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United Way of Central Iowa receives $1.8 million grant from U.S. Department of Commerce

United Way of Central Iowa is one of just 32 organizations across the country to receive a grant through the Good Jobs Challenge.
Credit: United Way of Central Iowa
United Way of Central Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa — United Way of Central Iowa is one of just 32 organizations across the country to receive a grant award through the Good Jobs Challenge, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced Wednesday. 

"We are honored to be awarded this highly-competitive Federal grant and continue the amazing work of Central Iowa HealthWorks and its partners,” said Mary Sellers, president of United Way of Central Iowa, in a press release.

The $500 million Good Jobs Challenge is funded by the American Rescue Plan and is focused on helping communities invest in workforce development and job opportunities.

“A trained workforce is essential to ensuring that the United States can compete and succeed in the 21st century,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo in a press release. “Thanks to funding from the American Rescue Plan, the Commerce Department is able to make once-in-a-generation investments in industry-driven, and locally-led workforce systems that will create high-quality jobs and accelerate regional economic growth, especially for underserved communities.” 

United Way will receive a total of $1.79 million in grant funding through the program. The money will fund a health care workforce training program with the goal of "diversifying the local healthcare workforce to lead to better health outcomes and a stronger regional economy," according to the project summary

 “There is a significant need for healthcare workers in our community, and this program will provide a powerful pipeline of diverse talent, while also helping central Iowans get the training and experience they need to launch a career in the industry,” Sellers said in the release. 

The program will include entry-level positions, personalized mentorship and a tiered-entry system, ensuring that United Way can meet all Iowans where they are. 

“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,” said Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves in a press release.

To see a list of all the Good Job Challenge grant awardees, click here

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