The FMWF Chamber Receives $9.62 Million EDA Grant

Written by: Brady Drake

On August 3, The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber Foundation was awarded a $9.62 million Economic Development Administration (EDA) Good Jobs Challenge Grant. The FMWF Chamber Foundation, in collaboration with backbone organizations such as Grand Farm Research and Education Initiative, North Dakota State College of Science, Emerging Prairie, University of Mary and Workbay, will bolster the region’s economy by developing the skilled workforce needed to support the regional agriculture, manufacturing and cybersecurity/I.T. industries.

In partnership with local employers, The Chamber Foundation will ensure that training programs meet the unique skill needs of our local employers and the regional economy. With a focus on underserved communities—including people of color, immigrants, veterans and military spouses, justice-involved individuals—the grant will allow The Chamber Foundation and its partners to provide a variety of wraparound services and reduce barriers to starting and completing training.

The Good Jobs Challenge Grant was a very competitive process with only 32 projects awarded out of over 500 applications nationwide. Of that, this was the only awarded EDA grant out of 20 applications submitted by organizations in Minnesota and North Dakota. 78 letters of support were submitted on behalf of employers in the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo region. The Ignite Initiative Regional Workforce Training System (IIRWTS) is a collaborative approach to addressing the metro area’s most pressing workforce needs. The IIRWTS addresses several barriers that prevent or discourage members of underserved populations from enrolling in skill training programs. Over the next three years, the region can expect over 900 participants to receive training through the program.

Sign up to collaborate and get connected with our future skilled workforce. In the next months, RFPs will be issued for non-profits that offer services in transportation, childcare, and English language services. Fill out the interest form to be kept in the loop; get involved today!

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Brady is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media in Fargo, ND.