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Grant provides $1 million to align workforce needs, educational programs

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SALT LAKE CITY – A $1 million grant to expand or create programs that offer training in highly sought-after fields at Utah institutes of higher education was approved this week.

The grant will give money to programs in a variety of areas of study, including IT, energy research, medical research and manufacturing.

According to a press release from Utah Department of Workforce Services, the grants are part of the Utah Cluster Acceleration Partnership project, which was created to bring industry workforce needs and education programs in Utah into greater harmony.

The project is a partnership between the Department of Workforce Services, the Governor's Office of Economic Development and the Utah System of Higher Education.

John Mclennan, University of Utah chemical engineering professor, said he is glad for the grant.

“This is a fantastic state initiative, because what it does is that it provides scholarships to young people in the energy industry,” he said.

Chemical engineering student Rete Browning said the grant is good for everyone.

“It benefits everybody by creating these programs, and or processes, mechanisms… that help deliver these ideas into the market place quicker,” he said.

Mclennan said the funds are an investment in the state’s future.

“This is not a gift to anyone, this is an incentive to change a problem, to develop jobs along the Wasatch Front and in the Uintah Basin and so I think it’s really quite an appropriate designation of money from that particular funding entity,” he said.

The money comes from the Unemployment Insurance Job Growth Fund.