Governor Tom Wolf today announced that the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) has named the Southwestern Pennsylvania New Economy Collaborative one of 21 winners of the Plan’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge. American rescue. The EDA is awarding approximately $62.7 million in grants to the Southwestern Pennsylvania New Economy Collaborative to strengthen the Robotics and Autonomy Cluster in southwestern Pennsylvania.
“I am grateful to President Joe Biden and his administration for making transformative investments here in Pennsylvania to help secure prosperity and opportunity for all. Already known as a hub of innovation and cutting-edge technology, this $62.7 million investment will further fuel Southwestern Pennsylvania as a global leader in robotics and artificial intelligence.” , Governor Wolf said. “These dollars will help create family-supporting jobs and boost economic opportunity across the region by supporting potential employers and employees with investments in infrastructure, workforce training and marketing.
In March, Governor Wolf wrote a letter in support of the collaboration’s proposal, promising to partner with the SWPA coalition to ensure this critical project is successfully completed.
With $62.7 million in funding from the EDA, the Southwestern Pennsylvania New Economy Collaborative – a coalition of the region’s top academic, philanthropic and private sector leaders – will energize the globally recognized robotics and autonomy cluster of SWPA and will ensure that its economic benefits reach rural areas and coal equitably. – affected communities in the eleven county region. The five projects funded under this award include support for expanded pathways to careers in the new economy to expand the region’s existing robotics and AI workforce training portfolio and a project to adoption of SME robotics to support the adoption of the technology by small and medium-sized enterprises. .
“The Build Back Better Regional Challenge offers bold investments in local economies to create well-paying jobs, catalyze emerging industries, and prepare our workforce for the future,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “The Southwest Pennsylvania Collaborative New Economy Coalition will strengthen a critical technology and innovation sector that will ensure America’s global competitiveness for decades to come.”
The Southwestern Pennsylvania New Economy Collaborative is one of 21 winners – each a regional coalition of partner entities – who will receive prizes between $25 million and $65 million to implement an average of six projects that together will enable economic transformation and the competitiveness of each region.
The Build Back Better Regional Challenge (BBBRC) is an unprecedented competitive federal grantmaking program that provides each regional coalition with significant investments to tackle a wide variety of projects – including entrepreneurship support, labour, infrastructure and innovation – to drive inclusive economic growth. Each coalition’s set of projects aims to develop and strengthen regional industrial clusters, while respecting economic equity, creating well-paying jobs, and improving the United States’ global competitiveness. The projects span 24 states and include $94 million for two primarily tribal coalitions and more than $200 million for projects serving communities affected by declining coal use.
The 21 BBBRC winners were chosen from 60 finalists who each received funding of approximately $500,000 and received technical assistance to further develop their cluster strategies. These 60 finalists were chosen from a Phase 1 applicant pool of 529 applicants, illustrating the huge demand for transformational economic development across the country. EDA will continue to support the 60 finalists with the creation of a community of practice – led by the Research Triangle Institute – that will provide technical support, foster connectivity with peer regions and build capacity.
The Build Back Better Regional Challenge is one of many EDA programs aimed at building strong regional economies and supporting community-led economic development. EDA received $3 billion in additional funding under the U.S. bailout to help communities nationwide in their efforts to build back better by accelerating economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and building economies that will withstand future economic shocks. For more information on EDA’s U.S. bailout programs, visit https://www.eda.gov/ARPA/.