City of West Michigan’s $2.9 million federal grant for project expected to support 500 food industry jobs

OCEANA COUNTY, MI – A $2.9 million federal grant is expected to support 500 jobs in the food processing industry in a western Michigan town, Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s office announced on Saturday, September 17. .

The award given to the town of Hart in rural Oceana County is part of a grant program from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration. The funds are aimed at upgrading local water supply infrastructure to increase the production capacity of the region’s food processing industry, according to a press release.

“Today’s investment in water infrastructure in Hart will create and retain 500 jobs, spur the growth of local small businesses, and build on the recent bipartisan budget I just signed into law,” Whitmer said in the Saturday press release.

“Investing in our infrastructure is essential to building communities where businesses can grow, and today’s grant will deliver long-awaited improvements that will strengthen the region’s food processing industry.” I will work with anyone to invest in our water infrastructure and grow Michigan’s economy.

Hart is a small town of about 2,000 people. The grant is expected to create a total of 75 jobs, retain 425 jobs, and generate $2 million in private investment estimated by recipients, according to the release.

Officials say this upgrade to current infrastructure will increase wastewater treatment capacity, allowing local fruit and vegetable developers to continue to grow Michigan’s economy by supporting well-paying jobs and attracting new people. businesses in the region.

“This project will help our processors expand their operations and promote new partnerships with farmers to help make our supply chain more resilient,” said U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, Chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on agriculture, nutrition and forestry. , said in the press release.

Whitmer said the grant comes as Michigan’s economy is growing, with 133,000 jobs added over the past 12 months and the unemployment rate falling at a record pace.

Under the Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant program, upgrading critical infrastructure in Hart will give the surrounding region a competitive edge to create new jobs, grow the food processing sector and attract private investment, Alejandra Castillo, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, said in the press release.

More information about the grant program can be found on the EDA webpage and a full description of the US bailout economic adjustment program can be found on the grant webpage here.

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