Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.8 million grant to Chief Dull Knife College, Lame Deer, Montana, to build the Northern Cheyenne Energy Education and Training Center (NCEETC).
This project will provide workforce development and training for in-demand renewable energy jobs in a region economically impacted by the declining use of coal. This EDA grant is expected to create 34 jobs and generate $167,000 in private investment, according to grantee estimates.
“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to ensuring that our nation’s coal communities are provided with the resources they need to transition to new industries,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment will provide workforce training in renewable energy, upskilling and retraining local workers and helping to grow the regional economy.”
“The Economic Development Administration is pleased to support Lame Deer and its community as it works to grow the region’s economy,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This program will give Tribal members and displaced coal workers necessary training to obtain new jobs while diversifying the local economy from coal.”
“If we are going to maintain our competitive advantage in the global economy and decrease our reliance on foreign adversaries, it’s critical that we get more American energy in the pipeline,” said Senator Jon Tester. “That means supporting communities transitioning from traditional to renewable energy production by investing in R&D and creating good-paying jobs here at home. I’m proud to have secured this funding for the Northern Cheyenne Energy Education and Training Center, which will support the energy sector in Indian Country, and train young folks to enter the workforce right in their backyard.”
This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Northern Cheyenne Tribe. EDA funds the Northern Cheyenne Tribe 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 Assistance to Coal Communities (ACC) initiative, through which EDA awards funds on a competitive basis to assist communities severely impacted by the declining use of coal. ACC projects support economic diversification, job creation, capital investment, workforce development, and re-employment opportunities.
This award is a great example of what communities can do under EDA’s new American Rescue Plan programs; particularly the $300 million Coal Communities Commitment. This investment will ensure that coal communities have the resources they need to recover from the pandemic and will help create new jobs and opportunities, including through the development or expansion of a new industry sector.
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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