Arizona tribe gets $4 million in federal funding for workforce development

Jul 11, 2024, 7:13 AM

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo speaks at Intel Ocotillo Campus on March 20, 2024 in Chand...

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo speaks at Intel Ocotillo Campus on March 20, 2024 in Chandler, Arizona. Raimondo announced a $4 million workforce development grant to the Pascua Yaqui Development Corporation in Tucson on July 9, 2024. (File Photo by Rebecca Noble/Getty Images)

(File Photo by Rebecca Noble/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – An Arizona tribe has been awarded $4 million in federal funding to support workforce development efforts, officials announced this week.

The grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration will foster workforce development for the Pascua Yaqui reservation and surrounding communities.

The Pascua Yaqui Development Corporation in Tucson will use the funding on a new 3,200-square-foot workforce development facility. The tribal company will also acquire heavy equipment to be used for job training.

Officials said the federal investment is expected to create around 135 new jobs.

“President [Joe] Biden’s Investing in America agenda is about ensuring that all communities have the resources and opportunities they need to thrive in today’s economy, and this EDA investment will get members of the Pascua Yaqui community the skills they need for quality jobs in the construction trades,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said in a press release Tuesday.

Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Arizona) welcomed the investment, noting the unique needs of Arizona’s tribal and rural communities.

“This funding for the Pascua Yaqui community is a prime example of how we can create good-paying jobs and bolster our workforce,” Kelly said in the release. “By constructing a new training facility and providing essential resources, we are helping to build a stronger, more resilient economy for southern Arizona.”

Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo pinpointed the focused element of the grant on “place-based economic growth.”

“The Economic Development Administration works closely with local communities to support place-based economic growth,” Castillo said in the release. “This investment will bolster the construction and labor industry, creating new job opportunities while helping to diversify the local economy.”

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Arizona tribe gets $4 million in federal funding for workforce development