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Program # of Grants EDA Funds
Economic Adjustment Assistance 1 $1,165,265
Public Works 5 $4,557,877
Regional Innovation Strategies 3 $1,500,000
Planning 18 $1,440,900
3 $765,886
Total 30 $9,429,928

Located in Union, Missouri, approximately 50 miles west of downtown St. Louis, East Central College (ECC) in Franklin County serves all or part of eight counties with a total population of nearly 250,000. Classified as part of the St. Louis Region by the Missouri Department of Economic Development, ECC’s service region has a high concentration of manufacturers that continually need a skilled workforce.

Two Regional Planning Commissions and the Franklin County Commission adopted Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS) which targeted the most severe problems in the region —low family incomes, low educational levels, and low paying positions— and found that the most effective way to mitigate these problems was through the retention and creation of high wage jobs in manufacturing. In order to achieve this goal, the region needed an increased supply of training and workforce development solutions to those seeking employment in high demand, high skill, and high wage fields.

In 2015, EDA invested $1.2 million in Public Works funds to renovate and expand of the existing Gala Event Center on the campus of ECC to create the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Workforce Training. The renovated center will provide additional lab and classroom space to accommodate increased student demand for apprenticeships and skills development in the advanced manufacturing workforce training programs. With this expansion, the Center will support the implementation of new, innovative programs such as tooling and die casting, industrial maintenance, and welding, along with two new apprenticeship programs in machining and industrial maintenance. The project will also increase access for employers to a skilled workforce enabling them to increase productivity and sustain economic growth.

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