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About The Good Jobs Challenge Grant

The Hampton Roads Workforce Council was recently selected by the U.S. Economic Development Administration as one of 32 awardees of the $500 million Good Jobs Challenge — funded by President Biden’s American Rescue Plan.  As part of this initiative, the Workforce Council received an $11 million grant to lead the development and implementation of the Hampton Roads Workforce Training System — the region’s first structured workforce ecosystem that will focus on building a talent pipeline for priority industries.

Future system expansion once this effort is validated will include sectorial partnerships in healthcare, manufacturing, and information technology.

This system will center around five pillars:

  1. Aligning regional workforce solutions
  2. Attracting new talent to priority industries
  3. Training and developing diverse talent to fill open positions
  4. Retaining existing talent to upskill our regional workforce
  5. Creating new jobs through increasing the capacity of small businesses

Organization & Community-based Partners

System Alignment Team:

The System Alignment Team will provide workforce development asset mapping, industry needs assessments, labor market information, economic forecasting, and regional economic advocacy.

Talent Recruitment Team:

The Talent Recruitment Team will develop a grassroots recruitment network to connect underresourced and underrepresented populations into the maritime industry.

Talent Development Team:

The Talent Development Team will develop and implement training programs to meet the workforce needs of the industry.

Talent Retention Team:

The Talent Retention Team will develop and implement an inclusive college internship pipeline and soft skills trainings.

Job Creation Team:

The Job Creation Team will advocate for the needs of local small businesses with a focus on BIPOC/SWAM businesses and share information about capacity building and training opportunities available.

General Support Team:

*Stakeholders representing community organizations, labor and education are anticipated to join as the System is developed.

Employer Partners


Jobs supported by the Grant

  • Maritime Welder
  • Structural Fitters
  • Sheet Metal Fabricators
  • Electrical Technicians
  • Maritime Coating
  • Outside Machinist
  • Wind Turbine Technician
  • Commercial Drivers
  • Cybersecurity