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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.2 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds for Water Infrastructure Upgrades to Support Business Growth in Monroe County, Ohio

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

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.2 million grant to Monroe Water Systems, Laings, Ohio, to support economic development by relocating and upgrading a 3,700-foot water main in Monroe County. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan and EDA’s $300 million Coal Communities Commitment.

This grant will ensure reliable water service to local businesses and support industrial job growth in Southeastern Ohio, a region impacted by the declining use of coal. The EDA investment will be matched with $350,000 in local funds and is expected to create 35 jobs, retain 50 jobs and generate $2 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to ensuring that our nation’s coal communities and workers are provided the resources they need to transition to new industries.” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment will spur economic diversification and build a more robust regional economy in Southeastern Ohio.”

“The Economic Development Administration is pleased to partner with local communities on their locally driven plans to boost economic recovery efforts,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This EDA award will provide reliable water service that will allow Monroe County businesses to expand their operations and draw new employers to the region to create jobs.”

“Ohio’s communities face a heavy burden when having to pay for upgrades to local infrastructure,” said Senator Sherrod Brown. “Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, these funds will help Monroe County provide businesses with improved water infrastructure while creating jobs and attracting new investment to the community.”

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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