U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), along with Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin (both D-W.Va.), Tuesday announced Federal funding to help communities in southern West Virginia map out a strategy for attracting private-sector investments and fostering job creation and economic growth.
"This may not be the largest grant in terms of dollars, but in terms of impact, it's huge in helping our local planning councils assist town, cities and counties," said Rahall, who is the top Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee with jurisdiction over the Economic Development Administration (EDA), which awarded the funding. "Local governments can seldom afford the technical assistance required in identifying and maneuvering through all the various levels and complexities to secure grant funds. These funds provide the manpower to help us compete on a more level playing field to create jobs."
"Collaborative efforts to invest in our workers and businesses will help West Virginians find new jobs and encourage economic growth in our state," Rockefeller said. "Securing a better future for our state and its workers means creating new opportunities, and that is exactly what these economic development grants are designed to do."
"Whether it was as Governor or as Senator, I have strongly encouraged public-private partnerships to create good jobs and invest in our communities," Manchin said. "Strategic planning and development -- and coordinating our resources -- means that we'll be able to more effectively take advantage of opportunities and overcome challenges. These funds will help put hardworking West Virginians back to work, and I applaud that focus."
Planning & Development Councils in Princeton/Mercer County (Region I), Huntington/Cabell County (Region II) and Summersville/Nicholas County (Region IV) will each receive a $70,000 grant to establish an economic development framework, process, and strategy that supports private capital investment and job creation in the region.
This EDA planning investment supports the development and implementation of a comprehensive economic development strategy (CEDS) for the regions served by the Planning and Development Councils. The CEDS process is designed to bring together the public and private sectors in the creation of an economic development roadmap to diversify and strengthen the regional economy.