Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding its first local investment as part of the Coal Communities Commitment to the Morgantown Utility Board in Morgantown, W.Va. The $2 million American Rescue Plan grant will help create 300 jobs and generate $250 million in private investment to build a new beverage processing and packaging facility in the Morgantown Industrial Park.
This grant is awarded under EDA’s $300 million Coal Communities Commitment, which is funded by the historic $3 billion appropriation provided to EDA by the American Rescue Plan. American Rescue Plan funding will assist coal communities nationwide in their efforts to diversify their economies, build back better by accelerating the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and building local economies that will be resilient to future economic shocks.
“President Biden’s American Rescue Plan offers direct relief to American communities as they work to build back better from the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “We are supporting Morgantown through our Coal Communities Commitment to support hard-hit coal communities as they diversify their economies and create new, good paying jobs for West Virginians.”
“The Economic Development Administration is committed to helping those communities impacted by both the coronavirus pandemic and the decline in the coal industry,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will provide a critical water extension needed to establish a new beverage processing and packaging facility, bringing new business and jobs to the community.”
“I can never thank the EDA enough for its continued commitment to West Virginia. It seems like every time you turn around, they are making another announcement of more investment and jobs coming to one of our great communities,” said Governor Jim Justice. “This time, it’s Morgantown that’s reaping the benefits. Morgantown has been exploding with so much goodness in recent years it’s unbelievable, and this $2 million investment in support of the new beverage processing and packaging facility in the Morgantown Industrial Park will bring all kinds of positive ripple effects for our state economy.”
“For years, I have fought for dedicated funding to support the coal communities who built this great nation and are feeling the impacts of the changing energy economy. Today’s announcement is the first award from the $300 million for coal communities in the American Rescue Plan, which I successfully fought for to help all West Virginians. This investment in water infrastructure upgrades that serve the Morgantown Industrial Park is a good first step in supporting impacted coal communities,” said Senator Manchin. “The American Rescue Plan continues to deliver critical relief to West Virginia communities by creating good-paying jobs and spurring economic growth and diversification, and I will continue to work with EDA to bring new opportunities to the Mountain State.”
“Bringing manufacturing to West Virginia is essential for diversifying our economy,” said Congressman David McKinley (WV-01). “In Morgantown, where we recently lost the Mylan plant, this is even more important. Our team has been involved with this project at the Industrial Park for over two years, and have helped bring resources together to make it happen. The funding for this waterline project is a key piece to the puzzle. We’re excited for this manufacturing facility to become a reality.”
This project is funded under EDA’s American Rescue Plan Economic Adjustment Assistance program, which makes $500 million in Economic Adjustment Assistance grants available to American communities. The Economic Adjustment Assistance program is EDA’s most flexible program, and grants made under this program will help hundreds of communities across the nation plan, build, innovate, and put people back to work through construction or non-construction projects designed to meet local needs.
EDA’s Coal Communities Commitment allocates $300 million of EDA’s $3 billion American Rescue Plan appropriation to support coal communities as they recover from the pandemic and to help them create new jobs and opportunities, including through the creation or expansion of a new industry sector. Specifically, EDA has dedicated $100 million of its Build Back Better Regional Challenge funds and $200 million of its Economic Adjustment Assistance funds to directly support coal communities.
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.