The 2023 STEM Talent Challenge: What You Need to Know

The STEM Talent Challenge provides ecosystem builders with a unique opportunity to develop innovative projects that strengthen local and regional STEM talent pipelines

Are you seeking an opportunity to make a meaningful difference in your community’s STEM workforce development? The Economic Development Administration (EDA) has introduced the 2023 STEM Talent Challenge, a program focused on supporting innovative projects that strengthen local and regional STEM talent pipelines. With significant funding available, this initiative offers a practical approach to enhancing your community’s future. Keep reading to learn more about this important opportunity and how you can become a part of it.

The 2023 STEM Talent Challenge:
Building a Strong STEM Pipeline

The STEM Talent Challenge is an initiative by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) that focuses on creating innovative, sustainable, and results-driven projects to improve local and regional STEM talent pipelines. The program fosters collaboration between educators, industry leaders, and workforce development stakeholders to create sustainable, inclusive, and high-impact strategies that bridge the gap between the supply and demand for STEM talent.

Show Me the Money: The Funding Opportunity

For the 2023 STEM Talent Challenge, the EDA is providing up to $4.5 million in grant funding – with individual awardees receiving up to $500,000, depending on the project’s scope and impact. The funding will be allocated to projects that develop new or expand existing STEM talent pipelines, focusing on areas with high demand for STEM jobs, underrepresented populations, or economic distress.

Eligibility: Who Can Apply?

Eligible applicants for the STEM Talent Challenge include:

  • District Organizations of EDA-designated Economic Development Districts (EDDs)
  • Indian Tribes or a consortium of Indian Tribes
  • State, county, city, or other political subdivision of a State, including a special-purpose unit of a State or local government engaged in economic or infrastructure development activities, or a consortium of political subdivisions
  • Institutions of higher education or a consortium of institutions of higher education
  • Public or private non-profit organizations or associations
  • Consortia of any of the above entities

Application Requirements: What’s Needed?

To apply for the STEM Talent Challenge, applicants must submit a comprehensive proposal that includes:

  • A detailed project description that demonstrates the project’s alignment with the program’s objectives
  • A clear outline of the project’s goals and objectives, as well as the expected outcomes and impact
  • A comprehensive project budget, including a breakdown of costs and anticipated matching funds
  • A project timeline, including milestones and anticipated completion dates
  • Letters of commitment from project partners and stakeholders, as applicable

Important Dates and Deadlines: Mark Your Calendars!

  • April 11, 2023 —FY 23 STEM Talent Challenge Applications Open
  • June 12, 2023 —Applications Close
  • Summer 2023 —Application Review and Award Selection
  • Summer – Fall 2023 —Awards Announced
  • November 1, 2023 —FY 23 Awarded Projects Begin

Important Links

EDA STEM Talent Challenge Program Overview

2023 STEM Talent Challenge Application

FY 2023 STEM Talent Challenge Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)

EcoMap’s Workforce Hub:
Your Secret Weapon for Success

Now, let’s talk about how our EcoMap platform, particularly its Workforce Hub, can be a game-changer for potential STEM Talent Challenge applicants.

The EDA outlined in its webinar for this challenge that technology infrastructure and business support are key rungs in the pyramid upon which a healthy ecosystem is built upon. A strong proposal will need to have a solid response for how they can incorporate these two rungs into their proposed solution.

We built the Workforce Hub as a module on our EcoMap platform that focuses on workforce development within a local ecosystem. This specialized hub provides detailed information on job opportunities, training programs, educational institutions, and other resources that can help connect + cultivate your ecosystem’s workforce. This technology has been able to help everyone local EDOs to statewide bioscience associations to national non-profit fellowship organizations.

Here’s how the Workforce Hub can help you meet the STEM Talent Challenge criteria:

  1. Collaboration and partnerships: Identify and connect with key stakeholders in your ecosystem, such as educational institutions, industry leaders, and workforce development organizations. Establishing these partnerships is vital for designing and implementing effective STEM talent pipeline projects.
  2. Access to resources and support: The Workforce Hub provides information on tailored resources, such as funding opportunities, training programs, and mentorship initiatives. By tapping into these resources, all of your ecosystem stakeholders can be better informed by what there is around to support them.
  3. Monitoring and evaluation: EcoMap’s Workforce Hub can also serve as a valuable tool for tracking and measuring the progress and impact of STEM Talent Challenge projects. By monitoring workforce development indicators and trends within the local ecosystem, applicants can assess their project’s effectiveness, make data-driven adjustments, and demonstrate their project’s success to the EDA and other stakeholders.

This is the opportunity to build your ecosystem’s STEM talent pipeline

The 2023 STEM Talent Challenge is an incredible opportunity for ecosystem builders to contribute to the growth and prosperity of their community by developing a vibrant and inclusive STEM talent pipeline. With the help of the EcoMap platform and its Workforce Hub, you can streamline your efforts and increase your chances of success with by building on a strong foundation of technology infrastructure and business support.

If you’re interested in exploring what EcoMap could do for you ahead of the June 12th application deadline, book a time through our calendar below:

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