U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $8.5 Million in American Recue Plan Funds to Boost Business Growth in Kentucky
Award is Part of the Department of Commerce’s $300 million Coal Communities Commitment
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is investing $8.5 million in the state of Kentucky to develop critical infrastructure and other resources needed to support current and future business needs in regions which have been impacted by the declining use of coal. These grants are funded by the American Rescue Plan and EDA’s $300 million Coal Communities Commitment.
The EDA investments announced today are:
- The University of Pikeville, Pikeville, Kentucky, will receive a $4.4 million grant to support construction of the UPIKE Ag-Tech Innovation Center of Excellence, an ag-tech research and education center to be located at the Kentucky Enterprise Industrial Park at Marion Branch in Pikeville. The project will be matched with $5.75 million in local funds.
- The Wayne County Fiscal Court, Monticello, Kentucky, will receive a $4.1 million grant to support construction of a natural gas line to serve the city of Monticello. The project will be matched with $2.3 million in local funds and is expected to create or retain 254 jobs, and generate $30,000 in private investment, according to grantee estimates.
“President Biden is dedicated to supporting communities as they seek to create new opportunities to spur business growth and create jobs,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “These EDA investments will provide the modern infrastructure and other resources needed to support the growth of new and existing enterprises in a state that has been impacted by the declining use of coal.”
“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in supporting locally-developed strategies designed to create economic opportunity,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “EDA is pleased to assist the University of Pikeville and Wayne County as they work to provide the infrastructure and other resources that local businesses need to grow and thrive.”
“These projects highlight the transformational investments we are seeing throughout our commonwealth,” said Governor Andy Beshear. “Eastern Kentucky is quickly becoming the nation’s hub for agritech innovation, and by expanding and improving our infrastructure, we will continue to bring jobs and prosperity to every corner of this state.”
“Tapping into our natural gas is a great way for Wayne County to open new doors of economic opportunity in the Lake Cumberland region, while also providing affordable energy for local families and businesses,” said Congressman Hal Rogers (KY-05). “As we work to revitalize southern and eastern Kentucky, infrastructure improvements like this play a vital role in future business recruitment and opportunities in our rural region. I applaud the EDA for investing in this worthy project.”
This project is funded under EDA’s American Rescue Plan Economic Adjustment Assistance program, which makes $500 million in Economic Adjustment Assistance grants available to American communities. The Economic Adjustment Assistance program is EDA’s most flexible program, and grants made under this program will help hundreds of communities across the nation plan, build, innovate, and put people back to work through construction or non-construction projects designed to meet local needs.
EDA’s Coal Communities Commitment allocates $300 million of EDA’s $3 billion American Rescue Plan appropriation to support coal communities as they recover from the pandemic and to help them create new jobs and opportunities, including through the creation or expansion of a new industry sector. Specifically, EDA has dedicated $100 million of its Build Back Better Regional Challenge funds and $200 million of its Economic Adjustment Assistance funds to directly support coal communities.
These projects were made possible by the regional planning efforts of the Big Sandy Area Development District and the Lake Cumberland Area Development District, respectively. EDA funds the Big Sandy Area Development District and the Lake Cumberland Area Development District 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.
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.