U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo has announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2.4 million grant to the City of Jackson to upgrade its water and wastewater infrastructure. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and EDA’s $300 million Coal Communities Commitment.

This grant will support upgrades designed to attract and retain businesses to a region experiencing high unemployment, following the closure of two coal-fired plants in 2018. The EDA investment will be matched with $600,000 in state and local funds and is expected to create 200 jobs, retain 300 jobs and generate $50 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

“President Biden’s American Rescue Plan helps communities tackle the challenges that were exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Secretary of Commerce Raimondo. “President Biden and the Department of Commerce are especially focused on supporting coal-reliant communities to develop and maintain diverse, local economies that are resilient to changing economic conditions.”

“The Economic Development Administration is proud to support community-led economic development strategies to boost coronavirus recovery and response efforts,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “These infrastructure improvements will support a strong and resilient economy, promoting economic resilience and private investment in a region that has historically grappled with disinvestment.”

“Ohio’s rural communities and households face a heavy burden when financing upgrades to their water and wastewater systems,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown. “Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, these funds will help provide residents with a modern water system that improves health quality and encourages investment in rural areas of Ohio.”

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.

EDA’s Coal Communities Commitment allocates $300 million of EDA’s $3 billion American Rescue Plan appropriation to support coal communities as they recover from the pandemic and to help them create new jobs and opportunities, including through the creation or expansion of a new industry sector. Specifically, EDA has dedicated $100 million of its Build Back Better Regional Challenge funds and $200 million of its Economic Adjustment Assistance funds to directly support coal communities.

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.