EL PASO, Texas -

Project Arriba celebrated its one-thousandth graduate Wednesday night, but the good news did not stop there for the organization.

Officials announced the Texas Innovative Adult Career Education Fund granted Project Arriba $500,000 to help improve the local economy.

Project Arriba provides training, certification and education for at-risk students or low-income residents of El Paso County to attain high-skill jobs in demand.

The grant will benefit 300 El Paso Community College students, all who are working toward a degree or certification.

Project Arriba Board Member, Dr. Ed Roden-Lucero said while El Paso's unemployment rate is stuck between eight and ten percent, Project Arriba has proven it is making a positive impact in the local workforce.

"Our 1,000 graduates in the past ten years have contributed $500 million to the El Paso economy," said Dr. Roden-Lucero.

He added, Project Arriba only trains participants who will earn at least $14 an hour plus benefits and a career path.

A recent study by The Institute for Policy and Economic Development at the University of Texas at El Paso revealed for every dollar invested in Project Arriba programs, $26 are returned back to the city.

"It's a good example of how our organizing brings financial benefit for people in our community that struggle the most." said Dr. Roden-Lucero.