North Carolina A&T Receives $23.7M Grant To Help Create High-Paying Clean Energy Jobs For Students
Photo Credit: Klaus Vedfelt

North Carolina A&T Receives $23.7M Grant To Help Create High-Paying Clean Energy Jobs For Students

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is looking out for both the environment and its students.

According to a press release, the HBCU has received a $23.7 million grant from the American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge, presented by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo — making it its largest award ever received for research.

Coming from Good Jobs Challenge’s $500 million — funded by President Biden’s American Rescue Plan — the funding will be to create STEPs4GROWTH, a clean energy workforce training program.

“Through this important project, North Carolina A&T will play a leading role in preparing well-trained workers to fill the many skilled jobs in America’s rapidly growing clean energy sector,” Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. said, according to the press release. “The prescient work of A&T engineering faculty and principal investigators on this grant, Balakrishna Gokaraju and Greg Monty, has culminated in a novel program for delivering education credentials through stackable certificates.”

He added: “Their training program will contribute significantly to preparing the highly skilled clean energy workforce of the future.”

In addition to Raimondo, the announcement was led by the likes of Assistant U.S. Commerce Secretary for Economic Development Alejandra Castillo, Congresswoman Alma Adams ‘68, Gov. Roy Cooper, and more, per the press release.

Currently, 40 employers are set to hire 3,000 STEPs4GRROWTH trainees over four years. After, there will be 1,500 trainees onboarded every year.

“We are on a mission to make sure that every American – regardless of where they live or the color of their skin, how old they are, whether they are in recovery, formerly incarcerated – has a chance to get a real job,” said Raimondo. “You guys are working together as a team. When we sit down to say, ‘Where do we want to invest the money?’ we keep coming back here [to North Carolina] because we trust your stewardship. So let’s make this great.”