- Author: Kathleen P Nolan
The U.S Economic Development Administration's STEM Talent Challenge aims to build STEM talent training systems to strengthen regional innovation economies. The FY21 STEM Talent Challenge will award a total of $2 million in grants to organizations that are creating and implementing STEM talent development strategies that complement their region's innovation economy.
Projects should aim to identify opportunities in high-growth potential sectors, and to expand and empower the innovation economy workforce, including by:
- Engaging regional entrepreneurs, innovators, and the organizations that support them to assess and forecast current and future talent needs and to develop collaborative solutions with work-based programs;
- Building highly skilled talent and connecting it to highly technical opportunities that foster professional development and provide continuing advanced skills training to develop the technical and scientific workforce that regional innovation initiatives need;
- Strengthening collaboration among entrepreneurs, industry leaders and employers, educational organizations, established corporations, economic and/or workforce development organizations, and the public sector to enable better access to skilled workers and to develop demand-driven workforce pipelines for the innovation economy; and
- Placing new employees into immediate job openings with regional employers in need of STEM talent.
Competition applicants may request up to $250,000 for implementation of a 24-month program.
A 1:1 funding match is required.
For application details, please review the full announcement at https://eda.gov/files/oie/stem/2021/FY21-STEM-Talent-Challenge-NOFO-Final.pdf
The STEM Talent Challenge is one of many EDA programs aimed at building strong regional economies and supporting community-led economic development. EDA also was allocated $3 billion in supplemental funding under the American Rescue Plan to assist communities nationwide in their efforts to build back better by accelerating economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and building local economies that will be resilient to future economic shocks. For more information about EDA's American Rescue Plan programs, visit https://www.eda.gov/ARPA/.
Kathleen Nolan, Director, ANR Office of Contracts & Grants (OCG)