The University of Memphis announced this week that it received a $25 million grant to invest in job readiness and economic development.
According to Fox 13 News, the University will be putting the funds towards its Growing Relational and Generational Wealth for West Tennessee Households (GROWWTH) program. The Memphis college is hoping the program and major financial backing will help give people in the region a chance at careers they never thought possible.
"West Tennessee is one of the most under-credentialed regions, unfortunately, in the country," Richard Irwin, a University of Memphis dean, told the news outlet.
To reach its goals, the University will work with three job boards in the Greater Memphis Chamber, six community organizations, and local businesses to help place people with low incomes in new careers through the GROWWTH Academy –– an accelerated job readiness program designed specifically to address skill gaps identified by local businesses.
The Academy includes subjects like "machine courses, certified nurse assistant courses, surgical tech, and things in health care," Irwin said.
Businesses throughout the region, in turn, have vowed to hire GROWWTH Academy graduates.
"Our trainings are going to be guided by the needs of the community as well as the interests of the individual," Irwin noted.