EDA: $2 Million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance Invested to Support Healthcare and Workforce Training at Cossatot Community College in Arkansas

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 Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas, De Queen, Arkansas, to support a Medical Mobile Unit and create a healthcare simulation lab and telemedicine space at all four campuses. This EDA grant is expected to create 105 jobs.

“President Biden is committed to harnessing the full power of the federal government to ensure our nation not only recovers from this pandemic but builds back stronger,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment in Cossatot Community College will provide rural communities with access to healthcare and healthcare training programs to prepare students for good-paying, quality jobs.”

“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in supporting community-led economic development strategies designed to boost coronavirus recovery and response efforts,” said Dennis Alvord, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This EDA investment will create a Wellness Education Learning and Living (WELL) community with a Medical Mobile Unit to provide urgent care and create a healthcare simulation lab and telemedicine space to train workers in high-demand healthcare fields.”

“This grant is a real benefit to rural Arkansas,” said Governor Asa Hutchinson. “The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the need for more healthcare options in rural Arkansas and the benefit of telemedicine. The funds will make a positive impact on the economy and the health of Arkansans.”

“Congress came together in a bipartisan way to pass the CARES Act to strengthen our communities’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent challenges it presents,” said Senator John Boozman. “I am pleased the EDA recognizes the need for expanded health care access and training in Southwest Arkansas and is making this investment to help the region better meet existing and future needs that will also result in more good jobs.”

“Rural America is too often overlooked for federal grants,” said Congressman Bruce Westerman (AR-04). “That’s why I’m so grateful that the bipartisan CARES Act is making this critical health care investment possible. The residents of DeQueen and the students at Cossatot Community College will benefit greatly from the jobs and training opportunities this grant will support. Smart, targeted investment like this greatly aids rural America’s post pandemic recovery.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Southwest Arkansas Planning and Development District (SWAPDD). EDA funds SWAPDD 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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