U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.3 million grant to the Port of West St. Mary to help build an industrial training facility.

According to grantee estimates, the project is expected to create 120 jobs.

“President Trump, from the start of his campaign, has promised a new dawn for the American worker,” Ross said. “The President and the Department of Commerce are committed to ensuring that American communities have tools available to meet the demand for a skilled workforce.”

“This is a much-needed investment that creates new jobs and prioritizes workforce development in St. Mary Parish,” Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA) said. “Public-private partnerships like this benefit our entire community by equipping job seekers with the skills they need to serve local industry. I want to commend the Port of West St. Mary, South Louisiana Community College, and the South Central Planning & Development Commission for leading these efforts.”

The 5,000 square-foot industrial facility will offer state-of-the-art aluminum fabrication training to meet the needs of local marine industry employers. All the necessary equipment will be provided by existing industries in the Parish, while South Louisiana Community College will provide the required instructors and supervisors, in addition to operating and maintaining the facility. This project was made possible by regional planning efforts led by the South Central Planning and Development Commission (SCPDC). EDA funds SCPDC to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment, and create jobs.

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 makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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