U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, AL-07, announced yesterday that the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2.7 million grant to Stillman College in Tuscaloosa to support development of a cybersecurity and information technology training center. The center will work to meet local employers’ existing and future workforce needs and is expected to create 100 jobs, retain 100 jobs, and generate $1 million in private investment. This EDA grant will be matched with $100,000 in state funds. Funding for this grant was made available by the American Rescue Plan, which Rep. Sewell was the only member of the Alabama Congressional Delegation to support.
“As the only member of the Alabama Delegation to support the American Rescue Plan, I am so proud that the Economic Development Administration is awarding this funding to the historic Stillman College in Tuscaloosa,” said Rep. Sewell. “This transformative grant will help create 100 jobs in West Alabama, equip our students with critical skills, and position our community for future economic growth. I thank President Biden and Secretary Raimondo for supporting community-led economic development and fighting to ensure that our next generation of students can pursue careers in the 21st century economy.”
This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the West Alabama Regional Commission (WARC). EDA funds WARC to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.
This project is funded under EDA’s American Rescue Plan Economic Adjustment Assistance Program, which makes $500 million in Economic Adjustment Assistance grants available to American communities. The Economic Adjustment Assistance program is EDA’s most flexible program, and grants made under this program will help hundreds of communities across the nation plan, build, innovate, and put people back to work through construction or non-construction projects designed to meet local needs. Effective May 26, 2022, EDA has officially closed all of its American Rescue Plan programs for applications. The $3 billion program funding will be awarded on a rolling basis through September 30, 2022.
“Stillman’s cybersecurity and information technology training center will help us recruit and retain students by offering education and opportunities to advance to in-demand fields,” said Stillman College President Cynthia Warrick. “Additionally, we recognize that the small liberal arts college has to be a value to our local community and the State of Alabama, so Stillman will provide the same access and opportunities to citizens in West Alabama to train and receive certificates in IT and cloud computing, among other areas.”
“President Biden is committed to harnessing the full power of the federal government to ensure our nation not only recovers from this pandemic but builds a better America for the future,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment will boost workforce development efforts at Stillman College, providing students with the skills they need to compete for good-paying jobs in a growing and expanding career field.”
“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in supporting community-led economic development strategies designed to boost coronavirus recovery and response efforts,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This training facility will be an important asset in growing the region’s capacity to provide the critical training programs that businesses and workers in the region need to compete.”