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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.9 Million for Water Infrastructure Improvements Needed to Boost Manufacturing and Create New Jobs in Eastern Kentucky

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.9 million grant to the Pike County Fiscal Court, Pikeville, Kentucky, to construct water and sewer infrastructure at Wolfpit Industrial Park to support the growth of Eastern Kentucky’s manufacturing sector. This EDA grant, to be matched with $467,303 in local funds, is expected generate $1 million in private investment.

“President Biden is committed to rebuilding American manufacturing and creating new, well-paying jobs for our workers,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment will provide critical water and sewer services to boost Eastern Kentucky’s capacity to support current and future manufacturing needs and create new job opportunities for Kentucky workers.”

“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in ensuring that our communities are provided with the resources they need to diversify and grow their economies,” said Dennis Alvord, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This project will provide the reliable water and sewer service necessary to support the local manufacturing sector, including those involved in metal works and the production of biomedical equipment, enabling a more diversified and resilient economy.”

“To build a better Kentucky and sprint out of this pandemic, we need to make bold investments in every corner of the commonwealth,” said Governor Andy Beshear. “These federal dollars ensure that Eastern Kentucky will have the infrastructure needed to provide clean water to all families in the region. The funding will also foster job creation and economic growth through our continued investment in the manufacturing industry.”

“Today’s announcement is great news for my constituents in Pike County,” said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who reached out to EDA on behalf of Pike County’s grant application. “I am proud to have supported the county’s application to EDA for the Wolfpit Industrial Site. This project will create new jobs and provide a boost to a region that experienced the loss of coal industry jobs. I’m hopeful that important projects like this one will not only help these former miners get back on their feet, but that they can also help diversify the region and encourage economic growth.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Big Sandy Area Development District (BSADD) which EDA funds. BSADD brings 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) program, through which EDA awards funds on a competitive basis to assist communities severely impacted by the declining use of coal through activities and programs that support economic diversification, job creation, capital investment, workforce development, and re-employment opportunities.

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.

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