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"Regional Workforce Impact Program" revealed

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Dave Thompson, Prairie Public
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Commerce Dept. Workforce director Katie Ralston Howe at a news conference announcing then"RWIF"

It’s called the “Regional Workforce Impact Program.”

Under it, $15 million is being made available to address workforce needs, by region of the state.

That money comes from the American Recovery Plan Act, and was appropriated by the Legislature during its November special session. And the grant is administered by the state Commerce Department.

Commerce Workforce Director Katie Ralston Howe told reporters this is not meant to be a “one size fits all” program.

"It could be upskilling," Ralston Howe said. "It could be child care, transportation, housing, behavioral health, and connecting students with jobs."

Ralston Howe it is very broad, in terms of what falls under the category of workforce challenges that the state is facing.

"This program was developed through conversations we've had with employers and others, who are saying, 'I have this great idea to address our workforce challenges — do you have "x" amount of dollars,'" Ralston Howe said. "Up until now, we didn't have a mechanism for funding those ideas."

Applicants will need a 25 percent match.

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