Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2 million grant to the Pine Ridge Regional Industrial Authority, Inc. in Hazard, Kentucky, to construct a new laboratory building for the Hazard Community and Technical College.
This grant will support workforce development in a variety of sectors, including renewable energy, electricity, nursing, utility line repair, and CDL certification. This EDA investment will be matched with $500,000 in local funds and is expected to create or retain nearly 70 jobs, and generate $15 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.
“As part of the Biden Administration’s Investing in America agenda, we’re ensuring that workers have the skills and resources they need to secure good-paying jobs in the communities where they live,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment will support industrial workforce development, helping to fill critical, in-demand jobs in the region.”
“The Economic Development Administration is pleased to provide targeted, place-based grants designed to support local workforce development programs,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This EDA grant will help address local labor needs while building long-term economic resilience in the region.”
“This generous federal award is going to help build a state-of-the-art lab building at Hazard Community and Technical College. Even more important: It will provide advanced training that will lead to job opportunities for the people who call this region home,” said Governor Andy Beshear. “We made a promise to our neighbors in Eastern Kentucky after last year’s historic floods that we’d be there for them every step of the way – and these funds are helping us keep that promise.”
“Our community colleges are essential to workforce development and expanding the skillset of individuals across Eastern Kentucky. With trade skills in higher demand, this EDA grant will equip students with the education necessary to get a good job or even start their own business,” said Congressman Hal Rogers (KY-05).
This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Kentucky River Area Development District (KRADD). EDA funds KRADD 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 Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2023, which provided EDA with $483 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program funds for disaster relief and recovery for areas that received a major disaster declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Act as a result of Hurricanes Ian and Fiona, wildfires, flooding, and other natural disasters occurring in calendar years 2021 and 2022. Please visit EDA’s Disaster Supplemental webpage for more information.
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.