WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Jay Rockefeller announced more than $1.5 million in grants for West Virginia that will support job creation in advanced manufacturing, tourism and agriculture throughout the state.
“These grants are great news for West Virginia because they will create new opportunities for jobs and trade, plus the building of a better future for our state and citizens,” Rockefeller said. “I have said before that we must take a collaborative approach toward economic development, and that is exactly what these organizations have done to help secure this funding.”
Rockefeller has made strengthening West Virginia’s manufacturers, and increasing manufacturing jobs, a focal point of his agenda. He has held several manufacturing roundtables in West Virginia this year with local small businesses, labor organizations, and public officials to discuss the challenges they face and the steps that can be taken to grow their business. Earlier this year, Rockefeller brought various parties together to discuss these economic development opportunities.
Through the United States Economic Development Administration’s Economic Adjustment Assistance program, West Virginia received two grants as a part of the Rural Jobs and Innovation Acceleration Challenge. Thirteen recipients were chosen out of the 62 applications.
• $717,985 for Southern West Virginia Rural Jobs Accelerator Partnership (Partnership): The Partnership consists of the Marshall University Research Corporation, the Robert C. Byrd Institute of Advanced Flexible Manufacturing, TechConnect West Virginia, the Concord University Research and Development Corporation and the National Capital Investment Fund. These organizations will use the funding to concentrate on the expansion of tourism and manufacturing by providing technical assistance, workforce development, entrepreneurism support and a wealth of collaborated resources in Fayette, Logan, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Monroe, Raleigh, Summers and Wyoming Counties. Rockefeller wrote a letter to EDA officials in support of the Partnership’s application and applauding the Partnership’s efforts
• $815,000 for WV Value Chain Cluster Initiative: This project of the Natural Capital Investment Fund in Shepherdstown will assist food businesses in expanding their access to new markets and buyers and build a stronger network that promotes new regional business linkages by coaching of cluster participants, providing targeted and customized technical assistance, offering access to capital, effectively using technology, assisting with new business development efforts and providing access to and sharing of best practices.