DWS Press Release
February 12, 2015

Year of Education Grants Yields Hundreds of New Openings
New Report Details Successes of Utah Cluster Acceleration Partnership

SALT LAKE CITY - SALT LAKE CITY (Feb. 12, 2015) Hundreds of Utahns seeking to improve their skills are now able to take advantage of new educational opportunities, thanks to grants from the Department of Workforce Services job growth fund.

A look back on the past year of the Utah Cluster Acceleration Partnership (UCAP) shows that the more than $2 million in funds helped create 25 new certificate or degree programs, expand capacity for six existing programs, and support three economic development projects. This created 875 new training slots annually.

"This is workforce alignment at its best," said Jon Pierpont, Executive Director of the Department of Workforce Services. "We are targeting key sectors where private employers have a workforce need, and helping educators align their outcomes to the economic demand."

UCAP is a collaboration between the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the Utah System of Higher Education, and Workforce Services. The three agencies team up to approve grant applications that must build a pipeline from classroom to workplace, and have the support of local education institutions and employers.

A recently released annual report tallies the successes of the program to date, noting that the $2 million in direct funding was amplified by $3.3 million in leveraged funds, leading to the creation of 875 new training slots each year. These openings equip Utahns with skills in high-demand, growing fields. Often, the skills taught in these programs are directly related to growth clusters as defined by the Governor's Office of Economic Development. This program helps to better align classroom training directly with industry needs, and is contributing to the Governor's 66% by 2020 initiative.

For more information, click here to visit the UCAP page.