Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $3 million grant to the city of Somerset, Kentucky, to provide upgrades for two wastewater treatment facilities, supporting economic growth and job creation. This EDA grant will be matched with $750,000 in local funds, and is expected to help create 379 jobs, retain 580 jobs, and generate $179 million in private investment.
“The Biden Administration is committed to supporting coal communities as they diversify and build economies for the future,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment will provide critical infrastructure improvements necessary to support diversified economic growth and job creation in the region.”
“President Biden is working tirelessly to support coal communities as they work to grow their economies and create new jobs,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This investment will support construction and equipment installation at two wastewater treatment plant sites to enable the city to meet future business needs.”
“The importance of modern infrastructure cannot be overstated for its expansive benefits for Kentucky communities. The upgrades to two wastewater treatment facilities in Somerset will mean better service for Kentuckians, while creating opportunities for economic investment, growth and good-paying jobs,” said Governor Andy Beshear. “We are grateful for the EDA’s generous investment in Kentucky’s infrastructure and the future of our people.”
This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Lake Cumberland Area Development District (LCADD). EDA funds LCADD 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 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.