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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $5 Million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance to Support Construction of a New Asphalt Plant in Puerto Rico

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $5 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to Jayuya, Puerto Rico, for infrastructure upgrades in support of a new municipal asphalt plant.

This project will create jobs through the development of infrastructure necessary for construction of the new asphalt plant. This EDA grant, to be matched with $1.3 million in local funds, is expected to create 75 jobs, according to grantee estimates.

“President Biden is committed to harnessing the full power of the federal government to ensure our nation not only recovers from this pandemic, but builds a stronger America,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment will not only create jobs in the region but will also keep municipal roads in optimal condition.”

“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in supporting community-led economic development strategies designed to boost coronavirus recovery and response efforts,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will provide the necessary infrastructure, including road access, energy, and water, as well as specialized equipment for construction of the new plant, bringing long-term economic stability to the region.”

“We thank the Biden-Harris administration for their continued support of longstanding recovery efforts after the hardships of the pandemic and natural disasters,” said Governor Pedro R. Pierluisi. “We hope to continue working with EDA to keep advancing economic development initiatives on the island that would positively impact the lives of millions of Puerto Ricans.”

“This $5 million federal investment will provide the municipality of Jayuya with much need resources for the repair of significantly damaged roads, while creating jobs and promoting economic development in the region,” said Congresswoman Jenniffer González-Colón (PR-01). “On an Island where the common means of transportation, especially on rural areas, is by automobile, road access is crucial. The aftermath of hurricanes Irma and María made even more clear the need to focus on rebuilding the infrastructure across the Island, making it more resilient and lasting. In Congress, I will continue to support federal programs that can help our agencies, mayors, and local entities in accessing necessary funds to achieve a speedy recovery.”

This project is funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Public Law 116-136 PDF), which provided EDA with $1.5 billion for economic assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) (PDF) program, provides a wide-range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

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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