$3m invested to boost workforce development in Clifton Forge

US Department of Commerce
US Department of Commerce
Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 3:10 PM EDT
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CLIFTON FORGE, Va. (WDBJ/US Department of Commerce Release) - The US Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $3 million grant to the Mountain Gateway Community College Real Estate Foundation in Clifton Forge for renovation of a workforce development center to service a community impacted by the declining use of coal, according to US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo.

The project is designed to support the establishment of a manufacturing training center to meet local employers’ existing and future workforce needs, as well as an entrepreneurial innovation laboratory, according to the department. This EDA grant will be matched with $750,000 in local funds and is expected to create or retain 110 jobs and generate $2 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

“The Biden Administration is committed to ensuring that our workers have the skills they need to compete for good-paying jobs in the communities that they live,” said Raimondo. “This EDA investment will expand workforce development programs in Clifton Forge to ensure that local residents and businesses can grow and thrive.”

“The Economic Development Administration is pleased to support efforts in Clifton Forge to diversify and grow the region’s economy,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will support workforce development efforts needed to spur diversified business growth in a coal-impacted region of Virginia.”

“Investing in education creates a gateway to opportunity and is an essential component towards attracting more businesses to Virginia,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “I am proud to see the Clifton Forge community benefitting from these grants.”

“I am glad to see these funds go to the Clifton Forge community in order to promote workforce development and support the region as it works to diversify the local economy,” said US Senator Mark Warner (D-VA). “This federal investment will help make sure that workers are able to compete for and in succeed in new and growing industries.”

“I’m excited that the Mountain Gateway Community College Real Estate Foundation is receiving federal funding to establish a manufacturing training center and an entrepreneurial innovation lab,” said US Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA). “This will help ensure Virginians have access to job training programs and promote economic growth in the area.”

This project is funded under the Assistance to Coal Communities (ACC) initiative, through which EDA awards funds on a competitive basis to assist communities severely impacted by the declining use of coal. ACC projects support economic diversification, job creation, capital investment, workforce development, and re-employment opportunities.