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New Funds Available to Help Businesses Develop Skilled Talent

A new grant program for workforce development will provide $1 million this year to develop talent pipelines for high-growth industries in North Carolina.

Maximize Carolina Sector grants, offered by the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Division of Workforce Solutions will provide money to employer groups facing talent shortages in high-demand occupations.  The funds will further advance industry sector strategies such as career pathways and apprenticeships.  The grants are available for partnership groups in emerging industry sectors, including information technology, energy, advanced manufacturing, environmental sustainability, aerospace, defense, analytics, industrial maintenance, health care, and hospitality/tourism.

“North Carolina’s businesses now have a powerful new way to find and develop the employees they need,” said N.C. Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland. “Governor Cooper promised to strengthen our businesses and build an economy that works for everyone, and this new grant program helps achieve that goal.”

The new program encourages businesses to form innovative partnerships and to work together to support workforce training, hiring, and other approaches to improve regional economies.  To qualify for funding, these partnerships must include multiple businesses and the local workforce development board at a minimum.

Grant funding will be determined based on the number of businesses in the partnership and the partnerships are required to raise matching funds. Each partnership must complete an application and will receive a response from the Division within two weeks. Interested employers should contact their local workforce development board for more information.

The division anticipates awarding between 16 and 30 grants annually, depending on available funds. Funding for the Maximize Carolina Sector grants comes from the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.