COA, NWBD awarded Good Jobs Challenge funds

Published 7:54 am Tuesday, August 30, 2022

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College of The Albemarle (COA) and the Northeastern Workforce Development Board (NWBD) of the Albemarle Commission have shared the recent announcement from Good Jobs Challenge that they have been jointly awarded nearly $2 million, approximately $975,000 and $993,000 respectively, for the development and implementation of short-term training curriculum to support workforce needs related to offshore wind, maritime and ship/boat building. The grant awarded to COA and NWBD was part of a larger grant application in partnership with Hampton Roads Workforce Council.

The Good Jobs Challenge is part of $500 million funded by the American Rescue Plan. The grant recipients were announced August 3 by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). Grants were awarded to 32 out of 509 applicants. The grants were created to provide training and skills to support workforce needs and economic development. The goal of the American Rescue Plan is to place 50,000 skilled workers in quality jobs.

As stated in the project proposal, College of The Albemarle and NWDB specifically applied for this grant to “provide a trained workforce in new and emerging industries leading to enhanced economic development for individuals and industries served by this partnership. College of The Albemarle will develop and implement short-term training curriculum in the following areas: electrical, sheet metal, structural fitting, coating, commercial driver license, logistics, wind turbine maintenance and repair and boatbuilding and repair.” These skills will be necessary for offshore wind and maritime- related workforce needs as industry expands and develops, stated a joint press release from the organizations.

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The funding awarded through the Goods Jobs Challenge Grant will allow NWDB to support the rapid growth of offshore and maritime-related industry by providing Northeastern North Carolinians with scholarships and wraparound services to support them while they pursue training. Upon completion of their training programs NWDB will work to match participants with local employers to fill the growing number of opportunities in these industries.

“This is an excellent opportunity for College of The Albemarle to have a deeper economic impact throughout North Carolina as well as Virginia,” shared Dr. Jack Bagwell, COA president. “College of The Albemarle is committed to providing innovative and relevant programs to meet the needs of our community and workforce development throughout our service area and region. We are extremely appreciative of the support from Governor Cooper, Senator Tillis, North Carolina State

University, the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce and others, during the application process.”

“NWDB and the Albemarle Commission are committed to creating a strong workforce and supporting the needs of the employers in our rural area,” shared Albemarle Commission executive director Michael Ervin. “We are elated to receive this funding which will allow us to further impact growth and economic development in the communities we serve.”