CHARLESTON, W.Va. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee, today hosted U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Dr. John Fleming in West Virginia for a series of economic development announcements.
During the announcement this morning, Senator Capito and Assistant Secretary Fleming announced U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) funding totaling $7,049,375 for eight projects throughout the state.
“Improving our economy, revitalizing communities, and creating opportunities for West Virginians has been a top priority of mine since day one,” said Senator Capito, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and chairman of the Senate EPW Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee. “That’s exactly why after just two months of being a United States Senator, I made it a priority to meet directly with EDA leadership to encourage them to invest in West Virginia—specifically focusing on projects that spur economic growth. My position on the Senate Appropriations Committee and my chairmanship on the EPW Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee have allowed me the opportunity to deliver real and tangible results for West Virginians, and today’s announcement is a perfect example of this. I’m proud to have Assistant Secretary Fleming with me today in West Virginia to announce this important funding that will provide much-needed support to projects in every corner of West Virginia, and I look forward to continuing our efforts together to make West Virginia the best place to live and work.”
“EDA is pleased to work closely with Senator Capito to help support West Virginia’s growing economy,” U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Dr. John Fleming said. “We congratulate our grantees for their focus on creating new opportunities in the state, and we thank the Senator for her continued commitment to economic development.”
After discovering that USEDA investments in West Virginia were not matching the need for federal dollars to spur economic growth or focusing enough on infrastructure and workforce training, Senator Capito made it a top priority to make these concerns clear to the agency. As a result, the EDA has since hired a state representative for West Virginia to help communities structure projects, and has invested more than $45 million in economic development projects throughout the state—more than a 500 percent increase.
Senator Capito also penned an op-ed for the Charleston Gazette-Mail ahead of today’s visit. Click here to read the full op-ed.
Individual awards and details are listed below:
- The city of Philippi will receive $2 million to extend exiting sewer infrastructure approximately three miles along U.S. Routes 119/250 to serve the Arch Coal Sentinel/Leer South mine. The grant, to be matched with $500,000 in local funds, is expected to help create 150 jobs, retain 450 jobs, and spur $360 million in private investment. The new state-of-the art long-wall mining operation will directly support the growing domestic steel production sector in addition to expanding exporting to meet the global need in the coking and thermal industry markets. The project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by Region 7 Planning and Development Council.
- The Pocahontas Public Service District in Bartow will receive $1.5 million to make sanitary sewer infrastructure improvements needed to help the county’s largest manufacturer, Inter-State Hardwoods, expand into a new 50,000 square-foot facility. The improved sewer infrastructure will also serve approximately six additional businesses. The grant, to be matched with $900,000 in state funds and $600,000 in other federal funding, is expected to help create 60 jobs, retain 153 jobs and spur $3.5 million in private investment. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Region 4 Planning and Development Council (PDC). EDA funds the Region 4 PDC 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.
- The town of Capon Bridge will receive $1.2 million to support the growth of the manufacturing sector by provide sewer infrastructure to serve the Capon Bridge Business and Technology Park. The grant, to be matched with $1 million in state funds and $300,500 in local funds, is expected to help create 43 jobs, retain 23 jobs, and generate $2.6 million in private investment. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Region 8 PDC.
- The Putnam Public Service District in Scott Depot will receive $860,000 to make sewer service improvements needed to support a state-of-the-art service and parts center for high-end commercial and vocational trucks. The grant, to be matched with $215,000 in local funds, is expected to help create 20 jobs, retain 20 jobs, and generate $5 million in private investment. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Regional Intergovernmental Council.
- The Business Development Corporation (BDC) of the Northern Panhandle in Weirton will receive $750,000 to purchase the equipment for 20 welding booths that will enable the BDC and West Virginia Community Technical College to provide an industry-supported 20-week welding training program to assist the region with filling a critical employment shortage. The grant, to be matched with $590,000 in state funding, is expected to help create 208 jobs and generate $8.3 million in private investment. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Brooke-Hancock Planning and Development Council.
- The West Virginia Coalition for Technology Based Economic Development in South Charleston will receive $500,000 to help launch the TechWrx West Virginia entrepreneurial development initiative, which will provide an entrepreneur development and assessment tool, stage entrepreneurial expos that will benefit 40 counties, and provide enhanced commercialization opportunities for regional entrepreneurs. The project also includes Opportunity Zone training for entrepreneurs and startups. The grant, to be matched with $125,000 in state funds, is expected to help create 25 jobs, retain 50 jobs, and generate $2 million in private investment.
- The Eastern Panhandle Regional Planning and Development Council in Martinsburg will receive $150,000 to design and engineer roadway and other infrastructure improvements needed to open 526 acres of land to manufacturing and commercial entities while also accommodating the expansion plans of the local community college. The grant will be matched with $150,000 in local funds.
- Marshall University Research Corporation in Huntington will receive $57,375 to enable the Robert C. Byrd Institute to complete a regional workforce analysis for 23 counties in central and southern West Virginia. The analysis will specifically focus on the diversification of the economy that has declined as a result of the downturn in the coal industry. The grant, to be matched with $57,375 in local funds, is expected to generate $54,875 in private investment through Appalachian Power’s commitment to the project.
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