- Assistance to Coal Communities
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2.1 million grant to the city of Batesville, Arkansas, to make critical infrastructure at the city’s industrial park.
This grant will construct roads, water, and sewer infrastructure to support expansion and business development at the industrial park. This EDA investment will be matched with $526,275 in local funds and is expected to create 200 jobs and generate $30 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.
“The Biden Administration is committed to ensuring that our communities are provide with the resources they need to diversify and grow their economies,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment will support Batesville as it transitions away from a coal-centric economy and creates quality, sustainable jobs.”
“EDA is pleased to support Batesville’s plans to expand its industrial park,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “The improvements will support business growth and development, creating a strong, diverse regional economy.”
“You don’t need to look any farther than Batesville’s industrial park to know that this community is thriving,” said Governor Asa Hutchinson. “The $2.1 million will support Batesville’s continued growth as leaders build the infrastructure at the industrial park, which will attract more industry and create even more jobs.”
This project is funded under the Assistance to Coal Communities (ACC) initiative, through which EDA awards funds on a competitive basis to assist communities severely impacted by the declining use of coal. ACC projects support economic diversification, job creation, capital investment, workforce development, and re-employment opportunities.
This award is a great example of what communities can do under EDA’s American Rescue Plan programs; particularly the $300 million Coal Communities Commitment. This investment will ensure that coal communities have the resources they need to recover from the pandemic and will help create new jobs and opportunities, including through the development or expansion of a new industry sector.
This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the White River Planning & Development District (WRPDD). EDA funds WRPDD to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.
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.