U.S. Virgin Islands
|Program||# of Grants||EDA Funds|
|Economic Adjustment Assistance||1||$500,000|
When building a house, you start with a blueprint; when rebuilding your economy, you start with a map. In 2012, the U.S. Virgin Islands’ largest single employer, Hovensa, closed its oil refinery in St. Croix, leaving more than 2,000 people out of work. To deal with this devastating blow, the Territory needed to take stock and locate its assets.
In 2014, EDA awarded $500,000 to assist in the development of a geographic information system (GIS) map of the physical locations of regional assets in Saint Croix. The GIS asset mapping will serve as a critical first step in organizing the resources that can leverage and support integrated workforce and economic development initiatives. Mapping will identify the resources that can be utilized to support economic development goals; lay the foundation for development of a new strategic plan and/or enable the realignment of existing efforts; identify global gaps, redundancies and inefficiencies; identify regional stakeholders leading to aggregate innovative methodology to strengthen the region.
In addition, this project also brings a unique opportunity for collaboration between two universities, Delaware State University and the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI). UVI will assist in the data collection, project team formation, penetration into business and social communities and overall analysis. Delaware State University, an EDA University Center, will use its expertise to evaluate the significance and impact of each major type of regional asset.