Regional foundation awarded $9.2M from ARPA competition

The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber Foundation is one of 32 organization splitting $500 million in the Good Jobs Challenge.

The Ignite Initiative Regional Workforce Training System is receiving $9.6 million. It focuses on training underserved communities in the border region of North Dakota and Minnesota that include people of color, veterans, immigrants and formerly incarcerated individuals, according to a release from the foundation. The training is for positions in the agriculture, manufacturing and technology industries.

"Almost 80 local employers are in support of this initiative, which will prepare over 900 people for jobs with projected wages ranging between $45,000 and $75,000 and wage growth potential beyond $100,000,” said U.S. Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn.

Workforce development is the greatest challenge in the Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo region, according to Shannon Full, president and CEO of the chamber.

Gov. Doug Burgum said the program will "allow our state to support workers in finding good-paying jobs they want and help employers find the skilled workers they need."

The Good Jobs Challenge Grant program is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act and administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration. The EDA received $3 billion overall to help communities recover from economic downturns brought on by COVID-19.

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