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State grants target niches in workforce

First Published      Last Updated Jul 27 2016 06:09 pm

Twenty-one organizations will divide $3.4 million in state grants aimed at developing Utah's workforce to align with the needs of employers.

The funding is provided by the state Department of Workforce Service's through its Utah Cluster Acceleration Partnership, which brings government economic development officials together with educators and industry leaders to prepare for the future.

"With these funds we can target specific industries and education programs that directly benefit our labor force and economy," said Workforce Services Executive Director Jon Pierpont.

Added Val Hale, executive director of the Governor's Office of Economic Development: "Success requires a 'big picture' approach — and sustainable economic growth starts with education."

The largest recipient was the Women Tech Council, which received $300,000 to expand the SheTech program to Weber State and Dixie State universities, offering certifications, internships and mentoring in tech careers.

Another sizable grant ($254,000) went to the Northern Utah Curriculum Consortium, which involves Weber State and 11 northern Utah school districts that will help underemployed adults become licensed teachers.

The Utah Manufacturer's Association got $250,000 for educational programs that increase public awareness around the state about the importance of future manufacturing in Utah.

A $241,000 grant will help Orem-based Utah Valley University to work with Nebo, Provo and Wasatch school districts on a health care career-pathway program and to help train teachers.

The smallest grant ($53,000) went to the Northern Utah National Tooling & Machining Association to increase the number of employers who can offer internships to beginning machinists.