The investment will create tens of thousands of jobs and prepare the United States for future outbreaks.

The White House announced Thursday the Biden Administration will invest $7.4 billion from the American Rescue Plan to hire and train public health workers in response to COVID-19.

Of the funding, $4.4 billion will be allocated to expanding states’ over-stretched public health departments with additional staff, including disease intervention specialists to carry out COVID-19 response efforts such as contact tracing, case management, and support outbreak investigations, as well as funding to hire school nurses to help schools reopen safely. The funds will also go towards the launch of a Public Health Americorps, a program aiming to develop a diverse public health workforce to support communities throughout the country, and extended support to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Epidemic Intelligence Service.

The CDC will use the remaining $3 billion in funding to create a new grant program to expand and modernize the public health workforce at state and local levels to better prepare for future pandemics. Recipients of funding will be asked to hire individuals from the communities they will serve as well as from backgrounds underrepresented in public health professions.