MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Up to 7,500 people will be pulled out of poverty thanks to a $25-million grant earned by the University of Memphis.

The GROWWTH proposal is a workforce readiness program designed to prepare local business and the workforce for Ford’s Blue Oval City.

“This is a testament to the ability of departments across our University and partners in our region to work together and create upward economic opportunities for West Tennessee families” said Bill Hardgrave, President at U of M.

The $25-million grant was awarded by the state of Tennessee, making it the largest grant the university has ever received.

The goal of the G is to serve 2,500 low-income households which will impact the lives of 7,500 west Tennessee residents over three years.

The university will partner with other community groups to target low-income families and address labor force challenges.

U of M’s GROWWTH proposal was one of seven awarded this grant from an original pool of over 80 candidates. The grant is expected to help provide an economic benefit in west Tennessee of $850 million over the next 10 years.