U.S. Commerce Department Invests $1.25 Million to Upgrade Infrastructure and Support Investment in Arkansas
Contact: Public Affairs Department, (202) 482-4085
Tuesday, June 9, 2015
WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.25 million grant to Independence County in Arkansas to upgrade critical infrastructure that will support the expansion of the poultry industry. According to the grantee, the project will create 250 jobs and generate more than $30 million in private investment.
“The Obama Administration and the Commerce Department are committed to improving our nation’s infrastructure, which is crucial for both economic growth and job creation,” said Secretary Pritzker. “The EDA grants announced today support projects that will provide water and road services to Independence County, Arkansas, helping create jobs in the region.”
The poultry industry makes up a significant portion of the region’s economy. When a major employer closed a plant in the area in 2013, local officials worked with the Independence County Economic Development Department to attract another employer. Ozark Mountain Poultry bought the facility in November 2014 and is looking to expand its operations. EDA’s investment will provide critical transportation access and water by helping to construct an access road from the highway to the feed mill site that will be built for heavy truck loads, a rail spur, and a potable water line. According to the grantee, these improvements will enable increased production, which will lead to additional investment for the community in the future.
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 makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.