Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.5 million grant to the city of Blair, Nebraska, for waterline expansion to support bioprocessing business growth.
This grant will provide increased water capacity to the city’s biocampus, allowing for businesses to expand operations, create additional jobs, and spur private investment. The EDA investment will be matched with $2 million in local funds and is expected to create 115 jobs and generate $345 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.
“President Biden is committed to supporting local efforts to create new opportunities and jobs in communities facing nuclear plant closures,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This investment in Blair will create jobs in the region and help diversify the local economy.”
“The Economic Development Administration is pleased to support the city of Blair’s efforts to leverage the bioprocessing industry to promote job growth,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This investment will broaden and grow the local economy after layoffs at the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Station.”
This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Omaha-Council Bluffs Metropolitan Area Planning Agency (MAPA). EDA funds MAPA to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment, and create jobs.
This project is being funded under EDA’s Assistance to Coal Communities (ACC) program. Closures of nuclear power plants throughout the United States have had a significant impact on the economic foundations of surrounding communities through sudden job losses and a reduction to the local tax base. EDA has a strong history of working with communities facing structural economic adjustments, including those impacted by nuclear power plant closures.
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.