Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $516,360 CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to Blue Ridge Community and Technical College, Martinsburg, West Virginia, to expand its plastics training program to meet local industry workforce needs in Morgan, Jefferson and Berkley counties. The project, to be matched with $294,190 in local funds, is expected to create 345 jobs and retain 770 jobs.
“The Economic Development Administration is committed to helping communities across the nation implement workforce development strategies to help Americans get back to work,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This EDA investment will allow Blue Ridge Community and Technical College to expand its capacity to provide high school students and working adults with the opportunity to earn college credit while gaining specialized technical skills that will open the door to good-paying jobs.”
“The work that’s being done at the Blue Ridge Community and Technical College to prepare our hardworking West Virginians for the jobs of tomorrow is off-the-charts, and this generous investment by the EDA is going to unlock new doors for Blue Ridge’s plastics training program,” said Governor Jim Justice. “The EDA continues to help stimulate more and more growth in West Virginia through their ongoing contributions across our great state. I could never thank them enough for all they do in moving our state, our people, and our communities forward.”
“The EDA investment in Martinsburg is great news for our state and will develop a stronger workforce in the Eastern Panhandle,” said Senator Joe Manchin. “This funding will support the Blue Ridge Community and Technical College’s expansion of their plastics training program, and will create and retain hundreds of jobs for hardworking West Virginians. The EDA continues to be a strong partner for the Mountain State, and I will continue to work with the EDA, state and local partners to advocate for funding that spurs economic growth and creates jobs in West Virginia.”
“Blue Ridge Community and Technical College provides critical education and workforce training, equipping students with the skills they need to secure employment and succeed,” said Senator Shelley Moore Capito. “Today’s EDA announcement is a welcomed investment that will grow and retain quality jobs in the Eastern Panhandle’s growing manufacturing industry. EDA investments in West Virginia are making a real difference, and I’m proud to continue working so that projects like this one receive the funding it deserves.”
“I am excited to see this announcement. This well-deserved investment will open up invaluable opportunities for West Virginians,” said Congressman Alex Mooney (WV-02). “Students will receive a wealth of knowledge and skills that will guide them to success throughout their careers. This investment will also open up more employment opportunities and will have an impact on both new and experienced workers looking to move their careers forward.”
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.