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MEDB to receive $300K for apprentice program

The Maui News

The Maui Economic Development Board will receive $300,000 in federal funding to develop a work-based apprenticeship program, offering Maui residents on-the-job training in science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills to help solve challenges faced by local companies.

The funding is from the STEM Talent Challenge, a new grant program administered by the Economic Development Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Hawaii U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz introduced the legislation creating the program, which was signed into law in 2017 as part of the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act. Schatz also worked to secure funding for the program in fiscal year 2020 and 2021 appropriations bills.

“This new federal funding will help Maui residents get important hands-on STEM training, while also helping businesses find innovative ways to grow and create new jobs,” Schatz said in a news release Thursday. “There’s more to do, but this new apprenticeship program is a step in the right direction.”

The grant will help expand MEDB’s STEMworks apprenticeship program. The program was designed to help create jobs, spur innovation and strengthen businesses in areas including renewable energy, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and agriculture.

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