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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $5.4 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Support Workforce Development and the Performing Arts in Elkins, West Virginia

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

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $5.4 million grant to the Randolph County Development Authority, Elkins, West Virginia, to support construction of a 16,000-square foot building to serve as a conference and events center and workforce development facility. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This grant will create a multi-purpose facility featuring a theater environment for various performances along with more flexible, open space, designed to host workforce development sessions, trade shows, and business conferences. This EDA grant will be matched with $1.3 million in state funds and is expected to create or retain 100 jobs, 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 Raimondo. “This EDA investment will generate local entertainment revenue while also facilitating hands-on training in a modern, innovative space, creating new economic opportunity and jobs in the region.”

“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in supporting local economic development strategies designed to boost regional economic growth and resiliency,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project is part of EDA’s Coal Communities Commitment and will bring new business and entrepreneurial opportunities to the region.”

“West Virginia continues to see the benefits of critical American Rescue Plan investments that drive economic development and create good-paying, long-term jobs,” said Senator Joe Manchin. “I’m pleased the EDA is supporting this new multipurpose facility in Elkins to strengthen the local economy and boost the entertainment and tourism industries across the region. I look forward to seeing the positive impacts of this funding for years to come, and I will continue working with the EDA to support economic growth across the Mountain State.”

“I am pleased to see that Randolph Country has received this EDA grant to construct a multi-purpose facility as a hub for business conferences and events,” said Congressman Alex X. Mooney (WV-02). “This funding will help boost local business establishments in Elkins by providing vital economic opportunities and 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. 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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