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Small business grants available through pandemic relief funds

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Small business grants available through pandemic relief funds

Another round of state pandemic relief grants is on the way, with a focus on - but not limited to - the arts, heritage and science sectors, and businesses relying on Washington Convention Center events, such as theaters and live entertainment venues.

Applications for the Working Washington Grants: Round 5 and new Convention Center Grants programs open Wednesday Aug. 17. Together, these programs will distribute $75 million in pandemic relief grants to eligible small businesses and nonprofits across Washington.

The online commercegrants.com portal has guidelines and information to help applicants get ready to submit applications.

Washington Wins $23.5 Million
Federal Workforce Training Grant

A proposal by the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC), in collaboration with Career Connect Washington, was selected to receive a $23.5 million dollar Good Jobs Challenge grant by the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration. The WSAC proposal was one of 32 selected projects among 509 applications. The Good Jobs Challenge grant will help CCW and its partners immediately serve 5,000 workers whose jobs were impacted by COVID-19 and fill a minimum of 3,000 jobs.

Career Connect Washington will focus the grant funds to connect students to work-based learning programs in advanced manufacturing, aerospace, construction, energy and clean technology, financial services, health care, and information technology. Career Connect will partner with more than 200 community-based organizations that work with people often furthest from opportunities including workers with disabilities, workers in rural areas, and workers of color.

"Across every sector of the state's economy, employers need to find talent, particularly in high-demand fields, and the Good Jobs Challenge grant will noticeably strengthen our ongoing efforts through Career Connect," said Gov. Jay Inslee. "This will support our progress on inclusivity and equity in the workforce, giving Washingtonians from underrepresented communities a pathway to thousands of great jobs, putting those furthest from opportunity into good jobs and helping Washington's economy continue its strong recovery."

Read more about how the grant will support the state's workforce training efforts. Students or employers who are interested in the Career Launch program can visit careerconnectwa.org for information.

State Continues Advancing Justice
for Missing and Murdered
Indigenous Women and People

Attorney General Bob Ferguson held a press conference last Monday (Aug. 1) to review the progress of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and People Task Force (MMIW/P). The task force recently completed its first report and delivered 10 recommendations to enhance statewide efforts to protect Native American women and people.

"When my sister Daisy Mae Heath went missing back in September of 1987, I felt like I was very alone," said Patsy Whitefoot, a member of the task force. "By being with the task force for the short period we've been working together, I've opened my eyes to what's involved in these reports."

"As a family member to someone missing, I've made it a point to have a voice in support of my sister and my family members who have been murdered," Whitefoot continued.

Gov. Jay Inslee signed HB 1725, sponsored by Rep. Deb Lekanoff, on March 31, making Washington the first state to establish a statewide alert system for missing Indigenous women and people. The Washington State Patrol launched the new Missing Indigenous Person Alert (MIPA) system on July 1. A MIPA alert has since led to at least one person being found safe. 30 other Native American missing persons have been found by authorities in July alone. 135 other Native American persons remain unaccounted for, according to WSP.

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