Administration

Biden announces $1 billion in funding for regional economic projects

President Biden on Friday announced a total of $1 billion in funding for regional economic development projects in 24 different states.

Biden and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo held a virtual event with winners of grant money through the Build Back Better Regional Challenge, an initiative funded through the American Rescue Plan intended to revitalize communities with new manufacturing, biotech and clean energy projects.

“As we invest and grow critical industries in the U.S., we want to create industry hubs in diverse communities across the country,” Raimondo said in a statement. “These grants will provide critical and historic funding directly to community coalitions to invest in new infrastructure, research and development, and workforce development programs while creating good-paying jobs, supporting workers, and prioritizing equity.”

Each of the projects will receive between $25 million and $65 million. Among those chosen from hundreds of applicants are a Nebraska robotics initiative to invest in research and innovation, which will receive $25 million; $52 million for a Detroit foundation to modernize its supply chain around the mobility industry; $44 million for a New Hampshire coalition working on the production of regenerative tissues and organs; and $62 million for a West Virginia based coalition leading the transition to clean energy in the Appalachian region.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) joined Friday’s event virtually and was recognized by Biden at one point.

“I applaud every community that received a grant and that applied. You’re the reason I’m so optimistic about the future of this country. I mean it,” Biden said at the virtual event with several of the beneficiaries. 

The president asked the recipients questions about how specifically their projects would benefit their communities and how the funding would be used to boost the local economy.

Friday’s announcement came on the heels of a jobs report that showed the U.S. added 315,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate rose to 3.7 percent, up from 3.5 percent in August.

Rising unemployment and slowing job gains are rarely good news for an economy. But the August jobs report showed the economy moving toward ample job growth and lower inflation.

Biden touted the jobs report, paired with the latest round of funding from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan passed last year, as evidence that his economic plan is working.

“The bottom line is jobs are up, wages are up, people are back to work and we’re seeing some signs that inflation may be — I’m not overpromising — may be beginning to ease,” Biden said Friday.

Tags Gina Raimondo Joe Biden Joe Manchin President Joe Biden

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File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

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