U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $4 Million to Boost Workforce Development Efforts in Panola County, Mississippi
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $4 million grant to Panola County, Mississippi, to renovate a former outlet mall building for use as a workforce training center that will serve North Mississippi.
This project will help establish the Concourse, a vocational and technical training facility that will work to meet local employers’ existing and future workforce needs. The EDA investment will be matched with $2 million in local funds and is expected to help retain 350 job and generate $11 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.
“The Biden Administration is committed to creating new opportunities for workers throughout the United States,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment will support Panola County as it works to expand workforce development programs and ensure that residents have the skills they need to compete for good-paying jobs.”
“The Economic Development Administration is pleased to support Panola County as it works to diversify and grow the region’s economy,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “The Concourse will be an important asset in growing the region’s capacity to provide the critical vocational training programs that businesses and workers in the region need to compete.”
“The leadership in Panola County, North Delta Planning and Development District, and Northwest Community College have worked toward this goal for several years, and I’m pleased with the opportunities this project will create to strengthen job retention and job creation in this region,” said Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith. “I appreciate that public-private resources being used to bring this project to fruition, and I look forward to it becoming fully operational.”
“I am pleased to support the work that the Economic Development Administration is achieving to help South Panola County,” said Congressman Bennie G. Thompson (MS-02). “The EDA project will help the area by renovating an old outlet mall and transforming it into a workforce training center. The work that EDA is achieving is amazing and phenomenal. This investment will give the businesses the growth that is needed.”
This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the North Delta Planning and Development District, Inc. (NDPDD). EDA funds NDPDD 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.