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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $3.9 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Build New Hospital and Support Robotics and Manufacturing Workforce Training Facility in Arkansas

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $3.9 million in American Rescue Plan grants to support Arkansas as it recovers from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The EDA investments announced today are:

  • North Arkansas College, Harrison, Arkansas, will receive a $2 million EDA American Rescue Plan grant to construct the Center for Robotics & Manufacturing Innovation, expanding the school’s robotics and manufacturing workforce training programs. The project will be matched with $5.4 million in state and local funds.
  • City of Cabot, Arkansas, will receive a $1.9 million EDA American Rescue Plan grant to construct water, sewer, and road infrastructure to support development of the Unity Health Hospital. The project will be matched with $570,667 in local funds and is expected to create 750 jobs and generate $150 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

“President Biden is committed to providing communities with the resources they need to recover from the pandemic and build a better America in the process,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “These EDA investments will provide new opportunities to expand robotics and manufacturing workforce training programs in Northern Arkansas and support development of a new healthcare facility in Cabot, leading to good-paying jobs for residents across the state.”

“The Economic Development Administration is dedicated to working with communities to support their locally-driven strategies to recover and rebuild from the pandemic,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “The workforce and healthcare-related projects announced today will help create diverse, strong regional economies in Arkansas.”

“The grant for North Arkansas College will expand Harrison’s ability to attract, create, and retain their workforce, and the support provided to the City of Cabot for the development of the Unity Health Hospital will allow more Arkansans to receive critical health care services in their community,” said Governor Asa Hutchinson. “I appreciate the commitment of Secretary Raimondo and the EDA’s assistance for these Arkansas communities.”

These projects were made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Northwest Economic Development District (NWAEDD) and the Capitol Regional Planning and Development District (CAPDD), respectively. EDA funds NWAEDD and CAPDD 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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