CHARLESTON, W.Va. – U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee and member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), also a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced a series of economic development grants totaling $7,049,375 for eight projects throughout the state. Funding is provided by the Economic Development Administration (EDA).
“When I was first elected to the Senate, I noticed West Virginia really wasn’t getting enough economic development funding from the EDA,” Senator Capito said. “After speaking with EDA leadership directly and securing a commitment from the EDA to reprioritize rural communities often lacking access to capital, today West Virginia is finally getting its fair share to build an ecosystem for entrepreneurship where small businesses and communities can thrive. I was glad to host Assistant Secretary Fleming today in West Virginia to announce these grants, which will provide much-needed support to projects in every corner of our state.”
“I am glad to see that the Economic Development Administration (EDA) is supporting West Virginia by investing in our regional economies and infrastructure which is essential to creating good paying jobs, boosting economic development and improving the lives of all residents and businesses across West Virginia. I truly believe West Virginians are the most dedicated and hardworking individuals and through these investments that create jobs, our people will be able to prove it. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I will continue to fight for federal funding that strengthens and diversifies our economy, and supports West Virginians and their goals,” said Senator Manchin.
Senator Capito and EDA Assistant Secretary John Fleming held an event in Putnam County today where they officially announced these project investments.
Individual awards and details are listed below:
· The city of Philippi will receive $2 million to extend exiting sewer infrastructure approximately three miles along U.S. Routes 119/250 to serve the Arch Coal Sentinel/Leer South mine. The grant, to be matched with $500,000 in local funds, is expected to help create 150 jobs, retain 450 jobs, and spur $360 million in private investment. The new state-of-the art long-wall mining operation will directly support the growing domestic steel production sector in addition to expanding exporting to meet the global need in the coking and thermal industry markets. The project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by Region 7 Planning and Development Council.
· The Pocahontas Public Service District in Bartow will receive $1.5 million to make sanitary sewer infrastructure improvements needed to help the county’s largest manufacturer, Inter-State Hardwoods, expand into a new 50,000 square-foot facility. The improved sewer infrastructure will also serve approximately six additional businesses. The grant, to be matched with $900,000 in state funds and $600,000 in other federal funding, is expected to help create 60 jobs, retain 153 jobs and spur $3.5 million in private investment. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Region 4 Planning and Development Council (PDC). EDA funds the Region 4 PDC 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.
· The town of Capon Bridge will receive $1.2 million to support the growth of the manufacturing sector by provide sewer infrastructure to serve the Capon Bridge Business and Technology Park. The grant, to be matched with $1 million in state funds and $300,500 in local funds, is expected to help create 43 jobs, retain 23 jobs, and generate $2.6 million in private investment. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Region 8 PDC.
· The Putnam Public Service District in Scott Depot will receive $860,000 to make sewer service improvements needed to support a state-of-the-art service and parts center for high-end commercial and vocational trucks. The grant, to be matched with $215,000 in local funds, is expected to help create 20 jobs, retain 20 jobs, and generate $5 million in private investment. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Regional Intergovernmental Council.
· The Business Development Corporation (BDC) of the Northern Panhandle in Weirton will receive $750,000 to purchase the equipment for 20 welding booths that will enable the BDC and West Virginia Community Technical College to provide an industry-supported 20-week welding training program to assist the region with filling a critical employment shortage. The grant, to be matched with $590,000 in state funding, is expected to help create 208 jobs and generate $8.3 million in private investment. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Brooke-Hancock Planning and Development Council.
· The West Virginia Coalition for Technology Based Economic Development in South Charleston will receive $500,000 to help launch the TechWrx West Virginia entrepreneurial development initiative, which will provide an entrepreneur development and assessment tool, stage entrepreneurial expos that will benefit 40 counties, and provide enhanced commercialization opportunities for regional entrepreneurs. The project also includes Opportunity Zone training for entrepreneurs and startups. The grant, to be matched with $125,000 in state funds, is expected to help create 25 jobs, retain 50 jobs, and generate $2 million in private investment.
· The Eastern Panhandle Regional Planning and Development Council in Martinsburg will receive $150,000 to design and engineer roadway and other infrastructure improvements needed to open 526 acres of land to manufacturing and commercial entities while also accommodating the expansion plans of the local community college. The grant will be matched with $150,000 in local funds.
· Marshall University Research Corporation in Huntington will receive $57,375 to enable the Robert C. Byrd Institute to complete a regional workforce analysis for 23 counties in central and southern West Virginia. The analysis will specifically focus on the diversification of the economy that has declined as a result of the downturn in the coal industry. The grant, to be matched with $57,375 in local funds, is expected to generate $54,875 in private investment through Appalachian Power’s commitment to the project.