EDA: $2 Million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance Invested for Rail Expansion to Support Manufacturing Sector in Wynne, AR

Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to the city of Wynne, Arkansas, to construct a new industrial rail spur facility to support local manufacturers. This EDA grant, to be matched with $500,000 in local funds, is expected to create 200 jobs.

“Revitalizing our manufacturing sector is a key priority for the Biden-Harris Administration and will create good-paying jobs while expanding opportunity for American families,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA project will provide a stronger, more stable transportation system in Wynne to benefit multiple manufacturers in the region, and ultimately, the local economy.”

“Across the nation, each community has unique needs to support its economic development,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This investment in Wynne will improve rail access for local manufactures and better prepare the region for future economic disruptions by offering alternative means of transportation of supplies and goods.”

“Investment into our communities is key to the expansion of opportunities for Arkansas business and manufacturers,” said Governor Asa Hutchinson. “Building this industrial rail spur facility in Wynne will give local manufactures another stepping stone towards future economic growth and provide more Arkansas families with good jobs.”

“Industries and businesses need to be able to move products and supplies efficiently to sustain good jobs and create more opportunities for growth,” said Senator John Boozman. “This grant will help ensure manufacturers in Wynne have greater certainty that access to needed transportation options will continue and ensure their vitality into the future, the benefits of which will be felt across the community.”

“An effective railroad system has always been vital for farmers and manufacturers to get their goods to consumers,” said Congressman Rick Crawford (AR-01). “This grant will not only help build a stronger transportation system, it will create hundreds of jobs which is crucial for local economies in the area.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the East Arkansas Planning and Development District (EAPDD). EDA funds EAPDD 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 funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Public Law 116-136 PDF), which provided EDA with $1.5 billion for economic assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) (PDF) program, provides a wide-range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

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.

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