The U.S. Department of Education announced over $126 million in funding awarded to eight states focused on bringing greater opportunity for students to develop new skills in areas that meet in-state demands. The funds were made available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help states promote innovative strategies that build stronger pathways between education and careers.

Three Credential Engine state partners were awarded: Alabama, Michigan, and New York! Credential Engine also has a partnership the Los Angeles region, and the state of California was amongst the grant awardees. The remaining four states are Arkansas, Hawai’i, Nevada, and Virginia.

Alabama’s focus will be to launch the Alabama Workforce Stabilization Program (AWSP) to scale short-term education and training programs through a two-tier approach. Their work will help low-income opportunity seekers and dislocated workers who can benefit from clearer pathways between education and the workforce. Alabama’s work will be led by the Alabama Department of Commerce.

Michigan will launch the Michigan Learning & Education Advancement Program (MiLEAP) to serve 5,000 opportunity seekers to gain credentials and competencies in high-demand areas. Their approach will include personalized education and training with employer collaboration and work-based learning making use of distance and hybrid education delivery. Michigan’s work will be led by the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity-Workforce Development.

New York will explore education and career pathways including ways to create, develop, implement, and scale available options to state residents. The state plans to implement a four-pronged approach to meet skill and workforce demands including initiatives that address training needs. New York’s efforts will be led by the New York State Department of Labor.

For more information on the grant and additional highlights of states’ plans, please read the full announcement.

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