The University of Notre Dame announced Friday, April 26, that it was awarded a $42.4 million grant from the Lilly Endowment. They’ll use that money to partner with businesses in the South Bend - Elkhart area that promote workforce and economic growth.
Notre Dame and the South Bend - Elkhart Regional Partnership said they’ll use the five-year grant to form a coalition they’re calling Labs for Industry Futures and Transformation, or LIFT. They plan to create a research lab at Notre Dame, enhance technical education programs at area schools, and provide grants to local nonprofits that provide training for emerging jobs.
Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins says it’s an opportunity to grow the region into the next Silicon Valley.
“It’s going to create new businesses, a new dynamism," Jenkins says. "And creativity spawns creativity. New businesses spawn other new businesses. So we hope there’s a really wonderful, virtuous cycle.”
Regional partners hope to add an additional $127.6 million to the fund in matching contributions.