AMARILLO, Texas (KXAN) - Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank Thursday announced a $1 million Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to Amarillo College in Amarillo, to help purchase equipment for the Hereford Campus Training and Development Center.
The center will work to provide a trained, skilled workforce for emerging area industries in a disaster-stricken, four-county region. The project will support students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.
"This $1 million Economic Development Administration investment is an example of the Obama administration's commitment to ensuring that the American workforce has the education and skills needed to compete in a 21st century economy," said Blank. "The grant announced today will help Amarillo College in Texas support students in STEM fields, preparing them for good-paying, high-quality jobs that are crucial to ensuring that America continues to innovate and compete in the global economy."
Over the last decade, the number of STEM job openings grew three times as fast as openings for other types of jobs. In recent years, however, only about 13 percent of U.S. college graduates have obtained degrees in the STEM fields, which typically provide good-paying, high-quality jobs and produce many of the inventors and entrepreneurs who are driving American innovation and competitiveness.
When it opens, Amarillo College's Hereford Campus Training and Development Center will help revitalize the economy of the Amarillo region, a primarily agricultural area that suffered severe losses from drought and wildfires in 2011.
This project is part of a $200 million appropriation made by Congress to EDA to help communities that received a major disaster designation in fiscal year 2011 with long-term economic recovery and infrastructure support.
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