U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.6 Million to Support Polymer and Plastic Material Research and Education in Pittsburg, Kansas, Opportunity Zone
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.6 million grant to Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas, to provide instrumentation and equipment to the newly established National Institute for Materials Advancement at the Kansas Polymer Research Center. The EDA grant, to be located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $400,000 in local funds, is expected to create 50 jobs, retain 25 jobs, and generate $2 million in private investment.
“The Trump Administration is committed to helping communities in designated Opportunity Zones create new opportunities for business attraction and growth,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “Pittsburg State University’s new National Institute for Materials Advancement will attract technology-based manufacturing businesses to the region, introducing higher wages and stable job opportunities. The project’s location in an Opportunity Zone will invite additional investment.”
“The four-state region was struck with devastating flooding in 2019,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This project will expand technology-based manufacturing operations to encourage economic diversification throughout the region, and the project’s Opportunity Zone designation will help further transform the regional economy.”
Pittsburg State University is leading the nation in polymer innovation and we’re proud to see their cutting-edge work recognized through this grant,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “My administration is committed to stimulating economic development statewide, and by creating 50 new jobs and generating an estimated $2 million in private investment, this grant will strengthen the Pittsburgh community for years to come.”
“This investment by the EDA in Pittsburg State University will create local jobs and bring critical resources to our state as we work to recover from the economic impact of COVID-19,” said Senator Jerry Moran. “As chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies, I will continue to support the ongoing and important work of the EDA to create economic opportunities in our communities, especially during the ongoing pandemic.”
This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Southeast Kansas Regional Planning Commission, which EDA funds 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 funding announced today goes to one of Kansas’ 74 Opportunity Zones. Created by President Donald J. Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity Zones are spurring economic development in economically-distressed communities nationwide. In June 2019, EDA added Opportunity Zones as an Investment Priority, which increases the number of catalytic Opportunity Zone-related projects that EDA can fund to fuel greater public investment in these areas. To learn more about the Commerce Department’s work in Opportunity Zones, please visit EDA’s Opportunity Zones webpage. To learn more about the Opportunity Zone program, see the Opportunity Now resources webpage. To learn more about Opportunity Zone best practices, see the recently released White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council Report (PDF) to President Trump.
This project is funded by the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 (Pub. L. 116-20) (PDF), which provided EDA with $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program (PDF) Program funds for disaster relief and recovery for areas affected by Hurricanes Florence, Michael, and Lane, Typhoons Yutu and Mangkhut, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, and other major natural disasters occurring in calendar year 2018, and tornadoes and floods occurring in calendar year 2019, under the Robert T. Stafford Act. Please visit EDA’s Disaster Supplemental webpage for more information.
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.