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July 2018

Spotlight: Ranken Technical College Breaks Ground on New Manufacturing Building, Offering Modern Manufacturing Skills, New Ideas, Technologies, and Enterprises for Students

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Supporting American manufacturing is a major priority for the Trump Administration.

As the President has said, “Made in America is more than a label or a product… It’s a stamp of excellence. It’s a badge of honor and a tribute to the tremendous skill of the working men and women who design and build these incredible masterpieces and different products of all types.”

In St. Louis, Ranken Technical College is working to ensure that the world’s best products will be Made in America by turning out a steady stream of graduates that provide local manufacturers, including those in the automotive, architecture, construction, electrical, and information technology industries, with the skilled workforce they need to succeed.

To support this critical local asset, last year EDA invested $2.3 million in Ranken to build an incubator facility that will support the region’s manufacturing sector by providing pre-apprentice and apprenticeship workforce training and encouraging entrepreneurial start-ups.

Last fall, construction commenced on a new 26,000 square-foot building to house Ranken's Manufacturing, Inc. incubator. Manufacturing, Inc. is designed to engage local manufacturing partners, provide students with work experience, industrial training and certifications, college credits and/or a part-time salary. EDA’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regional Affairs Dennis Alvord joined St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and Ranken Technical College officials for the groundbreaking ceremony.

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Success Story: Excel Boats Rebuilds Manufacturing Center in Mountain View, Arkansas After Tornado Devastation

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Excel Boats

Excel Boats manufactures a full line of high-end aluminum boats for outdoor recreational enthusiasts. The company is headquartered in Mountain View, Arkansas, approximately 70 miles north of Little Rock.

In 2009, a tornado devastated another Arkansas boat manufacturer: Rivertrail Boat Company of Clinton. All production was closed down and over 30 employees lost their jobs due to the natural disaster.

Glenn Foreman, the American business owner and entrepreneur who owns Excel, bought the company and developed an available space in Mountain View to expand his manufacturing capacity.

A $200,000 EDA Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) loan from White River Planning and Development District helped Foreman renovate the deserted Mountain View facility into a top-of-the-line boat manufacturing facility. The RLF loan also provided funding for tooling, a forklift, fixtures, working capital and inventory.

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Highlight: EDA Supports U.S. Job Creation Efforts in the Flooring Manufacturing Sector

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EDA DAS-RA Alvord (second from left) and U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (center) at the Randolph County Development Authority grant announcement event

Last year, EDA invested $2.5 million in Assistance to Coal Communities 2017 (ACC 2017) funds in the Randolph County Development Authority of West Virginia to help expand the Armstrong Flooring manufacturing facility in Beverly.

Armstrong Flooring is American-made, using hardwoods sourced in Appalachia for their consistency and stability. Opened in 1989, the Beverly facility produces oak, hickory, and maple pre-finished hardwood flooring and is the largest pre-finished hardwood flooring plant in the country. Today, the Beverly facility serves as the company’s new east coast distribution center. As a result, Armstrong Flooring is expected to create 50 new jobs, retain 60 existing jobs and invest an additional $16.2 million in private investment into the project.

In further support of the nation’s critical flooring manufacturing sector, EDA and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) recently announced a joint $1.2 million investment to the city of Chickamauga, Georgia, to make critical upgrades to the water system serving a flooring manufacturing factory. Known as the “Carpet Capital of the World,” 85 percent of all carpet manufactured in the United States comes from the region.

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Reminder Fiscal Year 2018 Disaster Supplemental Funding Available

Please visit EDA’s Disaster Supplemental Funding page for more.


EDA Publishes FY 2018 Economic Development Assistance Programs (EDAP) Funding Opportunity

EDA has published the Fiscal Year 2018 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for its Economic Development Assistance Programs. Under this NOFO, EDA is soliciting applications in order to provide investments that support construction, non-construction, planning, technical assistance, and revolving loan fund projects under EDA’s Public Works program and Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) programs. It also includes $30 million in Assistance to Coal Communities.


Nashville Entrepreneur Center Helps Region Recover from Flooding

EDA DAS-RA Alvord Visits the Nashville Entrepreneur Center on July 13

The Nashville Entrepreneur Center is a great example of an EDA project which supports local plans to advance their economic revitalization and resiliency efforts following a natural disaster. Learn how they did it!


EDA at SelectUSA

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regional Affairs Dennis Alvord and Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin

At the SelectUSA Conference last month, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin mentioned that EDA support of a regional strategy to attract Foreign Direct Investment to rural Oklahoma helped attract a major paper company. Italian paper manufacturing company Sofidel has invested $360 million to develop their manufacturing facility in Inola, creating 300 U.S. jobs. The Governor’s comments came during a press conference to announce the release of a Department of Commerce report analyzing the benefits of FDI projects in rural America (PDF).


STL Partnership Business Center at Wellston Expands

The St. Louis Economic Development Partnership held a successful press conference and ribbon-cutting to celebrate the expansion of the STL Partnership Business Center at Wellston. After a year of construction, the Center has doubled in size. EDA invested $2 million to help complete Phase 2 of the building.


EDA’s FY 2017 Annual Report Now Available

Check out this account of the agency’s activities from last year and see how we are working to support local strategies that generate new jobs, retain existing jobs, and attract private investment.

View EDA's FY 2017 Annual Report.


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EDA in the News!

James Sprunt Community College workforce training facility to bring new jobs to ENC
(WITN.com, 7/6/2018)

Johnson City Water and Sewer receives two infrastructure grants totaling $1.9 million
(Johnson City Press, 7/5/2018)

Bishop Paiute Tribe awarded grant for retail center
(Sierra Wave Media, 7/1/2018)

Waukegan gets $2.1M in federal grants for road and water work, including at least 2 projects on lakefront
(Chicago Tribune, (7/7/2018)

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