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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2.5 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Support Workforce Development and Tourism in Johnstown, Pennsylvania

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 a $2.5 million grant to the Center for Metal Arts, Inc. (CMA), Johnstown, Pennsylvania, to increase capacity for workforce training and tourism opportunities by upgrading three National Historic Landmark structures at the former Cambria Iron & Steel site. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan and EDA’s $300 million Coal Communities Commitment.

This project will provide space to expand workforce development and education in the metalworks industry and increase heritage tourism opportunity. This EDA grant will be matched with $3.5 million in state and other federal funds and is expected to create 191 jobs, retain 38 jobs and generate $350,000 in private investment.

“The Biden Administration is committed to creating new opportunities for workers throughout the United States,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment will support the Center for Metal Arts as it expands and improves workforce development programs to ensure residents have the skills they need to compete for good-paying jobs.”

“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 Center for Metal Arts with the resources it needs to meet the needs of its vocational training programs and drive visitors to the region.”

“I’m so pleased to see this significant investment the Center for Metal Arts, Inc. This funding recognizes the center’s good work in Johnstown and will undoubtedly help train more workers and support tourism,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “I’m grateful to the Biden Administration’s ongoing commitment to invest in our workforce and the important local programs that are training and educating workers.”

“I’m proud to see the great work being done in cooperation between the Economic Development Administration and the Johnstown community to revitalize historic structures at the Cambria Iron & Steel site,” said Congressman John Joyce (PA-13). “The jobs and tourism that this project will bring to our area will be an important part of Johnstown for years to come.”

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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