GREENSBORO, N.C. (WTVD) -- A big check is making the nation's largest Historically Black College and University more competitive.
On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced a $23.7 million grant for North Carolina A&T State University to develop STEPs4GROWTH, a clean energy workforce training program. Gov. Roy Cooper was on hand for the anouncement.
"This transformative grant will invest in our state's diverse workforce as we continue to create high-paying clean energy jobs and bolster NC A&T's reputation as a national leader preparing students for the economy of the future," Gov. Roy Cooper said.
The plan is funded through the American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge grant.
"President (Joe) Biden is committed to expanding career opportunities for more Americans to secure good-paying jobs," Raimondo said. "This EDA investment will create a workforce training program for the clean energy sector, providing quality, demand-driven training for workers and a workforce to grow and expand the industry."
The STEPs4GROWTH program will start in high school and continue through college. The program will allow participants to earn certificates and build skills all the way to a bachelor's degree.
It will set up sectoral partnerships in four areas: Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Clean Vehicles and Grid and Storage, while establishing regional training centers at Halifax Community College, Martin County Community College, Guilford Community College and UNC Charlotte and Olympic High School in Charlotte.
"North Carolina is leading the charge in the clean energy economy," said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. "This EDA Good Jobs Grant will position our state's clean energy workforce model as top in the nation - with an equity focus to ensure all North Carolinians can participate in this growing sector."
Cooper and Raimondo toured NC A&T's electric vehicle and robotics lab and took part in a roundtable discussion with grant partners and clean energy employers.