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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2.5 Million in American Rescue Act Funds to Support Manufacturing Businesses in Ottawa, Illinois

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 the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2.5 million grant to the city of Ottawa, Illinois, to boost manufacturing by making infrastructure upgrades as part of the East Stevenson Road Improvement Project. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan and EDA’s $300 million Coal Communities Commitment.

This grant will provide roadway and drainage improvements to service current and future manufacturing businesses, helping to diversify the economy of a region impacted by the declining use of coal. The EDA investment will be matched with $2 million in local funds and is expected to create 592 jobs, retain 425 jobs and generate $20 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

“President Biden’s American Rescue Plan offers direct relief to American communities as they work to build a better America for the future,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment will help Ottawa build a stronger, more robust regional economy and boost U.S. competitiveness on the global stage.”

“The Economic Development Administration is pleased to support locally-driven strategies to boost business recovery efforts in Illinois,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This EDA investment will spur economic growth that will give the region a competitive advantage in attracting new manufacturing businesses and jobs – making the local economy more resilient and equipped to overcome future economic disruptions.”

“Infrastructure investments are an invitation for new opportunities to take root in our state, and this $2.5 million grant will support the Ottawa region for years to come,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “I want to thank the White House for their continued partnership in shaping an economy that brings all our communities into the fold.”

“When Democratic leaders in Congress fought to pass the American Rescue Plan, we hoped that its impact would reach every corner of our homes states. Today’s EDA grant will inject new jobs and economic opportunities into the Ottawa region,” said Senator Dick Durbin. “With this new investment, we will see significant improvement in area roadways that will help usher in a new era of prosperity in Illinois.”

“I’m proud to support efforts to rebuild our roads, boost manufacturing, create local jobs and spur economic growth and I’m so pleased that the American Rescue Plan – passed by Democrats – is working to do just that in Ottawa,” said Senator Tammy Duckworth.

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. 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.

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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