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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.3 Million to Support West Virginia’s Manufacturing Sector

HUNTINGTON, W. Va. – U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regional Affairs Dennis Alvord today announced a $1.3 million EDA grant to the Robert C. Byrd Institute at Marshall University, Huntington, W. Va., to boost workforce training opportunities in advanced manufacturing and create new jobs by providing critical technical assistance to local manufacturers. Additionally, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is investing $1.5 million in the project, bringing the total federal investment to $2.8 million. According to grantee estimates, the project is expected to create 105 jobs, retain 235 jobs, and attract $675,000 in private investment.

“This EDA investment will help RCBI and Advantage Valley continue their efforts to diversify the southern West Virginia economy by providing outreach, retooling, market expansion, business acceleration, and workforce development assistance to businesses,” Alvord said. “Through this grant, we are pleased to build on our strong partnership with Marshall University and RCBI, which is having a terrific impact in helping to diversify and grow West Virginia’s manufacturing sector.”

“Since the founding of our state, West Virginians have always been hardworking and refused to accept the status quo. Today, as we work to strengthen and diversify West Virginia’s economy, we must make sure West Virginians have access to meaningful job opportunities,” U.S. Senator Joe Manchin said. “This funding will help Marshall University boost training opportunities in advanced manufacturing and will create and retain over 330 jobs. This investment will foster sustainable economic growth and improve our communities and our workforce.”

“West Virginia’s brightest days are ahead, and this grant will help our state diversify our economy and put new technologies to work for us. This funding will help support businesses as they focus on advanced manufacturing technologies and the jobs of the future. Marshall University is leading the way by using existing infrastructure to help create jobs and support small businesses. I congratulate Marshall on receiving this important grant and thank the EDA for their ongoing support of West Virginia,” U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins said.

“This project is part of a suite of ARC investments to RCBI and Marshall University which will help lay the foundation for West Virginia's economic future,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl. “Together they are creating jobs, building economic momentum, and proving that Appalachia is America’s next great investment opportunity.”

The EDA investment announced today will help RCBI provide workforce training opportunities in advanced manufacturing and technical assistance to more than 300 supply chain companies and area manufacturers. As part of the Marshall University’s collaboration with Advantage Valley, it will also link local companies with resources to assist in supply chain and prototype development through six Appalachian Hatchery Power centers.

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 makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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