WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) today announced several grants through the Economic Development Administration (EDA) and Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) totaling $16,492,174.
This funding aims to grow West Virginia’s economy and will support a variety of projects and programs in Boone, Cabell, Jefferson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Mercer, Mingo, Monongalia, Raleigh, Randolph, Upshur and Wayne counties, with the potential to impact several more.
“Years of onerous regulations that have targeted our state have put many West Virginians out of work and hurt local communities. For more than a year, I have worked to ensure that economic development officials, including Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams and the Economic Development Administration, clearly understand the needs of West Virginia,” said Senator Capito. “The funding announced today can help us as we continue to strengthen our workforce and create new job opportunities. Most importantly, it’s my hope that any investment like this will grow West Virginia’s economy over the long-term, and I will continue to work with the public and private sectors on solutions that boost economic development like high-speed internet and promoting small businesses.”
“West Virginia has been devastated by this administration’s harmful regulations and we must continue to fight to keep our coal jobs and to make sure every out-of-work coal miner has access to meaningful job opportunities,” Senator Manchin said. “This funding is the first of many steps we need to take to revitalize the areas of our state which have been hard-hit by the downturn in the coal industry. This federal investment will support job creation and infrastructure improvements to keep our hard-working miners in West Virginia. I am glad to see this well-deserved funding head to our state.”
In May 2015, Senator Capito invited Assistant Secretary Williams to visit West Virginia and see the state’s challenges firsthand. This May, Senator Capito hosted a meeting with the West Virginia delegation and Assistant Secretary Williams about the need for investments made by EDA to bolster the state’s most distressed communities and get West Virginians back to work.
Specific Grant Awards from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) and Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC):
Construction of Innovation and Knowledge Business Center – Buckhannon/Upshur County
EDA Funding – $2,285,049
The Center will be managed by the Upshur County Development Authority and will be targeted to information technology and other technology-based business interests. In addition, the Center will provide flex-office and incubator space. Broadband access will also be available as a result of a privately-funded initiative to address the current lack of broadband access in Upshur County.
Manufacturing Expansion through Randolph County Development Authority Elkins/Randolph County
EDA Funding – $1,200,000
ARC Funding – $622,500
This funding will assist with the expansion of an existing manufacturing facility to enable this business to double its current production rate due to a new national contract.
Business Loan Study through the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority – Beckley/Raleigh County
EDA Funding – $120,000
ARC Funding – $967,500
This regional business loan study will assess the feasibility of establishing a comprehensive Regional Loan Fund to serve an eight-county region of southern West Virginia severely impacted by coal mine closures.
Transportation Park Upgrade through Mingo County Redevelopment Authority and Mingo County Public Service District – Williamson/Mingo County
EDA Funding – $1,648,400
This upgrade will provide potable water to the Mingo County Air Transportation Park in central Mingo County where light and advanced manufacturing economic development projects will be sited atop a reclaimed surface mine.
Planning Initiative at Advantage Valley, Inc. – Huntington/Cabell County
EDA Funding – $250,000
This will fund the Advantage Valley, Inc. Site Development and Small Business Feasibility Study. This study will identify sites for commercial development within identified industries, including manufacturing, chemical and polymer production and supply chain distribution, and how small business activities can be targeted to meet the needs of existing and new industries clusters in eight counties.
Construction of Water Infrastructure at Bluewell Public Service District – Bluefield/Mercer County
EDA Funding – $1,000,000
ARC Funding – $1,500,000
This funding supports the Bluewell Airport Road Infrastructure Project, which will extend public water service along Route 52 and Airport Road to the Mercer County Regional Airport.
Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education for the EntreEd K-14: Every Student, Every Year project – Charleston/Kanawha County
ARC Funding – $2,196,450
The EntreEd program enables K-12 teachers to integrate entrepreneurial content and context into their curriculum. These funds will expand the footprint of the proven EntreEd program into five additional counties in West Virginia.
Coalfield Development Corporation for the Appalachian Social Entrepreneurship Investment Strategy – Wayne County
ARC Funding – $1,870,000
Funding will be used to incubate job-creating social enterprises, scale-up Coalfield Development Corporation’s on-the-job training/education/life skills workforce development model, and expand its service territory to other areas in southern West Virginia.
Hatfield McCoy Regional Recreation Authority for the Southern Coalfields Sustainable Tourism & Entrepreneurship Program – Man/Logan County
ARC Funding – $1,372,275
Funding will develop and implement a comprehensive program to expand tourism-related employment and businesses in southern West Virginia.
National Capital Investment Fund’s Growing Triple Bottom Line Small Businesses in Coal Impacted Communities in Central Appalachia project – Shepherdstown/Jefferson County
ARC Funding – $1,250,000
Funding will be used to expand coal-impacted communities’ access to capital in southern West Virginia.
West Virginia Development Office for the Hobet Strategic Plan – Boone and Lincoln Counties
ARC Funding - $200,000
West Virginia will receive technical assistance to develop a detailed economic assessment and strategic plan for the best use of the Hobet Surface Mine Site.
The EdVenture Group – Morgantown/Monongalia County
ARC Funding – $10,000
Funding will go to the Creating Opportunities, Diversifying Economy for displaced coal miners (CODE) project to develop a sustainable plan for economic diversification. The project is expected to serve 12 counties in West Virginia.