US Department of Commerce supports innovation, entrepreneurial STEM challenge

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WASHINGTON, USA – US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has announced the seven grant recipients of the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) STEM Talent Challenge to boost local science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) talent.

The inaugural STEM Talent Challenge funding opportunity kicked off in August 2020 to further build STEM workforce readiness and spur innovation across the nation.

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Awardees include nonprofits, a Native American tribal government, a community college, universities, and entrepreneurship-focused organizations with projects in emerging and transformative sectors such as space commerce, aeronautics, digital manufacturing, biotechnology, advanced manufacturing and cybersecurity.

“The Trump administration is proud to support the seven STEM Talent Challenge grant recipients which are doing tremendous work to prepare America’s workforce for tomorrow and beyond,” said secretary of commerce Wilbur Ross. “Awardees’ projects will foster the future of work while supporting high-growth, high-wage entrepreneurial ventures, industries of the future, and other innovation-driven businesses.”

“Strong STEM talent fuels innovation and entrepreneurship in regional innovation economies across America,” said Dana Gartzke, performing the delegated duties of the assistant secretary of commerce for economic development. “This grant challenge invests in workers through work-and-learn programs and apprenticeships, and these individuals become the backbone of robust innovative and entrepreneurial economies.”

The awardees, selected from a pool of 80 applicants, will leverage an additional $2.3 million in matching funds from a variety of private and public sector sources.

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The mission of the US 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 US Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for US workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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