October 11, 2023

Cheyney University Awarded Nearly $500,000 in Critical Sector Job Quality Grant

Cheyney University Awarded Nearly $500,000 in Critical Sector Job Quality Grant

(CHEYNEY, PA – October 10, 2023) – The U.S. Department of Labor recently awarded Cheyney University $495,878 under the Critical Sectors Job Quality Grants Program, which will be used to establish a Winery Management certification in collaboration with Chaddsford Winery’s Vice President and General Manager, and the members of the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail. Cheyney is one of seven institutions awarded this grant.

The grant funds will facilitate the development and enhancement of educational initiatives aligned with the Biden-Harris Administration’s priorities. Cheyney’s award is a component of the $16 million comprehensive initiative launched to improve job quality and expand access to high-quality employment in critical sectors such as care, climate resilience, and hospitality.

Ms. Vanessa Atkins, Executive Director of Strategic Partnerships and Career Pathways at Cheyney University, played a pivotal role in securing this grant. In response to this achievement, she shared her enthusiasm, stating, “We are overjoyed to have been recognized as a Critical Sector Job Quality award recipient. This money will allow us to expand our educational offerings and provide our students with the skills they need to flourish in critical industries like care, climate resilience, and hospitality.”

The grant will provide career advancement opportunities for those currently working in the industry, a micro-credential for those training to enter the industry, and re-skilling for displaced workers seeking to enter the field at the management level. Those who complete the certificate and decide to return to Cheyney for a degree in HRTM will also be provided with a formula for earning credit towards a degree in the HRTM program as determined by the HRTM faculty.

Corey Krejcik, Vice President and General Manager of Chaddsford Winery notes, “No industry fully encapsulates a 360-degree view of hospitality, manufacturing, and agritourism quite like the wine industry. As a business leader in this sector, Chaddsford Winery is thrilled to collaborate on this trailblazing initiative with Cheyney University. It reinforces our long-term commitment to elevating the credibility, representation and economic impact that local wine production has on the Brandywine Valley and its surrounding areas.”

This award exemplifies the university’s dedication to ensuring that its students are prepared to achieve success in industries that lack representation and where workers are in demand. This further affirms Cheyney’s role as a catalyst for workforce development and economic growth.

Brent Parton, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training, emphasized the significance of the Critical Sector Job Quality grants, saying, “The Critical Sectors Job Quality grants will enable recipients to create and expand partnerships to develop training programs to provide the workforce needed in high-demand industries.” Cheyney University is committed to fulfilling this vision by collaborating with industry partners to bridge the skills gap and drive innovation in these critical sectors.

Cheyney University extends its heartfelt gratitude to the Biden-Harris Administration for their generous support through the Critical Sector Job Quality grant and looks forward to working closely with industry partners and the community to achieve its goals. “Cheyney University is committed to supporting student achievement and meeting the changing needs of the labor market,” stated Atkins. “We are grateful to the Biden-Harris Administration for their continuous support and acknowledgement of our purpose.”


About Cheyney University: 

Founded in 1837, Cheyney University is the nation’s oldest historically Black institution of higher education. Located in Cheyney, Pennsylvania, the university is dedicated to providing a transformative educational experience that prepares students for leadership and success in a diverse world. Cheyney University offers a wide range of academic programs, emphasizing the importance of excellence, community engagement, and career readiness. For more information, visit www.Cheyney.edu