Today, the Economic Development Administration announced a $296,000 Economic Adjustment Assistance grant award to Valley Contractors Exchange in Chico. This EDA investment funds the Hands on Tools Mobile Construction Training to create a mobile construction training educational program. The program is anticipated to create over 100 new construction jobs in the area, which can help the region rebuild following a destructive wildfire or flooding.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the great things Valley Contractors Exchange accomplishes with this grant award,” LaMalfa said. “This Hands on Tools Mobile Construction Training will expand workforce training opportunities that will address our area’s construction worker shortage. I previously sent a letter of support for this award to the EDA. For more than 60 years, VCE has provided high quality services and programs throughout the North State, and with this grant award they can continue their good work and extend the reach of their hard work.”
“Valley Contractors Exchange is thrilled about EDA’s grant award to support the launch of Hands on Tools Mobile Construction Training, which will get tools in the hands of local youth, women, residents of fire-affected communities, and so many others,” said Amy Rohrer, Executive Director of Valley Contractors Exchange. “This project is truly a community collaboration, enlisting construction industry professionals, community partners, and education to address the region’s critical need to expand the construction workforce and rebuild homes and lives after years of devastating wildfires. By meeting potential workers where they are, many in our community will have the opportunity to secure well-paying, upwardly mobile careers in construction, all while playing a role in the region’s emotional healing post-disaster.”
“Our Butte Strong Fund citizens committee felt strongly about supporting this excellent program with a $326,000 grant,” said Chris Copeland, an NVCF program officer specializing in housing for the Butte Strong Fund. “We are always looking for ways to help in the rebuilding effort, but it’s very complicated and requires varied approaches. This is an innovative one. The program will be run by skilled and connected building professionals to introduce young people to the construction trade, train eligible workers and upskill the current workforce. Elements of the program will also introduce fire survivors to the construction industry to provide opportunity to help replace homes that were lost.”