Three Alabama areas are first-round finalists in the Recompete Program

Mobile, Birmingham and Phenix City areas were chosen for workforce development programs

The Reinvest Northwest: Birmingham Career Accelerator Recompete Plan, headed by the city of Birmingham, is one of three Alabama plans to make the first round finalist selection in the Economic Development Administration’s Recompete Pilot Program.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration has announced 22 finalists in the Distressed Area Recompete Pilot Program (Recompete), of which three are in Alabama.

The Gulf Coast Chambers Network Recompete Plan is headed by the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation Inc.; the Reinvest Northwest: Birmingham Career Accelerator Recompete Plan is headed by the city of Birmingham; and the UWCV: Addressing Economic Distressed Recompete Plan is headed by the United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley.

“These Recompete finalists and grant recipients have presented a wide range of inspiring solutions to create jobs, develop long-term economic growth and revitalize the full potential in communities that for too long have been overlooked or counted out,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo.

The Gulf Coast Chambers Network plan is requesting $40 million to help residents with training, transportation and child care so that they can access jobs in the maritime, manufacturing and construction industries. The plan will use career tech training facilities and Mobile County’s pilot micro-transit and child care programs as models. In addition to being a finalist, the Gulf Coast Chambers Network also is a Strategy Development Grant recipient, which provides funds to help the network with developing its plan.

The Birmingham Career Accelerator plan is requesting $20 million to support the neighborhoods in Pratt, Smithfield, Northside and North Birmingham. The plan hopes to connect people in these neighborhoods by creating a wraparound service center, workforce development hub, a Black-owned business initiative entrepreneurship center and expand transportation programs.

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The UWCV plan is requesting $20 million to prepare students for jobs in advanced manufacturing and construction. It focuses on the eight distressed counties in the Columbus, Georgia–Alabama metropolitan statistical area. The United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley will partner with community colleges, trade schools and employers to provide the training and jobs.

“These outstanding Recompete finalists and strategy development grant recipients exemplify the focused employment and job creation strategies required to address the unique, long-standing needs of communities,” said Alejandra Castillo, assistant secretary of Commerce. “We look forward to supporting these communities as they work to reduce the employment gap and establish models for long-term economic growth we can apply across America.”

Phase 1 finalists were selected from more than 500 applications. In Phase 2 of the Recompete program, the finalists will refine their applications.

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