(WMC-TV) - Memphis Bioworks Foundation announced a multi-million dollar grant Friday that will provide training to put Mid-Southerners back to work.
While Congress is yet to pass a jobs bill, Congressman Steve Cohen said Memphis is moving forward with a jobs plan.
"There's no reason for us to be hiring workers from over seas that we give visas to perform jobs that our citizens can and should have the opportunity to have those jobs," said Cohen.
The U.S. Department of Labor awarded a $3.7 million grant to the foundation to deliver high-growth jobs training and jobs placement assistance targeting workers in fields in which employers are currently using the H-1B nonimmigrant visa program.
Under the H-1B Technical Skills Grant, Memphis Bioworks Foundation will lead a consortium of training to providers that include Southwest Tennessee Community College, Tennessee Technology Center at Memphis, Lab Four, Seedco, and Workforce Investment Network (WIN).
A partner in securing the grant, Cohen congratulated the foundation for their work in job creation.
"We are fortunate to have Bioworks in so many areas of what they do to help make our city One Memphis, to make us grow, and to make us economically prosperous" he added.
Cohen said this grant will be the key to teaching over 400 long-term unemployed workers the skills they'll need most to go back to work.
The Memphis Bioworks Foundation says the grant will train workers in Shelby and Fayette counties who have been unemployed for six months or longer.
For information on the job training program click here.