CHARLESTON, W.Va. – U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today joined the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) in announcing a $516,360 CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to Blue Ridge Community and Technical College to expand its plastics training program to meet local industry workforce needs in Morgan, Jefferson, and Berkley counties. The project, to be matched with $294,190 in local funds, is expected to create 345 jobs and retain 770 jobs.

“Blue Ridge Community and Technical College provides critical education and workforce training, equipping students with the skills they need to secure employment and succeed,” Senator Capito said. “Today’s EDA announcement is a welcomed investment that will grow and retain quality jobs in the Eastern Panhandle’s growing manufacturing industry. EDA investments in West Virginia are making a real difference, and I’m proud to continue working so that projects like this one receive the funding it deserves.”

“The EDA investment in Martinsburg is great news for our state and will develop a stronger workforce in the Eastern Panhandle,” Senator Manchin said. “This funding will support the Blue Ridge Community and Technical College’s expansion of their plastics training program, and will create and retain hundreds of jobs for hardworking West Virginians. The EDA continues to be a strong partner for the Mountain State, and I will continue to work with the EDA, state and local partners to advocate for funding that spurs economic growth and creates jobs in West Virginia.”

“The Economic Development Administration is committed to helping communities across the nation implement workforce development strategies to help Americans get back to work,” Alejandra Y. Castillo, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, said. “This EDA investment will allow Blue Ridge Community and Technical College to expand its capacity to provide high school students and working adults with the opportunity to earn college credit while gaining specialized technical skills that will open the door to good-paying jobs.”

This project is funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Public Law 116-136), which provided EDA with $1.5 billion for economic assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program, provides a wide range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.


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