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ATHENS, W.Va. – The Concord University Research and Development Corporation is among five organizations in partnership receiving $717,985 in federal funding for creation of new jobs in southern West Virginia.
The grant is one of two totaling more than $1.5 million that West Virginia received as part of the Rural Jobs and Innovation Acceleration Challenge. The combined funding initiative is sponsored by the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Delta Regional Authority. Out of 62 applications for the grant, 13 were selected to receive funding.
Along with Concord University, the partnership includes the Marshall University Research Corporation, the Robert C. Byrd Institute of Advanced Flexible Manufacturing, TechConnect West Virginia and the National Capital Investment Fund.
Funding will be used for expansion of tourism and manufacturing by offering technical assistance, workforce development, entrepreneurism support and other resources. West Virginia counties set to benefit from the partnership include Fayette, Logan, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Monroe, Raleigh, Summers and Wyoming.
“The Concord University Research and Development Corporation is delighted to learn that our collaborative proposal was funded,” Dr. Charles Becker, executive director of the Concord University Research and Development Corporation, said. “This funding is another integral step for Concord University and our partners to continue to promote economic growth and job creation in our region.”
U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., who offered strong support of the partnership’s grant application, acknowledged receipt of the funding in a statement released by his office.
“These grants are great news for West Virginia because they will create new opportunities for jobs and trade, plus the building of a better future for our state and citizens,” Rockefeller said. “I have said before that we must take a collaborative approach toward economic development, and that is exactly what these organizations have done to help secure this funding.”
Concord University hosted a news conference last fall where Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., and EDA Acting Assistant Secretary Matthew S. Erskine announced federal funding totaling $500,000 over five years for establishment of an EDA University Center at Concord and Marshall universities and the RCBI.
Through the center, faculty and programs from the two universities and the RCBI will offer planning and technical assistance to business and industry in southern West Virginia.
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