sectoral and employer partnerships that will lead to good-paying jobs.
This $500 million EDA investment will build and strengthen workforce systems and industry partnerships, providing new opportunities for America’s workforce to develop in-demand skills that lead to good-paying jobs in high-demand fields.
By making equity a top priority and investing in wraparound services, this investment is focused on removing barriers to training, particularly for those workers hit hardest by the pandemic, including women and people of color. EDA anticipates making approximately 25 to 50 awards.
“The Biden administration is committed to developing employer-driven partnerships that respond to the talent and training needs of companies across the country while also leading to good-paying jobs for the American people,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “The Good Jobs Challenge will connect workforce training programs with industries and businesses to create a pipeline of skilled workers and help remove barriers for Americans to access good-paying jobs through training and wrap-around services.”
“The Good Jobs Challenge is designed to build up a strong workforce, which will lead to a stronger economy,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “The applicants represent hundreds of local partnerships dedicated to working together to create new opportunities and pathways towards financial security to lift up American workers with training and support that leads to good-paying jobs.”
On July 22, 2021, Raimondo announced that EDA began implementing a series of programs, collectively called Investing in America’s Communities, to equitably invest the $3 billion it received from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act to help communities across the country build back better. The American Rescue Plan EDA investment is the largest economic development initiative from the U.S. Department of Commerce in decades.