WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $4 million in grants to support business growth and workforce development efforts in West Virginia communities impacted by a decline in the coal economy.
The EDA investments announced today are:
- Preston County Public Service District No. 4, Bruceton Mills, will receive a $2.3 million grant for construction of a new well, piping and appurtenances designed to increase water capacity for several local manufacturing facilities. The project will be matched with $572,000 in local funds and is expected to create 69 jobs, retain 86 jobs and generate $6.2 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.
- BridgeValley Community and Technical College, South Charleston, will receive a $1.2 million grant to establish a new green technology job training program in support of a new electric vehicle manufacturing facility. The project will be matched with $288,872 in state funds and is expected to create 450 jobs and generate $2.5 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.
- Southern Appalachian Labor School, Kincaid, will receive a $548,000 grant for establishment of the Coalfields Workforce Construction Training program, providing workforce certifications for displaced coal economy workers. The project will be matched with $137,000 in local funds and is expected to create or retain 40 jobs, according to grantee estimates.
“President Biden is committed to providing communities in West Virginia and across the country with the resources they need to grow their local economies,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “These EDA investments will create jobs, get workers the skills they need, and build economic resiliency for communities that have been impacted by the declining use of coal.”
“The Economic Development Administration supports communities as they transition from coal production to other industries and business opportunities,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “These EDA investments will provide West Virginia communities with infrastructure and workforce development programs necessary to diversify their local economies.”
“This money is incredibly important for further developing these incredible West Virginia communities. I’ve made sure to put education and infrastructure at the center of my agenda, and this money will help improve both of those areas significantly,” said Governor Jim Justice. “I thank the U.S. Department of Commerce for supplying these funds because I know they will be put to good use.”
“The EDA continues to be a strong partner for West Virginia through critical investments in our communities that spur economic development and create good-paying, long-term jobs,” said Senator Joe Manchin. “The funding announced today will improve much-needed water capacity to spur manufacturing in Preston County, establish a green technology job training program in Charleston and provide workforce certifications for displaced coal economy workers in Fayette County. I look forward to seeing the positive impacts of these investments for years to come and I will continue working with the EDA to support economic growth across the Mountain State.”
“The EDA is a key partner in growing our state’s local economies, and today’s grant announcement strengthens that collaboration in Preston, Kanawha, and Fayette counties,” said Senator Shelley Moore Capito. “These grants will provide a boost to our core infrastructure, create jobs, and help prepare the future workforce here in West Virginia. I look forward to seeing the impact of these investments and, as ranking member of the EPW Committee, will continue to lead efforts to support our communities through EDA.”
“I am pleased to see that West Virginia has received this EDA grant to support water capacity system upgrades in Preston County,” said Congressman Alex X. Mooney (WV-02). “This investment is vital to the competitive future of the region. Solid investments in local communities are critical to the growth of business and commerce.”
These projects are funded under the Assistance to Coal Communities (ACC) initiative, through which EDA awards funds on a competitive basis to assist communities severely impacted by the declining use of coal. ACC projects support economic diversification, job creation, capital investment, workforce development, and re-employment opportunities.
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.