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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $4.5 Million to Boost Workforce Training Efforts in Mid-Missouri Region

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $4.5 million grant to the Southern Boone County R-1 School District, Ashland, Missouri, to construct the Ranken-Ashland Skilled Trade Training Facility, a construction trade and medical services workforce development training center in mid-Missouri. This EDA project, to be matched with $2.9 million in local funds, is expected to create 163 jobs and generate $9 million in private investment.

“President Biden is committed to helping communities affected by natural disasters to create new opportunities for workforce development,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment will allow the Southern Boone County R-1 School District and Ranken Technical College to create a new workforce development training center to enhance educational and career opportunities to support and accommodate regional economic growth.”

“The mid-Missouri region was hit hard by devastating flooding and tornadoes in 2019,” said Dennis Alvord, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This project will construct a 21,000 square foot building and expand the street to create the new facility, which will produce a highly-skilled, qualified labor force for the six-county area creating a more resilient regional economy.”

“Now more than ever, Missouri needs skilled, resilient workers to help move our economy forward, and workforce training facilities are a critical part of this,” said Governor Mike Parson. “This project is another great example of what we can accomplish when education, government, and the private sector work together, and we look forward to the opportunities it will bring to our students and surrounding communities.”

“Today, there’s a gap between industries that need high-skilled workers and the number of trained workers available,” said Senator Roy Blunt. “This grant will help ensure mid-Missouri has the highly-skilled workforce it needs to recover from the 2019 natural disasters and to create long-term economic growth in the region. I’m glad to see funding provided by Congress continues to support hard-working Missourians and their families.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Mid-Missouri Regional Planning Commission (RPC), which EDA funds to help 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.

This project is funded by the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 (Pub. L. 116-20) (PDF), which provided EDA with $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program (PDF) Program funds for disaster relief and recovery for areas affected by Hurricanes Florence, Michael, and Lane, Typhoons Yutu and Mangkhut, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, and other major natural disasters occurring in calendar year 2018, and tornadoes and floods occurring in calendar year 2019, under the Robert T. Stafford Act. Please visit EDA’s Disaster Supplemental webpage for more information.

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 makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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