Waukesha, WI Shocked at GE Plan to Relocate Gas Engine Manufacturing Plant to Canada

Continuing its spree of investment decisions outside the United States over the Ex-Im Bank row, General Electric has now announced that GE Power & Water will invest $265 million in Canada to open a new facility to build engines.

Ex-Im Bank

Ex-Im Bank (photo – exim.gov)

The company will cease manufacturing gas engines in Waukesha, WI, where it currently employs 350 people at its manufacturing facility which builds gas engines for compression, mechanical drive and power generation applications.

The company made its plans known without any advance notice to employees and local officials in Waukesha. Apart from the impact of the jobs loss on Waukesha economic development, there are more than 400 U.S. suppliers who will also be impacted. In Wisconsin alone, suppliers generate almost $47 million in revenue from the plant.

Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly issued a statement saying that “I was shocked and dismayed when I learned this morning that General Electric will be eliminating 350 good-paying manufacturing jobs in Waukesha. My hope is that this is not a final decision and I will be able to work with General Electric and our state and federal partners to retain these important jobs here.”

Mayor Reilly will be meeting personally with GE officials, and has also reached out to Governor Scott Walker, U.S. Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, and U.S. Senators for Wisconsin Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin to help enlist their help in persuading GE to stay in Waukesha.

The manufacturing plant in question has a long history dating back to 1906 when it was founded as the Waukesha Motor Company. GE purchased Waukesha Motor from Dresser Industries in 2010.

GE separately issued a release in which the company explains that it made the decision to build this new facility in Canada in order to access additional support from the country’s export credit agency, Export Development Canada. EDC actively supports global expansion for manufacturers based in Canada, supporting over 7,000 customers in close to 200 countries last year.

GE has been seeking support from export credit agencies around the world after the authorization for the U.S. Export-Import Bank lapsed on July 1. Earlier this month, GE Power & Water announced plans to move production and 500 jobs to France, Hungary and China.

GE Aviation announced plans to Invest $400 million to create a turboprop engine development, test and production operation in Europe with 500 to 1,000 new jobs after signing an agreement with France’s export credit agency COFACE.

GE also recently signed an agreement with the UK Export Finance (UKEF) to access $12 billion in export credit financing for both confirmed and potential orders that could create as many as 1,000 jobs in the U.K.

John Rice, Vice Chairman, GE, said in the release that “We know these announcements will have regrettable impact not only on our employees but on the hundreds of U.S. suppliers we work with that cannot move their facilities, but we cannot walk away from our customers.”

Five Cities Awarded $30M HUD Choice Neighborhoods Grants For Housing Revitalization

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded nearly $150 million in grants to five cities under the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative.

HUD Choice Neighborhood grants

HUD Choice Neighborhood grants (photo – hud.gov)

The Housing Authorities of Atlanta, Kansas City, Milwaukee and Sacramento were each awarded $30 million, while Memphis received $29,750,000.

The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative is intended to transform distressed public and assisted housing into sustainable, mixed-income housing.

Including this latest $150 million, HUD has now awarded more than $500 million in Choice Implementation Grants since 2011. For every $1 in Choice Neighborhoods funding, the recipients will leverage an additional $9 in public and private investment for their proposed housing revitalization project.

HUD Secretary Julian Castro, who traveled to Atlanta and Kansas City for the announcements, said in a release that “The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative is responsible for transforming what were once vacant lots, crumbling parks and storefronts and distressed housing into vibrant communities.”

The five cities awarded grants this year were chosen through a competitive process that involved 33 applications submitted by communities from across the United States. Summaries of the housing revitalization projects that will benefit:

University Choice Neighborhood, Atlanta, GA – UCN is the demolished University Homes public housing development that is being replaced by 446 new, mixed-income units, including 229 replacement units. The project includes neighborhood revitalization efforts such as replacing blighted properties, creating transportation connections, engaging at-risk youth, and strengthening early education.

Key partners in this project include Atlanta economic development agency Invest Atlanta, the United Way of Greater Atlanta, and MBS-Integral, LLC, who will be working with the City of Atlanta and the Atlanta Housing Authority to revitalize portions of west Atlanta, including Vine City, Ashview Heights and the Atlanta University Center neighborhood.

Housing Leverage Committed: $55.1 million

People Leverage Committed: $45.6 million

Neighborhood Leverage Committed: $114.3 million

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said in a release that “Winning the Choice Neighborhoods grant provides us with the resources needed to bring about unprecedented change.”

Paseo Gateway, Kansas City, MO – This project includes the redevelopment of the isolated and distressed 134 units of the Chouteau Courts public housing project on an old landfill into a 360-unit mixed-income community that will be built in new locations. The plan also calls for increasing public safety and commercial investment by rejuvenating key corridors, parks, and vacant properties.

Housing Leverage Committed: $86.5 million

People Leverage Committed: $10.6 million

Neighborhood Leverage Committed: $13.2 million

South City, Memphis, TN – This project will replace the 75-year old Foote Homes housing project with more than 700 new market rate and affordable housing units created to attract a range of incomes.

Housing Leverage Committed: $53.7 million

People Leverage Committed: $14 million

Neighborhood Leverage Committed: $295.5 million

Memphis Mayor AC Wharton, Jr. said in a release that “This Choice Neighborhoods grant will be leveraged with other local and state, public and private funds for the South City Transformation Plan to revitalize the Foote Homes Public Housing Development – the last remaining traditional housing project in the City of Memphis.”

Westlawn, Milwaukee, WI – This project will redevelop the Westlawn public housing development into 708 new mixed-income housing units, including 394 replacement units, and revitalize the surrounding Westlawn neighborhood. The plan includes strategic investments to improve the entire neighborhood by reducing the negative effects of foreclosures, improving access to retail and transportation, and strengthening families’ health and employment.

Housing Leverage Committed: $184 million

People Leverage Committed: $9.21 million

Neighborhood Leverage Committed: $57.4 million

River District – Railyards, Sacramento, CA – This project calls for the demolition of the 218-unit Twin Rivers public housing site and the development of 487 units of mixed-income housing. The plan also brings new transit service to the neighborhood and improvements to local homeless services facilities.

Housing Leverage Committed: $19.8 million

People Leverage Committed: $18.2 million

Neighborhood Leverage Committed: $208.6 million

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson said in a release that “The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative award is a game-changer for Sacramento.” The city, which was designated as a federal Promise Zone last April, also received a Choice Neighborhood planning grant (the other four grantees were awarded planning grants in FY2010).

Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency (SHRA) Director of Development Tyrone Roderick Williams, who was recently named Director of the Sacramento Promise Zone, added that “We have a phenomenal opportunity to transform the neighborhood and transform lives.”

Amazon to Expand in Downtown Detroit With Creation of Tech Hub

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) announced plans for an expansion of its operations in Downtown Detroit, including the opening of a new technology hub.


Amazon (photo – BCRP/flickr)

The company, which already occupies space and about 100 employees in the Jefferson Office Tower in downtown Detroit, will be taking up more space in the same building and will convert the office into a technology hub by next year.

Apart from Amazon’s investment into the expansion and the creation of an undisclosed number of new jobs, another key benefit will be the fact that Amazon chose to establish a tech hub in the downtown area.

It ensures the continued growth of downtown Detroit’s reputation as a magnet for large tech enterprises and the jobs they create. Amazon’s tech hub joins the large existing Detroit operations of companies including Microsoft, Google, Twitter, Uber, Detroit Labs, UpTo, Quicken Loans and other tech giants.

Amazon also announced that it is partnering with Detroit Public Schools to further STEM education through the Carver STEM Academy, to help students who are interested in working in the tech industry. Amazon will be donating $10,000 and 30 Amazon Fire tablets towards this partnership.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and other officials joined Amazon executives and the presidents of the University of Michigan and Michigan State University at an event held at the Cobo Center near Amazon’s office at 150 W. Jefferson to announce of the company’s expansion.

In a release announcing the expansion, Gov. Snyder said that “It’s exciting to see Amazon creating a presence in Detroit and I’m proud to have them here.”

Mayor Duggan added that when one of America’s most admired companies chooses the City of Detroit as place to open its Michigan headquarters, it’s a great day.

This Monday is going to get even better for downtown Detroit economic development, because the Amazon announcement in the morning will be followed by another high-tech automotive expansion project announcement  today in the Capitol Park Historic District in downtown Detroit.

Southfield, MI-based Lear Corporation [NYSE: LEA], a leading global supplier of automotive seating and electrical distribution systems with approximately 135,000 employees located in 35 countries, will be announcing the selection of Capitol Park as the location for their new high-tech design hub. The building in question in Capitol Park was formerly occupied by Brown Brothers Tobacco Co., and is now owned by Bedrock Real Estate Services.

Universities Compete For Economic Development Awards of Excellence at UEDA Summit

The agenda for the University Economic Development Association (UEDA) Annual Summit underway in Anchorage, Alaska includes presentations by 18 finalists competing for the UEDA Awards of Excellence across five categories.

UEDA Annual Summit

UEDA Annual Summit (photo – universityeda.org)

Later today, the following four finalists in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship category will be making their formal presentations, with winners to be chosen by summit attendees.

University of Southern Indiana: Technology Commercialization Academy;

University of Kansas: Entrepreneurs@KU;

STC.UNM: University of New Mexico (STC.UNM) & New Mexico Angels (NMA) Partnership; and

Penn State University – Main Campus: TechCelerator

Representing the University of Kansas is Julie Nagel, interim associate vice chancellor for innovation and collaboration, who will make a presentation about the Entrepreneurs@KU initiative which is providing a transparent and supportive infrastructure to assist faculty and staff in starting companies.

The initiative is housed at KU Innovation and Collaboration, the bi-campus technology commercialization office of the University of Kansas. It manages KU’s intellectual property, licensing and start-up company activities, and leads the University of Kansas economic development mission.

The University of Southern Indiana has been identified as an Awards of Excellence finalist in three categories (Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Research and Analysis, and Talent Development).

USI will therefore have the opportunity to make three presentations about the USI Technology Commercialization Academy (TCA), Measuring Innovation to Induce Innovation (I-69 Innovation Corridor), and the Southwest Indiana STEM Resource Center Initiative.

Michael Thissen, manager of I-69 Innovation Corridor, said in a release that “With USI snatching three of the competitive slots in our first year of submitting, it’s clear we’re on the right track for innovation.”

The I-69 Innovation Corridor is also the subject of a panel discussion at the UEDA Summit. It was launched as a regional innovation incubator focused on transforming the surrounding area through entrepreneurship, innovation and talent development. More than 32 counties from multiple states are impacted by I-69’s expansion.

Gene Merrell, associate vice president for economic development at the University of Idaho and this year’s UEDA Awards of Excellence Chair, said in a release that the Awards program is unique in that it is entirely peer driven.

The 18 finalists across all five categories were picked by the UEDA Awards of Excellence Committee from the nominations that were submitted. “These finalists will be judged and recognized by the attendees of the Annual Summit. Being recognized by such a diverse spectrum of economic development professionals provides further validation of the efforts of these initiatives,” added Merrell.

UN Assembly Adopts 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The world’s leaders will gather Monday at the United Nations Headquarters in New York for the General Assembly’s 70th Anniversary General Debate, which this year will open with a focus on sustainable development. This follows the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by the Assembly.

SDG Projections on UN buildings

SDGs projected on UN buildings (UN Photo/Cia Pak)

As a symbolic gesture to the urgency of the threat of climate change to global sustainability, the small island State of Tuvalu has been chosen to occupy the first seat at the annual General Debate. The existence of the low-lying island in the South Pacific is under threat from rising seas.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the Assembly is composed of 17 goals and 169 targets. Tackling climate change is one of the major objectives that could, if left unchecked, undermine all the other goals including the effort to wipe out poverty, fight inequality and enhance medical and educational access over the next 15 years.

In an effort to raise awareness about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the SDGs have been projected onto the facades of the UN Secretariat and General Assembly buildings in New York, bringing to life each of the 17 goals.

Here’s the full declaration of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and listed below are the 17 SDGs.

Goal 1 – End poverty in all its forms everywhere.

Goal 2 – End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

Goal 3 – Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

Goal 4 – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Goal 5 – Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

Goal 6 – Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

Goal 7 – Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

Goal 8 – Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

Goal 9 – Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.

Goal 10 – Reduce inequality within and among countries.

Goal 11 – Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Goal 12 – Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

Goal 13 – Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

Goal 14 – Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

Goal 15 – Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

Goal 16 – Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

Goal 17 – Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

The adoption of the 2030 Agenda now paves the way for a global agreement on climate change at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change that is due to be held in Paris later this year in December.

Government Shutdown on Oct 1 Could Disrupt EDA and Other Commerce Agencies

The United States federal government is heading towards another shutdown that begins Oct 1 if there is no agreement on a spending bill before that. The lapse in Congressional appropriations will cause some or all employees of federal agencies, including the U.S. Economic Development Administration, to be furloughed for the duration.

Government shutdown

Government shutdown (photo – house.gov)

The last time this happened was in 2013, when the federal government shutdown continued for 16 days. At its peak, about 850,000 individuals per day were furloughed, adding up to a combined total of 6.6 million days over the course of the shutdown.

This caused the suspension of services and activities provided by several Commerce agencies including EDA, the Minority Business Development Agency, Economics and Statistics Administration, the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis, along with most services and activities provided by the International Trade Administration, and most research activities at NIST and NOAA.

Activities such as assistance and support to recipients of grant funding were not available, and neither was technical oversight of non-mission essential contracts.

At that time, EDA had issued a statement on its website which said that “Due to the government shutdown, information on this website may not be up date, transactions submitted via eda.gov might not be processed, and the agency may not be able to respond to inquiries until appropriations are enacted.”

If the federal government shuts down again, you can expect all of this to take place once more. The good news is that the Commerce Department already has a plan in place, developed in 2013, for an orderly shutdown.

As per the plan, EDA needs only one employee (Chief Financial Officer/Chief Administrative Officer) for a day to “To ensure orderly shutdown of all the operations in all parts of EDA across all time zones. EDA has regional offices in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Chicago, Denver, Austin and Seattle.” EDA will not require any personnel to be excepted and continue working during the shutdown.

On a broader scale, a government shutdown will have a significant impact on economic development and job creation. Federal loans were put on hold, and federal permitting and environmental and other reviews were halted, delaying job-creating transportation and energy projects.

Private-sector lending to individuals and small businesses was disrupted, and trade slowed down as import and export licenses and applications were put on hold. Travel and tourism was disrupted at national parks and monuments, hurting the surrounding local economies.

All told, estimates by the President’s Council of Economic Advisors show that the 2013 shutdown and the uncertainty caused by it led to 120,000 fewer private sector jobs created during the first two weeks of October that year.

Cargill Plans $111M Investment in Columbus, NE, Relocates Ground Beef Production to WI, TX

Cargill announced plans for a $111 million investment that will enable the company to convert its ground beef patty production plant in Columbus, NE to a cooked meats facility. The ground beef operations will be relocated to other Cargill facilities in Fort Worth, TX and Butler, WI.


Cargill (photo – cargill.com)

Upon completion, the investment and the company’s conversion plans for the plant will prove beneficial for Nebraska economic development, but it will in the short-run impact 80 of the 250 existing jobs at the facility.

When the cooked meats facility is fully operational, the company says it will employ approximately the same number of people currently working at the ground beef plant.

Meanwhile, Cargill is providing each of the affected employees opportunities to fill open positions at other Cargill facilities in the region, and will support them with relocation if required. So while Columbus won’t gain or lose any jobs, the company will in effect be creating about 80 new jobs for the region.

The project will also lead to expansions of Cargill’s existing ground beef plants in Fort Worth and Butler. Approximately $27 million of the total investment will go toward these plants, where additional new production lines will be installed.

In a release announcing the project, Chris Roberts, president of Wichita, KS-based Cargill Value Added Protein, said that “This is a win-win for our customers, Cargill and the community, and something we believe is important for us to do to maintain our competitive edge in the marketplace going forward.”

John Niemann, president of Cargill Turkey and Cooked Meats, also located in Wichita, added that “This project, especially the investment we’re making in Columbus, is significant and exciting, and it represents our long-term commitment to current and future Cargill customers, as well as to the community.”

Founded in 1865 and headquartered in Minnetonka, in the Minneapolis suburbs, Cargill is now the largest privately-held corporation in the U.S. with $134.87 billion in sales and other revenue. The company has 152,000 employees in 67 countries, including 50,000 in North America.

Cargill’s 75 businesses are organized around four major segments – agriculture, food, financial and industrial products and services. They also develop and market sustainable products made from agriculture feedstocks.

“From Cargill’s humble beginning in rural Iowa during 1865, the company has maintained a deeply seated sense of responsibility to help feed and nourish people, and we are serious about doing so in a transparent and sustainable way that helps everyone in the value chain thrive,” added Niemann.

Transformative Camden Waterfront Economic Development Project by Liberty Property Trust

At an event held at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Camden Mayor Dana Redd and other state and local officials joined architect Robert A.M. Stern and Liberty Property Trust Chairman, President and CEO Bill Hankowsky to unveil plans for a development that will redefine the Camden waterfront.

Liberty Property Trust's Camden Waterfront development

Liberty Property Trust’s Camden Waterfront development (rendering – ramsa.com)

This transformative Camden economic development project of up to $1 billion will be one of the largest private sector investments in the city’s history, creating thousands of construction jobs and bringing thousands of permanent jobs to Camden.

Led by the Liberty Property Trust and designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, the project will be a mixed-use development that will attract major corporations, employment and significant inward investment. It will create as much as 1.7 million square feet of office space and will include a hotel, retail space and a residential component.

In a release announcing the project, Bill Hankowsky said that this visionary project will reshape the central waterfront in a way that will be truly transformative for Camden. “Through the Grow NJ program, the state of New Jersey has created an economic development program which has the potential to be truly transformative to the city of Camden,” added Hankowsky.

Liberty Property Trust, widely acclaimed for the Navy Yard project in Philadelphia, has signed an agreement with Steiner + Associates to purchase Camden Town Center LLC for developing 16 acres on the Camden Waterfront next to the Aquarium.

Subject to approval by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, the purchase provides Liberty the exclusive right to acquire and obtain approvals for development of the site. Liberty’s plans for the office component of the development consist of build-to-suit projects for the increasing number of corporations that want to expand or relocate to Camden, taking advantage of the Grow NJ economic development tax incentives.

Firms coming to Camden will also be working with the Department of Labor and the Mayor’s office to develop job training programs tailored for the kind of businesses that will locate in this new development.

Architect Robert A.M. Stern said in the release that they are very excited about this chance to collaborate with long-time clients Liberty Property Trust to “further transform Camden’s waterfront as a public place with a rich mix of new uses that will re-connect the downtown to the riverfront and also capitalize on public investments that have already been realized.”

Groundbreaking on Liberty’s Camden waterfront development may take place around the third quarter next year, with occupancy expected in late 2018 to 2019.

Purdue Research Park Aerospace District Lands Rolls-Royce as First Business

The Purdue Research Foundation announced that Rolls-Royce will be the first business to locate at the recently established Purdue Research Park Aerospace District in West Lafayette, IN.

Rolls-Royce at Purdue

Rolls-Royce at Purdue (Purdue Research Park image)

Rolls-Royce’s research operations will be housed in a 40,000-square-foot facility which the Purdue Research Foundation will construct for Rolls-Royce and for other companies interested in aerospace and aviation development.

In this new research facility, Rolls-Royce plans to design, develop and test jet engine components. They will also collaborate with Purdue researchers through corporate partnerships, and the facility will help the company recruit a steady pipeline of Purdue student interns and graduates.

Former Indiana Governor and Purdue President Mitch Daniels said in a release that the company has nearly 600 Purdue graduates working for it, making it a strong recruiter of Purdue talent. “That Rolls-Royce is our first partner in our newly created aerospace district marks a new era in our history with the company,” added Daniels.

The Purdue Research Park Aerospace District, which opened earlier this year, has been named an Indiana Certified Technology Park by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

The 980-acre aerospace district encompasses Purdue University Airport, Purdue Aviation (formerly Lafayette Aviation) and the Maurice J. Zucrow Laboratories, offering opportunities for aerospace companies to collaborate with Purdue on research and development facilities.

Dan Hasler, president of Purdue Research Foundation, said in the release that Rolls-Royce is a world-class enterprise and exactly the type of company that the new aerospace district is designed to serve.

A $60 million West Lafayette economic development project called the State Street Project is focused on making improvements to the infrastructure and pedestrian area that runs by the new aerospace district.

West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis said in the release that the State Street project will create a gateway to West Lafayette and Purdue University that will support economic development and improved quality of life for the entire region.

Mayor Dennis added that “The announcement of Rolls-Royce, a world renowned leader in the aerospace industry, is a wonderful example of the results from the strong partnership among West Lafayette, Purdue University and the Purdue Research Foundation.”

Denny Warner, an executive for Rolls-Royce, added that they are pleased to be the first to join the Purdue Research Park Aerospace District and that they see great potential in how it will continue to help them provide innovative solutions for their customers.

Rolls-Royce has a long history in Indianapolis, where the company has been engineering, designing and manufacturing advanced technology for 100 years. The company already employs 4,000 people in Indianapolis, including nearly 1,400 engineers and over a thousand more in production.

DRA Funding Leverages $108M Investment in Nine Arkansas Economic Development Projects

The Delta Regional Authority announced that the DRA and its partners will invest over $108 million in federal, state, and local resources to support economic development, workforce training, and job creation projects in the Arkansas Delta.

DRA Arkansas investment

DRA Arkansas investment (photo – dra.gov)

Nine Arkansas economic development projects will receive a total of nearly $1.3 million in DRA funding that is leveraging another $7 million in public funds and nearly $100 million more in private investment.

The $1,278,531 in DRA funding will be made through the States’ Economic Development Assistance Program (SEDAP). The breakup of the funding is as follows:

Be Pro. Be Proud, Regionwide – DRA Investment: $250,000; Leveraged Public Investment: $245,700;

Chicot County Waterline Extension, Lake Village – DRA Investment: $65,069; Private Investment: $4,000,000;

Helena Harbor Rail Improvements, Helena – DRA Investment: $155,500; Public Leveraged Investment: $500,000;

Independence County Ozark Mountain Poultry Feed Mill, Magness – DRA Investment: $150,000; Leveraged Public Investment: $3,492,520; Private Investment: $35,000,000;

Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum Expansion, North Little Rock – DRA Investment: $150,000; Leveraged Public Investment: $20,000;

Fairfield Bay Highway 16 Sewer Extension, Fairfield Bay – DRA Investment: $133,266; Leveraged Public Investment: $50,000;

North Little Rock EDC Equipment Purchase, North Little Rock – DRA Investment: $150,000; Public Leveraged Investment: $2,120,000; Private Investment: $60,000,000;

Our House Learning Center Renovation, Little Rock – DRA Investment: $100,000; Leveraged Public Investment: $679,690; Private Investment: $600,000; and

Yellville Rail Spur, Yellville – DRA Investment: $124, 696; Leveraged Public Investment: $45,000.

DRA investments in these projects are expected to help create and retain nearly 1,000 jobs for local residents, and help train 600 residents for jobs in their communities.

DRA Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill said in a release announcing the SEDAP funding awards that “These investments strategically leverage funding for projects that will help to address the training and public service needs of our communities while driving economic development and growing small businesses and entrepreneurs.”

Governor Asa Hutchinson added that “I’m especially pleased that we’re investing in the basics – infrastructure, workforce training and education – that will create and retain jobs and businesses and lead to more economic development.”

U.S. Congressman Steve Womack noted that the Yellville Rail Spur project is the first project in Marion County to receive DRA funding, and it will allow the only publicly-accessible rail spur on the Missouri and Northern Arkansas Railroad to reopen, restoring employment to those who lost jobs in the area due to the rail spur’s closure last year.

“I’m grateful for the leadership that the Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District and Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson provided to bring this project to the DRA for consideration,” said Womack.

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