SUU Awarded Grant To Focus On Regional Workforce
Southern Utah University was recently awarded a five year grant totaling $1 million from U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). SUU received the grant for the Future Ready Utah Worksite Ecosystem project. The purpose of that project is to focus on disadvantaged and rural regions, and is designed to encourage collaboration between employers and business resources to prepare for growth.
In that spirit, the application will engage collaboration between three institutions of higher education in southern and central Utah – SUU, Utah Tech University and Snow College. The effort is designed to address the changing workforce needs in southwest and central Utah. As part of the proposal, the three institutions have agreed to financially commit to the project with a combined contribution matching the $1 million grant from the EDA.
The project looks to elevate skills in strategic economic priority sectors as designated by the state and to support regional economic policy to bring high paying jobs to southern Utah. The project will also look to bring skills to the workforce in these communities.
In addition to taking training in to the rural areas of our region, the project will form a regional coordination council that will work with the three educational institutions to create learn to work pathways that are affordable along with being accessible and could offer short term entry points in to higher wage jobs in the workforce.
Starting with a research effort that SUU began after the pandemic, the Future Ready Worksite model addresses specific challenges facing the region. Based on that research, regional challenges include the impact of significant population growth due to an attraction to rural living, rising housing costs, emerging “gig” and online work opportunities and a gap in high wage skills attainment.
SUU's Community and Workforce Development department offers chances for adults to elevate their careers and stay competitive in the workforce. To find out more about the available programs visit suu.edu/prodev.
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