AccelerateMT: Grant from Blank Foundation Boosts Rural Workforce

October 6, 2023 Accelerate Montana Team

Arthur Blank Family Foundation

Accelerate Montana is thrilled to announce that it has been selected as a recipient of a grant from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. This grant, totaling $400,000, will enable Accelerate Montana to continue their work aimed at empowering young individuals in rural and Indigenous communities with valuable workforce development opportunities. 

The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, during its September board meeting, approved a series of grants totaling more than $24 million, emphasizing its commitment to various community-focused initiatives. “We believe that all young people deserve to live purposeful lives that allow them to realize their goals through workforce opportunities that support their economic mobility and well-being,” said Daniel Shoy, Jr., managing director, Youth Development and Atlanta’s Westside, Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. “Accelerate Montana has a highly collaborative approach, working with partners across the state to support young people in rural and tribal communities, and we’re pleased to support the organization’s efforts to connect job seekers and employers.” 

In light of this grant, Ticia, Learning & Career Accelerate Montana, shared, "I’m excited to continue our work bringing more workforce training options to Montana’s rural and tribal communities.” 

Accelerate Montana's mission is deeply rooted in supporting inclusive economic prosperity for Montana's workers, companies, and communities. The organization works in close partnership with a diverse range of stakeholders across the state, including nonprofit organizations, high schools, and two-year colleges, and Tribal Colleges and Universities. This collaborative approach allows Accelerate Montana to create a holistic and inclusive ecosystem for skill-based training and workforce development.  

The grant awarded by the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation serves as a significant catalyst for Accelerate Montana's ongoing efforts. It provides much-needed resources to the organization, allowing them to expand their reach and impact. With this financial support, Accelerate Montana can delve deeper into understanding the impact of its online rapid training programs within Montana's rural and Indigenous communities, identify and overcome the barriers hindering access, comprehend the specific needs and opportunities of employers seeking young talent in these areas, and bolster their organizational capacity to effectively meet the unique requirements of Montana's rural and Indigenous populations. 

The grant ensures that people in these underserved areas gain equitable access to vital resources essential for career advancement. These resources encompass not only skill-based training but also mentorship, career guidance, and access to educational opportunities. The goal is to bridge the opportunity gap, empowering young individuals from rural and Indigenous communities to build meaningful careers and contribute to the overall economic and social development of Montana.  

This partnership between the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and Accelerate Montana represents a vital step towards a more robust and inclusive workforce in Montana. It underlines the shared commitment to creating lasting opportunities and leveling the playing field for young people in underrepresented communities.  

For more information about Accelerate Montana and its workforce development initiatives, please visit 

For media inquiries, please contact: 

Mercedes Bawden - Accelerate Market Manager or (406)594-5101 



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