FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 27, 2022) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear congratulated Henry County and the cities of Henderson, Pikeville and Monticello for together receiving $13 million to support job growth and industrial expansion in their communities.
The investment in these communities is estimated to create 654 jobs and generate over $500 million in private and local investment.
The awards are funded through the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) $300 million Coal Communities Commitment program, which supports coal communities as they recover from the pandemic and helps them create new jobs and opportunities, including through the expansion of new industry sectors.
“These investments will bring much-needed improvements to four Kentucky communities,” Gov. Beshear said. “The awards will help construct two natural gas lines, improve a sanitary sewer system and create an agritech education and research center in our commonwealth. I want to thank Secretary Raimondo and her team for prioritizing Kentucky’s needs in providing this crucial funding.”
City of Henderson Natural Gas LineThe EDA is awarding a $3 million grant to the City of Henderson for the construction of a high-pressure natural gas line needed to support manufacturing growth.
This grant will provide service to a new advanced technology paper mill, promoting job creation in a region that has been impacted by the declining use of coal. The EDA investment will be matched with $2.8 million in local funds and is expected to create 320 jobs and generate $400 million in private investment.
“President Biden’s American Rescue Plan offers direct relief to American communities as they work to build a better America for the future,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo said. “This EDA investment will help Henderson build a stronger, more robust regional economy and boost U.S. competitiveness.”
Henry County Sanitary Sewer SystemThe EDA awarded $1.5 million in funding to the Henry County Fiscal Court to make sewage system expansions and upgrades needed to support economic growth in the region.
This project will provide the sewage infrastructure needed to support a major, new bourbon distillery and other business needs in the area. This EDA grant will be matched with $393,320 in local funds and is expected to create 80 jobs and generate $100 million in local investment.
“The Economic Development Administration is dedicated to working with communities to support their locally-driven strategies to recover and rebuild from the pandemic,” U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo said. “This EDA investment will support the construction of more than 14,000-linear-feet of sewer main, as well as a pump station, facilitating the growth of major area employers.”
Pikeville Agritech CenterThe University of Pikeville (UPIKE) will receive a $4.4 million grant to support construction of the UPIKE Ag-Tech Innovation Center of Excellence, an agritech research and education center to be located at the Kentucky Enterprise Industrial Park at Marion Branch in Pikeville. The project will be matched with $5.75 million in local funds.
The project aims to promote job growth by bringing innovative industry to the area while enhancing educational opportunities for UPIKE students. The facility will include a greenhouse, classroom space, laboratory and offices to lead high-tech agriculture research efforts that aid the industry’s continued development and long-term viability while supporting increasing worldwide demand for food production.
Monticello Natural Gas LineThe Wayne County Fiscal Court will receive a $4.1 million grant to support construction of a natural gas line to serve the City of Monticello. The project will be matched with $2.3 million in local funds and is expected to create or retain 254 jobs and generate $30,000 in private investment.
About the Economic Development AdministrationThe 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 invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.
The EDA is an important partner in building a better Kentucky. In May, the EDA invested $1.9 million in Pike County to construct water and sewer infrastructure at Wolf Pit Industrial Park, which supported the growth of Eastern Kentucky’s manufacturing sector. The EDA also invested nearly $3 million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants to help Kentucky’s tourism industry recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19.