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Workforce projects in Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado win big federal grants

A view looking up at the exterior of the U.S. Department of Commerce building in Washington, D.C. An American Flag sticks out from the building in the center of the image.
John Sonderman
Flickr Creative Commons
The U.S. Department of Commerce is distributing $500 million to workforce development programs nationwide, including a few in the Mountain West.

A Nevada workforce training initiative focused on rural and Indigenous communities is among a handful of workforce programs in the Mountain West receiving millions of dollars in funding through the Biden administration’s Good Jobs Challenge.

The U.S. Department of Commerce on Aug. 3 announced the 32 winning projects receiving a total of $500 million, funding which comes from the American Rescue Plan. The winners, which were selected from a pool of more than 500 applicants, will use grants to create or expand training programs for high-quality jobs.

Nevadaworks, based in Reno, Nev., is receiving $14.9 million to boost job opportunities in healthcare, manufacturing, information technology and logistics through its Northern Nevada Equity in Employment Project.

Milt Stewart, CEO of Nevadaworks, said the project will focus on communities with limited job opportunities.

“It’s going to allow us to serve underserved populations, including the tribes and the rurals,” Stewart said. “So this is a great opportunity for us to really cast a wide net and help some folks that need assistance.”

In northern New Mexico, a new program designed to grow healthcare and construction jobs in rural areas is getting $6.4 million dollars.

In Denver, Colo., more training opportunities for jobs in healthcare administration, human resources and legal services are being developed for its Latino population. That program is part of an $11.4 million grant to UnidosUS, a Latino civil rights and advocacy organization.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Nevada Public Radio, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, KUNC in Colorado, KUNM in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The photo included in this story is licensed under Flickr Creative Commons.

Kaleb is an award-winning journalist and KUNR’s Mountain West News Bureau reporter. His reporting covers issues related to the environment, wildlife and water in Nevada and the region.
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