Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2.6 million grant to the Harrison County Commission, Clarksburg, West Virginia, to build and establish a clean energy products manufacturing facility, creating jobs, and spurring private investment in this hard-hit former coal mining community. This EDA grant will be matched with $1.3 million in local funds, is expected to help create 200 jobs, and generate $4 million in private investment.
“President Biden understands that coal communities like Clarksburg helped to power our industrial economy, and this entire administration is committed to ensure these same communities thrive in the transition to a clean energy economy,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “The project will include necessary infrastructure improvements, including updated sewer service and parking facilities, to support the industrial park and the new manufacturing facility.”
“This EDA investment will help West Virginia attract new, innovative industries,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “The new production facility will use environmentally sound practices to transform West Virginia coal into new competitive products, specifically the raw materials used to create inks and pastes used in businesses worldwide.”
“Harrison County and the entire North Central West Virginia region as a whole is one of the fastest-growing areas in our great state,” said Governor Jim Justice. “This generous grant, plus the jobs and the economic impact that come along with it, will allow us to continue the positive momentum we’ve built and will bring all kinds of goodness to so many people. I thank the EDA for their continued commitment to West Virginia.”
“Every West Virginian continues to be impacted by the changing energy sector, especially our coal communities. I successfully fought to include a $300 million set aside in the American Rescue Plan as part of the Coal Communities Commitment for these types of projects, and I am pleased EDA is following through on their commitment to support and invest in coal communities with this investment,” said Senator Joe Manchin. “I look forward to seeing the positive impacts of this funding for Harrison County, and I will continue to work with EDA to spur economic development in hard-hit communities, create good-paying jobs, leverage opportunities, and to utilize the Mountain State’s abundant coal resources in the development of innovative and high demand products.”
“This announcement is exciting news for Clarksburg and demonstrates the strength of our state’s manufacturing base,” said Senator Shelley Moore Capito. “This investment is expected to help create 200 jobs and expand new markets for coal. The EDA’s involvement in West Virginia has increased exponentially since I came to the Senate, and I appreciate their continued support.”
“It is vital that we diversify West Virginia’s economy to create opportunities for our children and grandchildren,” said Congressman David McKinley (WV-01). “We can do this by prioritizing research and attracting new manufacturing. We appreciate this funding from the EDA that will help bring investment and create jobs in Clarksburg and North Central West Virginia.”
This project is 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.
This award is a great example of what communities can do under EDA’s new American Rescue Plan programs; particularly the $300 million Coal Communities Commitment. This investment will ensure that coal communities have the resources they need to recover from the pandemic and will help create new jobs and opportunities, including through the development or expansion of a new industry sector.
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.