LITTLE ROCK –U.S. Senators Mark Pryor and John Boozman today joined Congressmen Tim Griffin (AR-2) and Steve Womack (AR-3) to announce that seven Arkansas cities will receive $7.5 million from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to finance projects that will create jobs, promote innovation, increase resiliency to natural disasters, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.
“Reinvesting taxpayer dollars into job growth opportunities will pay off in dividends for Arkansas families, communities and our economy,” Pryor said. “These grants strengthen our communities through outreach programs and infrastructure projects that build our state’s future.”
“Infrastructure is the key to economic development and growth throughout Arkansas,” Boozman said. “These grants will help attract businesses to the region, foster growth for existing companies and provide jobs for hardworking Arkansans by expanding and improving infrastructure in our communities.”
“Expanding workforce training and education is key to helping individuals succeed in their careers. This funding will provide more good-paying job opportunities for Arkansans, while supporting economic development in our communities and strengthening our economy,” said Griffin.
“Leveraging federal dollars with local investment in the Third District is essential to ongoing projects that will secure our future and strengthen our community. I applaud this announcement, which ensures the infrastructure in Fort Smith is ready to support the new Arkansas Osteopathic Medical School, addressing a shortage of physicians in our state, and supports the efforts of the World Trade Center at the University of Arkansas to diversify our state’s economy so it isn’t as vulnerable to the negative impact of natural disasters,” Womack said.
This funding is provided by the Economic Development Administration to promote job creation and foster disaster resiliency in communities affected by devastating storms. The projects receiving funding are as follows:
Corning: The City of Corning will receive $1.2 million to construct rail improvements to an industrial site in the northeastern part of the city. This project will support business expansion and increase disaster resiliency in the region. The upgraded railroad track is projected to create 942 jobs and leverage $165 million in private investment.
Fayetteville: The University Of Arkansas Board Of Trustees will receive $597,116 to expand the outreach services at the World Trade Center at the University of Arkansas and map existing transportation assets to better support international trade. This project will diversify and strengthen Arkansas’s economy.
Fort Smith: The City of Fort Smith will receive $1.2 million to make infrastructure improvements for the new Arkansas Osteopathic Medical School in Fort Smith. The Medical School will be a source of long-term job creation, and the project is expected to create 65 jobs.
Hope: The City of Hope will receive $1.2 million to construct an access road and install drainage improvements along Interstate 30 which will support business development throughout the city. The project is anticipated to create 85 jobs and leverage $40 million in private investment.
Morrilton: The University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton will receive $1.1 million to fund site preparation and water line improvements to support the construction of a new workforce training center on the college’s campus. The new facility will be used to train workers for careers in industries such as heating and air conditioning technology, automotive service and collision repair technology, and diesel engine mechanics technology.
Pine Bluff: The Southeast Arkansas Economic Development District and Lake Providence Port Commission will receive $1.2 million to upgrade the rail line that runs from Lake Village, AR to Lake Providence, LA. This rail line will provide an alternate means of transportation for manufactures and business, stimulating job growth in the area. This project is expected to create 24 jobs.
Stuttgart: The City of Stuttgart will receive $1 million to construct a hanger, roadway, and parking lot at the Stuttgart Municipal Airport. The airport additions will support the expansion of existing companies while enhancing opportunities for future regional growth and job creation. This project is projected to save 20 jobs, create 20 new jobs, and leverage $400,000 in private investment.