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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2.5 Million to Enhance Workforce Competitiveness and Manufacturing Resiliency in Virginia

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2.5 million grant to the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR), Danville, Virginia, to purchase equipment needed to support advanced manufacturing workforce training initiatives. This EDA grant, to be matched with more than $2.5 million in local investment, is expected to create more than 400 jobs, retain 800 jobs, and spur $83.5 million in private investment.

“President Biden is committed to revitalizing our domestic manufacturing capacity to keep our nation competitive and create good-paying jobs for the American people,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment in the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research will equip their Center for Manufacturing Advancement to boost their capacity to build a work-ready pipeline of highly skilled workers.”

“The Economic Development Administration is pleased to support the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research as they continue to support the region’s economic development needs and objectives,” said Dennis Alvord, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This project will allow for the growth of a more highly-skilled regional workforce that will be able to retool and integrate modern strategies into factories to automate systems and operations to include digital factories monitored and controlled remotely.”

“With this new grant opportunity, Danville will continue to be a national leader in workforce development, specifically in advanced manufacturing,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “Because of the strong programs at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, we can continue to grow our current businesses and recruit new ones to the region to strengthen our economy.”

“I’ve seen firsthand the invaluable manufacturing workforce and training programs the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research provides for Virginians,” said Senator Mark R. Warner. “That’s why I’m thrilled to announce that these federal dollars will go towards ensuring that the Institute can continue to provide critical skills and hands on training to better prepare Virginians for the jobs of tomorrow. This is not only an investment in our future workforce, but a long-term economic investment in the region.”

“Danville’s Institute for Advanced Learning and Research has been at the forefront of innovative job creation and training in advanced manufacturing, agriculture, and STEM fields,” said Senator Tim Kaine. “As a strong supporter of EDA funding, I am glad to see the Department of Commerce’s investment, which will allow IALR to continue driving economic transformation in Danville and the region.”

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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