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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $911,708 in American Rescue Plan Funds to Support West Virginia Small Satellite Center of Excellence

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

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $911,708 grant to West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, to support the West Virginia Small Satellite Center of Excellence (WVSSCE). This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan and EDA’s $300 million Coal Communities Commitment.

This project will support WVSSCE in the development of software verification and validation testing for small satellites. This EDA grant will be matched with $269,492 in local funds, and is expected to help create 15 jobs, retain 30 jobs and generate $269,492 in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

“The Economic Development Administration is pleased to support locally-driven strategies to boost recovery efforts in West Virginia,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This EDA investment will provide important support to the West Virginia Small Satellite Center of Excellence, enhancing its ability to service commercial, academic, and government satellite users, and ultimately growing local economic diversity and resilience.”

“I can’t thank the EDA enough for its continued commitment to our great state,” said Governor Jim Justice. “I truly believe that our people at WVU are some of our nation’s best and brightest, and this funding will allow these great Mountaineer minds to shine even brighter – not to mention the positive effects this will have on our workforce and economy by adding more jobs and investment in Morgantown. It’s a win for everybody and I could not be happier.”

“The American Rescue Plan continues to deliver critical investments for our communities that spur economic development and create good-paying, long-term jobs,” said Senator Joe Manchin. “I’m pleased the EDA is supporting the development of software testing through the West Virginia Small Satellite Center of Excellence, which builds on the incredible work of NASA’s Katherine Johnson Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) Facility and the West Virginia Robotics Technology Center nearby, as well as the launch of West Virginia’s first satellite into space four years ago. I look forward to seeing the positive impacts of this funding for the Morgantown regional economy.”

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. Effective May 26, 2022, EDA has officially closed all of its American Rescue Plan programs for applications. The $3 billion program funding will be awarded on a rolling basis through September 30, 2022.

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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