HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) — U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin and the assistant secretary for economic development Alejandra Castillo were in the Jewel City Tuesday.
Three grants totaling more than two million dollars from the Economic Development Administration were awarded to three separate organizations in the hopes of spurring on economic development in the area.
In a two-stop tour of Huntington, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin and newly appointed assistant secretary for economic development Alejandra Castillo first attended a round table discussion on the accomplishments of Generation West Virginia’s program NewForce, which trains people for tech jobs in the Mountain State.
“We know that too many people feel like they have to leave the state to find a job, that they love, to find a good career. And it doesn’t have to be that way. Cause at the same time we know that employers here in the state right now have open positions and struggle to find people to fill those roles,” Natalie Roper, executive director of Generation West Virginia.
In the spirit of spurring on economic developments, the federal officials then announced in a separate conference three Economic Development Administration (EDA) investments in different sectors of the local economy: $1.3 million to Advantage Valley which helps existing businesses grow, more than $750,000 dollars to Generation West Virginia to expand their online tech learning program, and $600,000 dollars to Future of Nursing West Virginia to expand their nursing entrepreneur program.
“These funds are going to allow us to provide technical support services to them, to help them identify new markets, new opportunities,” says Terrell Ellis, executive director of Advantage Valley.
“The capacity for impact is huge. When EDA makes an investment in communities across the country, we’re making investments in ideas and projects that are not only solving the problems of today but also making investments for the future,” says Alejandra Castillo, assistant secretary for economic development with the U.S. Department of Commerce.
“It’s helping nursing, it’s helping people find jobs in coding, it’s helping so many areas as far as in Advantage work that they do, placing new businesses and giving them a start,” says U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia.
“With these programs, that’s an expansion opportunity but it’s also a way I think to transform our economy for the future,” says U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, R-West Virginia.