U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.2 Million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance to Support Healthcare Workforce Development in The Dalles, Oregon

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WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.2 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to Columbia Gorge Community College, The Dalles, Oregon, to renovate and modernize an existing facility to grow healthcare workforce development programs.

This project will provide new and expanded training opportunities for workers seeking good-paying jobs in the healthcare sector. This EDA investment will be matched with $300,000 in local investment and is expected to create 21 jobs.

“The pandemic demonstrated the importance of having a sophisticated and well-trained healthcare workforce, and we remain tremendously grateful to our healthcare workers who were on the frontlines in the fight against COVID-19,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “President Biden recognizes this deeply and is dedicated to ensuring our health care workforce, and our national as a whole, not only recovers from this pandemic, but builds back stronger. This EDA investment will help prepare Oregonians seeking new employment opportunities in the critical healthcare sector.” 

“The Economic Development Administration is committed to helping communities across the nation implement strategies to mitigate economic hardships brought on by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This EDA investment will support Columbia Gorge Community College’s renovation and outfitting of an existing facility to boost capacity to provide training opportunities for nursing, paramedic, EMT, and other health sciences students.”

“I’ve heard from hardworking health care professionals all over Oregon how serious the need is for more colleagues to help care for Oregonians’ well-being in rural communities and statewide,” said Senator Ron Wyden. “As our state works together to put this public health crisis in the rearview mirror, these federal funds provide crucial support to Columbia Gorge Community College to build out the health care workforce and provide career training for rural Oregonians wanting stable, good-paying and much-needed work opportunities.”

“Health care workers have been the cornerstone of our COVID-19 response over the last two years,” said Senator Jeff Merkley. “I’m pleased this federal funding is headed to the Columbia Gorge Community College in The Dalles to help bring new dedicated individuals into this important work. This EDA grant will provide valuable workforce development programs, ensuring that new health care workers entering the profession are best prepared to keep the community safe and healthy.”

This project is funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Public Law 116-136), which provided EDA with $1.5 billion for economic assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program, provides a wide range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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