FMWF Chamber Foundation receives $9.62 million grant for workforce training – InForum

MOORHEAD — The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce Foundation has received a $9.62 million federal grant to support training for workers in the region’s agricultural, manufacturing and technology industries.

The Economic Development Administration grant will be used to train more than 900 workers over the next three years through the regional Ignite Initiative workforce training system, the Chamber announced Wednesday, August 3.

The program will aim to help people of color, immigrants, veterans, military spouses and people who have gone through the criminal justice system, by providing support services and reducing barriers at the beginning and end of training.

The Chamber Foundation partners with the Grand Farm Research and Education Initiative, North Dakota State College of Science, Emerging Prairie, University of Mary, and Workbay in the Worker Education Program.

“With labor being the #1 challenge facing our businesses and communities, the Good Jobs Challenge grant will provide critical funding to enable our region to begin developing a systematic and collective approach to labor needs. work,” said Chamber President and CEO Shannon Full. said in a press release. “We are excited for the challenge ahead of us and look forward to working with all of our partners.”

Minnesota senators have touted the size of the grant, as has North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum.

“I am thrilled to learn that the regional workforce training system Ignite Initiative led by the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce will receive significant funding from EDA’s highly competitive Good Jobs Challenge. Nearly 80 local employers are supporting this initiative, which will prepare more than 900 people for jobs with projected salaries between $45,000 and $75,000 and the potential for salary growth beyond $100,000,” said the Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn.

“Our agriculture, manufacturing and information technology sectors are critical to the economic success of communities in northwestern Minnesota and North Dakota,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. “These resources will help workers access the skills and training they need to pursue careers in these critical fields.

“Our administration was pleased to support the regional Ignite Initiative workforce training system to provide innovative training opportunities for workers in high-demand fields of agriculture, advanced manufacturing and cybersecurity,” Burgum said. “Congratulations to the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber Foundation and its educational, business, and nonprofit partners on being awarded this grant, which will enable our state to help workers find well-paying jobs and help employers to find the skilled workers they need.”

The Good Jobs Challenge Grant was a highly competitive process with only 32 projects awarded out of over 500 applications nationwide.

Michael A. Bynum