EDA: $1.75 Million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance Invested to Grow Healthcare Workforce Training Program in Grand Island, NE

Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.75 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to CHI Health St. Francis, Grand Island, Nebraska, to renovate its medical center and support the expansion of vocational training programs in healthcare. This EDA grant, to be matched with $2.6 million in local funds, is expected to create 42 jobs.

“President Biden is committed to developing new opportunities to expand workforce training as our nation not only recovers from this pandemic but builds back stronger,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment in CHI Health St. Francis will advance their efforts to provide local students and workers with hands-on training in various medical programs, to meet growing workforce demands in healthcare.”

“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in supporting community-led economic development strategies designed to boost coronavirus recovery and response efforts,” said Angela Belden Martinez, Director of EDA’s Denver Regional Office. “This EDA investment will help to diversify the regional economy by renovating the eighth floor of the St. Francis Medical Center to accommodate expansion of vocational training programs in healthcare as led by the Academy of Medical Sciences, one of six academies within Grand Island Senior High that provides students hands-on training in various programs.”

“CHI Health St. Francis and their team did tremendous work serving the Grand Island community during the pandemic,” said Governor Pete Ricketts. “Thank you to the U.S. Department of Commerce for investing in the facilities and workforce at CHI St. Francis. This CARES grant will grow the hospital’s capacity to deliver top-notch healthcare to Nebraskans.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the South Central Economic Development District (SCEDD). EDA funds SCEDD to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

This project is funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Public Law 116-136 PDF), which provided EDA with $1.5 billion for economic assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) (PDF) program, provides a wide-range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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