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$22.8 million towards Philadelphia’s economic development

As a part of the American Rescue Plan, Philadelphia Works, Inc will receive $22.8 million to develop essential industries and expand the skilled workforce.

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As the U.S. Economic Development Initiative unfolds its American Rescue Plan, the $500 million Good Jobs Challenge has announced its winners, choosing those with a plan to promote job equity, expand career opportunities, and create a skilled workforce. 

It has granted Philadelphia Works, Inc. $22.8 million as one of the 32 winning projects.

The goal of the American Rescue Plan is to focus on 15 industries that are essential to ensuring the U.S. can maintain its competitiveness in the global economy and the resilience of its supply chain. Essential industries include healthcare, information, technology, and manufacturing.

A total of 502 projects were submitted nationwide and from U.S. territories. Overall, 31 states and Puerto Rico have been awarded funding to enact their development plans.

Philadelphia Works, Inc. is a non-profit that will be working to develop The Coordinated Southeastern Pennsylvania Workforce Development System, a project which will develop the healthcare, energy, and building and construction sectors.

It will be working alongside its partners, such as the workforce intermediary The West Philadelphia Skills Initiative; the Philadelphia Energy Authority, which will help train future members of the local solar market; and the Philadelphia Area Labor Management Committee, which will lead the BUILT-RITE program, a coalition of contractors, construction users, and unions.

“Workforce development is a critical pillar to supporting innovative and competitive economic development, and the Good Jobs Challenge is working hand-in-hand with diverse partners and local leaders to strengthen local economic recovery and resiliency,” said Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves, in a press release

“The Good Jobs Challenge prioritizes employer leadership and hiring commitments, which we know are critical to expanding career opportunities for more Americans to reach their full potential and secure good jobs, leading to a stronger regional and national economy,” he continued.

Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Castillo spoke about the goals of the Good Jobs Challenge, as well. “By integrating industry in every step of the talent development process, these awardees are focused on supporting underserved communities in diverse areas across the country, helping to remove systemic barriers for workers and connecting employers with the trained workforce they need to grow and sustain competitive local economies,” he said.

The Philadelphia Works, Inc. project, like all of the other projects, will focus on aiding underrepresented groups as well, such as women, African-American, and Latinos. It will also seek equity for those who have been previously incarcerated or those recovering from substance abuse.

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