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employers: help us help you!

the EDA's Good Jobs Challenge


We have a huge opportunity to develop a stronger pipeline to feed into our region's construction workforce. The Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Good Jobs Challenge investment is focused on getting people with labor market barriers into jobs that are good paying and sustainable.

The purpose is to help close employer demand gaps in the region, connect suitable workers to available jobs in the region, and foster long-term investments for the region’s workforce ecosystem. Triangle J Council of Governments, Durham Workforce Development Board, Capital Area Workforce Development Board, Durham Tech, Wake Tech and Hope Renovations are all partnering to apply to the Good Jobs Challenge to train workers for plumbing, electrical, carpentry, and front-line supervisor positions in Durham, Wake, and Johnston counties.

The good Jobs Challenge grant is projected to be extremely competitive, so successful applicants will be diligent in illustrating employer commitment letters to hire participants of the region’s program. As an industry partner in this region, I’d like to ask for your commitment to any of the items below that you might feel comfortable committing to.

Important: Please note that employers would not be held to following through with these commitments. While we will be reporting on all of these measures, there will not be any sort of backlash if commitments are not satisfied. The grant funders understand that business needs dictate employers’ abilities to partner - they simply want to know that our regional employers have some “skin in the game” for this initiative if they are going to provide the funding.

With that in mind, would your organization commit to one or more of these items?

  • Serve on a project advisory committee to determine the direction for the Regional Workforce System in the Triangle.  

  • Participate in regional roundtable discussions on recruiting, training, and hiring groups facing labor market barriers and incumbent workers with the potential of advancement professionally and financially (populations include but are not limited to justice-involved, opportunity youth, neurodivergent, disabled, and women populations).   

  • Review and validate updates to training programs relevant to your industry.

  • Meet with participants to share information about careers in your industry and provide career guidance.

  • Project the number of relevant openings in your organization in the next three years.

  • Commit to interviewing and potentially hiring XX to XX (range) participants from the Triangle Good Jobs Challenge cohort(s) within a hiring range of $XX-$XX with the following basic benefits – (list benefits)

    • Note that this commitment is the most beneficial to our application, and that you are NOT committing to hiring, but only to interviewing. However, being specific about the number, hiring range and benefits will be extremely helpful in making our application competitive.

    • Also note that your commitment to hire may come in any of the following forms:

      • Traditional Hire: A worker is hired full-time after completion of the training program provided through the regional workforce training partnership

      • Work-and-Learn, including Registered Apprenticeships: A worker is conditionally hired for a specific period and earns wages while receiving on-the-job training in foundational skills as well as applied concepts. After successful completion of the training period, the worker is officially hired as a full-time employee. 

  •  Partner with training providers to provide the time and support needed for participants/employees to complete education/training and earn relevant certifications. 

  • Participate in programmed diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) educational and facilitation initiatives throughout the grant award to further long-term implementation DEI strategies internally – and help to build a stronger regional DEI commitment from private sector in the region.   

  • Provide input on employee training and success to assist in system evaluation, expansion, and sustainability.

Our application is due in early February, so I appreciate you letting me know via email by Wednesday, 1/26  whether you feel you can support this application. We are more than happy to draft your letter for you, if you will just let us know which of the above commitments you are comfortable with.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Thank you SO much for all you do to support Hope, and to support the development of our region’s workforce!

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Founder & CEO

Hope Renovations

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