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U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $3.1 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Boost High-Tech Jobs and Businesses in Colorado


Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Contact:  John Atwood  JAtwood@eda.gov

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $3.1 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Boost High-Tech Jobs and Businesses in Colorado

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is investing $3.1 million in the state of Colorado to support the growth of high-tech business and cybersecurity workforce development. These grants are funded by the American Rescue Plan.

  • The University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, will receive a $2 million grant to launch a smart cities incubator and accelerator with the goals of diversifying and building the regional economy and positioning the region as a smart technology innovation hub. Smart Cities certificate programs will be offered for undergraduate students and mid-career professionals for different types of careers. The EDA investment will also be used to support the development, testing and deployment of smart city technologies via the purchasing of 5G equipment to create a ’living lab’ for testing prototype products and services. The University of Colorado Denver has structured the project to serve underserved populations including students of color, women and first-generation Americans, and the project will help them attain quality jobs in the growing Smart Cities ecosystem. This EDA grant will be matched with $500,000 in local funds and is expected to create 239 jobs, according to grantee estimates.
  • Activate Work, Inc, Denver, will receive a $1.1 million grant to support a training and job placement program for Coloradans seeking employment in the cybersecurity industry. The project will support underserved, low-income Coloradans seeking training and employment in high-demand cybersecurity careers through a tuition-free bootcamp and continued career coaching. This EDA grant will be matched with $279,254 in local funds and is expected to create 98 jobs, according to grantee estimates.

“President Biden is committed to supporting communities as they seek to create new opportunities to spur business growth and create jobs,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “These EDA investments will provide the resources Coloradans need to spur growth in the critical high-technology and cybersecurity sectors.”

“The Economic Development Administration is dedicated to working with communities to support their locally-driven strategies to recover and rebuild from the pandemic,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “These investments will support Colorado as it develops new industries that will drive a resilient 21st Century economy.”

“This new investment will help save people money and get Coloradans into good paying jobs. Colorado’s thriving Latino community is a key to our economic success and a driving force behind our state’s strong workforce and critical industries. We thank the Biden administration and Secretary Raimondo for these important grant funds that will help make our professional services work force even stronger,” said Governor Jared Polis.

“This funding will create opportunities for programs in Colorado to expand their ground-breaking work in areas like cybersecurity as they lead our nation in building a 21st century economy that works for everyone,” said Senator Michael Bennet. “I look forward to seeing these investments come to life in Colorado.”

These projects are 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.

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.