Crater Planning District Commission gets U.S. EDA grant funding

By: Contributed Report | Twitter: @PGJournal
Posted: Aug. 2, 2018 | 12:35 p.m.

PG-based Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing among funding recipients 

PRINCE GEORGE – The U. S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) recently announced that the Crater Planning District Commission will receive a $70,000 economic development grant award to be matched with $30,000 in Commission funds, to enable the Commission to continue important economic development initiatives in the region.

The Planning District was originally designated an Economic Development District in 1985.  It’s current 2018 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) identifies five focus areas that will strengthen the District’s economic base:  Technology Expansion, Workforce Development, Small Business Growth, Infrastructure Improvements and GO Virginia projects.

Commission efforts are focused on major initiatives that have come out of the CEDS planning process.

Logistics – Through the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Logistics Systems (CCALS), there is a collaboration among Fort Lee (Logistics Capital of the Army), five Virginia universities, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Port of Virginia and logistics companies, focused upon capitalizing on the region’s excellent location, transportation network, proximity to the Port of Virginia, logistics expertise in the universities and talent at Fort Lee to position this region for growth in logistics.

Advanced Manufacturing/Workforce Development – The Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing has a workforce development component that will grow to be the Advanced Manufacturing Apprentice Academy to prepare workers for jobs in 21st-century advanced manufacturing companies. Currently, CCAM, located in Prince George County, is training soldiers exiting the military for in-demand jobs in advanced manufacturing.  CCAM is an applied research center that provides production-ready advance manufacturing solutions to member companies across the globe.

Tourism – The PDC continues to administer Petersburg Area Regional Tourism (PART), as well as support other jurisdictions pursuing initiatives to grow tourism.  According to the latest U. S. Travel Association (USTA) tourism survey results, visitor expenditures in the Crater District totaled $430 million and $364 million in the PART region. Local governments in the Planning District received $34+ million in local tax revenues from tourism and 4,300 jobs in the region are associated with tourism.  Thus, tourism spending in the region is a growing important contributor to the region’s economy.

Infrastructure Improvements – EDA recently announced the selection of a $3.15 million funding package to the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing in Prince George to support the construction of the Advanced Manufacturing Apprentice Academy (AMAA) on CCAM’s campus.  The AMAA will be a “game-changer” for the Crater region, as well as the Commonwealth, as it will deliver qualified workers with industry-directed skills and credentials for advanced manufacturing high-demand jobs in machining, welding, and mechatronics.  The AMAA will also provide for the upskilling of incumbent workers who are seeking career advancement.

Following the announcement, Virginia Fourth Congressional District Congressman Donald McEachin shared his thoughts on the news of the federal funding coming to the Crater region.

“This is an important step forward to have funding come to the Crater Planning District Commission to help these localities encourage private investment, create jobs and plan for the future,” said Congressman McEachin. “Investing in our communities to make them stronger and better is a help for those residents and for strengthening the entire region.”

For additional information, visit www.craterpdc.org or call (804) 861-1666.

Copyright 2018 by Womack Publishing
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