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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.2 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Boost Entrepreneurial Growth and Job Creation Efforts in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania

Award is Part of the Department of Commerce’s $300 million Coal Communities Commitment

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.2 million grant to Juniata College, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, to renovate and expand the capacity of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This project will renovate the third floor of the Center, providing new office space for use by several diverse local businesses. This EDA grant will be matched with $290,000 in local funds and is expected to create or retain 25 jobs and generate $145,000 in private investment.

“President Biden supports community-led efforts to diversify and grow regional economies,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment will help meet the critical demand for additional office space and will attract and grow new businesses that can help diversify the local economy.”

“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in supporting locally-developed strategies designed to stimulate entrepreneurial activity,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project is part of EDA’s Coal Communities Commitment and will provide support as the local economy seeks to diversify and create new, good-paying jobs.”

“I’m grateful that the Biden Administration shares my commitment to supporting the small, diverse businesses that power our economy in Pennsylvania while simultaneously creating new, good-paying jobs,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “I look forward to seeing this community revitalized through this investment.”

“As our economy continues to recover from the pandemic, it is more important than ever to invest in our local businesses of the future,” said Senator Bob Casey. “This grant will provide essential funding to Juniata College’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, strengthening the local economy in the short term and equipping young entrepreneurs with the resources they need to grow their businesses in the future. By investing in our young professionals, we can put Pennsylvania and the Nation on the road to economic recovery.”

This project is funded under EDA’s American Rescue Plan Economic Adjustment Assistance program, which makes $500 million in Economic Adjustment Assistance grants available to American communities. The Economic Adjustment Assistance program is EDA’s most flexible program, and grants made under this program will help hundreds of communities across the nation plan, build, innovate, and put people back to work through construction or non-construction projects designed to meet local needs.

EDA’s Coal Communities Commitment allocates $300 million of EDA’s $3 billion American Rescue Plan appropriation to support coal communities as they recover from the pandemic and to help them create new jobs and opportunities, including through the creation or expansion of a new industry sector. Specifically, EDA has dedicated $100 million of its Build Back Better Regional Challenge funds and $200 million of its Economic Adjustment Assistance funds to directly support coal communities.

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 invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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