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FGCU awarded $22.9 million grant to create the Equitable Jobs Pipeline

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Noelle Casagrande, Collaboratory Communications Lead
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Dr. Amir Neto, FGCU Assistant Professor of Economics and Director of the Regional Economic Research Institute in the Lutgert College of Business; Dr. Aysegul Timur, FGCU Vice President and Vice Provost of Strategy and Program Innovation; Tessa LeSage, FutureMakers Coalition Director at Collaboratory; Mike Kiniry

Florida Gulf Coast University has been awarded the largest grant in the school’s history to fund an effort to fundamentally change how people are trained and jobs are filled in southwest Florida.

In partnership with the Collaboratory in Downtown Fort Myers, FGCU will create the “Southwest Florida Equitable Jobs Pipeline.” The goal is to create a system that helps local employers find workers with the skills and credentials needed to fill in-demand positions.

Assistant Professor of Economics, and Director of the Regional Economic Research Institute in the Lutgert College of Business at FGCU, Dr. Amir Neto, said employers will be partners in the project so there will be jobs waiting for people being trained via the pipeline.

“Employers saying ‘this is what we can not find, and if we can have these skills we are committing to hiring these people.” 

Dr. Neto said the focus will be on four industry sectors: health care, manufacturing, logistics and K-12 public education.

The $22.9 million award comes from the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Good Jobs Challenge, which is part of the American Rescue Plan president Biden Signed into law in March of 2021.

Click HERE to hear a conversation on Gulf Coast Life about the grant and the SWFL Equitable Jobs pipeline.

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