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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Support Healthcare Workforce Training in Jena, Louisiana

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2 million grant to LaSalle General Hospital (LGH), Jena, Louisiana, for building renovations in support of healthcare workforce training. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This project will create a Healthcare Workforce Training room, to train additional healthcare professionals and technicians and grow the healthcare workforce in the area. This EDA grant will be matched with $717,932 in local funds and is expected to create 30 jobs, retain 40 jobs, and generate $1.3 million in private investment.

“President Biden’s American Rescue Plan offers direct relief to American communities as they work to respond to and recover from the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment will enable LaSalle General Hospital to broaden its healthcare training offerings and produce a skilled healthcare workforce.”

“The Economic Development Administration works hand-in-hand with communities to develop locally-driven investments to create stronger, more resilient regional economies,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This EDA investment will renovate LaSalle General Hospital to support the health needs of the region and accommodate a larger healthcare workforce training program, preparing people in the community for quality, high-paying jobs.”

“We’re grateful to Pres. Biden and his administration for this investment in LaSalle General Hospital, which will help bolster economic recovery in the area,” said Governor John Bel Edwards. “Throughout the pandemic, healthcare workers have made great personal and professional sacrifices and they continue to do so. We need to do all that we can to provide more opportunities for more people to train in this noble and life-saving profession. It is a worthwhile investment that will provide benefits now and for future generations.”

“I’m proud to support smart, targeted investments in our future. As we saw throughout the pandemic, Louisiana needs a robust healthcare workforce in our rural communities,” said Congresswoman Julia Letlow (LA-05). “This federal commitment to LaSalle Parish will help build a pipeline of talented medical professionals and improve care for our region.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Kisatchie-Delta Regional Planning & Development District (KDPDD). EDA funds KDPDD 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.

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.

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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