Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $915,900 grant to San Juan College, Farmington, New Mexico, to renovate and repurpose a city building to support the Harvest Food Hub and Kitchen.
This grant will provide commercial kitchen space, training, and technical assistance for food entrepreneurs and businesses, supporting economic growth in New Mexico, a region impacted by the declining use of coal. This EDA grant will be matched with $228,975 in local funds and is expected to help create 40 jobs, according to grantee estimates.
“The Economic Development Administration is pleased to help advance locally-driven strategies to boost economic recovery efforts,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will support small businesses and entrepreneurs, creating jobs and promoting economic resilience in New Mexico.”
“The San Juan College Harvest Food Hub is a great way for students to learn how to create economic opportunities in their own communities,” said Senator Martin Heinrich. “I’m proud to welcome this funding that teaches students valuable skills, all while supporting local farmers and businesses.”
“The Harvest Food Hub and Kitchen has been a critical resource to food entrepreneurs, farmers and students in New Mexico,” said Senator Ben Ray Luján. “I’m pleased this funding will renovate the Harvest Food Hub and Kitchen, which will provide training, create jobs, support local businesses, and contribute to the local economy.”
“I am grateful to see this new grant come to San Juan College. This funding will benefit so many of our communities in the Farmington area and those who travel through it. The Harvest Food Hub and Kitchen will be able to use the funds to further support the local economy, create jobs, and make delicious food,” said Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernández (NM-03).
This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Northwest New Mexico Council of Governments (NWNMCOG). EDA funds NWNMCOG 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.