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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2.65 Million to Boost Business Growth and Workforce Development Efforts in West Virginia

HUNTINGTON, W.VA. – Today, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo announced that the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $2.65 million in grants to support business development and workforce training efforts in West Virginia.

These awards are a great example of what communities can do under EDA’s new American Rescue Plan programs; particularly the $300 million Coal Communities Commitment. This investment will ensure that coal communities have the resources they need to recover from the pandemic and will help create new jobs and opportunities, including through the development or expansion of a new industry sector.

“President Biden is committed to supporting communities as they recover and build back better from the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and work to diversify and expand their economies,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “The EDA investments announced today will provide critical technical assistance needed to grow West Virginia businesses and deliver the technical and entrepreneurial training that West Virginians need to create new business and fill in-demand jobs. EDA is excited to continue to make these types of investments as we implement our American Rescue Plan programs, including our Coal Communities Commitment.”

“The EDA has been an invaluable partner to West Virginia, creating jobs and stimulating economic growth in distressed communities across the state. I am thrilled EDA is investing $2.65 million in three programs to create jobs, train workers and spur economic development in the Mountain State,” said Senator Joe Manchin. “EDA is following through on their commitment to support and invest in coal communities through funding from the American Rescue Plan. I will continue to work with the EDA to advocate for smart investments like these so West Virginians can build a brighter economic future right here at home.”

“EDA investment into West Virginia is critical as we work to recover from the pandemic and build the foundation for a stronger economy in the future,” said Senator Shelley Moore Capito. “The funding announced today will not only help retain jobs, but also create new opportunities in the manufacturing, health, and technology sectors. As Ranking Member of the EPW Committee, which oversees the EDA, I will continue working to support the infrastructure, workforce, and industries needed for a dynamic American economy.”

The EDA investments announced today are:

  • Advantage Valley, Inc., Charleston, West Virginia, will receive a $1.3 million grant to provide technical assistance to manufacturing, engineering, and other businesses in a nine-county region to build their client bases by connecting them with new external markets and expand regional supply chains. This EDA grant will be matched with $348,000 in local funds and is expected to help create 143 jobs, retain 184 jobs and generate $10.7 million in private investment.
  • Generation West Virginia, Charleston, West Virginia, will receive a $762,350 grant to expand its NewForce program, a tuition-free, remote, team-based intensive tech training program that equips graduates with in-demand software development skills and direct access to in-demand jobs. This EDA grant, to be matched with $260,520 in local funds, is expected to create 81 jobs and generate $600,000 in private investment.
  • Future of Nursing West Virginia, Charleston, West Virginia, will receive a $592,000 grant to expand the West Virginia Nursing Entrepreneur Program, to give nurses the skills they need to launch health-related businesses. The project, to be matched with $148,000 in local funds, is expected to create 500 jobs, retain 70 jobs and generate $10 million in private investment.

The Advantage Valley, Inc., project is being funded under the Assistance to Coal Communities (ACC) initiative, through which EDA awards funds on a competitive basis to assist communities severely impacted by the declining use of coal. ACC projects support economic diversification, job creation, capital investment, workforce development, and re-employment opportunities.

The Generation West Virginia and Future of Nursing West Virginia projects are being funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Public Law 116-136 PDF), which provided EDA with $1.5 billion for economic assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program, provides a wide range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

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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