U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2.5 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Boost High Speed Internet Connectivity in Southwest Louisiana
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2.5 million grant to Lafayette City Parish Consolidated Government dba LUS Fiber, Lafayette, Louisiana, to establish high-speed internet connectivity in support of business and job growth in Jennings, Louisiana. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.
This project will construct ten miles of conduit and fiber optic cable to connect the medical and business district in Jennings. The EDA investment will be matched with $617,500 in local funds and is expected to create or retain 250 jobs and generate $618,705 in private investment, according to grantee estimates.
“President Biden is committed to harnessing the full power of the federal government to ensure our nation not only recovers from this pandemic but builds back stronger,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This award reaffirms the President’s commitment to increasing internet accessibility throughout the United States and lays a strong foundation for the critical investments we will make to expand high-speed internet thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”
“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in supporting community-led economic development strategies designed to boost coronavirus recovery and response efforts,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This investment will enhance connectivity in Southwest Louisiana, promoting business development while improving the availability of telehealth services, distance learning, and public safety.”
“This is one more step to closing the digital divide in Louisiana by 2029, and I’m thankful to the Biden administration and Sec. Raimondo for awarding this grant to the Acadiana community,” said Governor John Bel Edwards. “Among the many lessons learned during the COVID pandemic is the fact that internet accessibility and affordability are paramount to improving the lives of our hardworking people. These federal dollars are an important investment that will help to greatly expand opportunities in healthcare, education, economic development and much more.”
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.
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.