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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $10.2 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Support Infrastructure Improvements in South Carolina

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 $10.2 million in American Rescue Plan Act grants to support South Carolina as it responds to and recovers from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. These grants are funded by the American Rescue Plan and EDA’s $300 million Coal Communities Commitment.

Investments announced today will provide for infrastructure improvements at Greenville’s South Carolina Technology and Aviation Center and the Greenville Spartanburg Airport. The Aviation Center and the Airport are located 20 miles from Anderson County in South Carolina, where two coal-fired units closed in 2014. The area is still recovering from this environmental and job loss impact. These grants are expected to generate more investments and build more resilient automotive and aviation industries to further diversify the regional economy. They will be matched with $9.9 million in local funds.

“President Biden’s American Rescue Plan offers direct relief to American communities as they work to build a better America,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “President Biden and the Department of Commerce are especially focused on supporting coal-reliant communities to develop and maintain diverse, local economies that are resilient to changing economic conditions.”

“The Economic Development Administration is proud to support community-led economic development strategies to boost coronavirus recovery and response efforts,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “Infrastructure improvements at the South Carolina Technology and Aviation Center and the Greenville Spartanburg Airport will support a strong and resilient economy in Greenville.”

The EDA investments announced today are:

  • Greenville Spartanburg Airport District, Greenville, South Carolina, will receive a $5.2 million EDA investment for infrastructure improvements at the Greenville Spartanburg Airport – including expansion of the airport’s apron and the extension of a roadway – to facilitate increased air cargo traffic. The project will be matched with $3.4 million in local funds.
  • South Carolina Technology and Aviation Center, Greenville, South Carolina, will receive a $5 million EDA investment to support the addition of high-speed loop infrastructure to the center’s automotive test track that will enable manufacturers to conduct a variety of vehicle and systems tests. The project will be matched with $6.5 million in local funds.

These projects were made possible by regional planning efforts led by the South Carolina Appalachian Council of Governments (SCACOG). EDA funds SCACOG 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.

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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