Biden

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, accompanied by White House press secretary Jen Psaki, left, speaks during a press briefing in the briefing room of the White House on Thursday in Washington.

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s administration is beginning to make $3 billion in economic development grants available to communities — a tenfold increase in the program paid for by this year’s COVID-19 relief bill.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said her agency on Thursday will begin accepting applications for the competitive grants, which officials hope will create hundreds of thousands of jobs and help struggling cities and towns make long-term investments to drive development for years to come. Applications for the grants are available at the website for Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration.

The grants will be targeted at supporting local infrastructure, job training programs and developing new industries. Recipients will be selected on the basis of the anticipated return on investment to taxpayers, which Raimondo said at Thursday’s White House briefing would involve job creation and racial and gender equity goals. She estimated that 300,000 jobs would be created by the grants in the near term.

The administration hopes that the competitive nature of the program will also coax private businesses and philanthropies to focus on rehabilitating their communities by making their own development commitments. There will be $1 billion available for 20 to 30 regions to spend on projects that would rebuild their economies, as well as $750 million in grants targeted for travel, tourism and outdoor recreation.

Fully 10% of the total will be earmarked for coal communities, which have struggled for decades amid the nation’s shift away from fossil fuels and are set to bear the economic brunt of the Biden administration’s even more aggressive efforts to move toward clean energy technologies.

Local Videos

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.