ALPENA – The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration is awarding a $2.4 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to Alpena Community College, Alpena, to renovate space on campus to create an advanced manufacturing lab and an updated welding shop. This EDA grant, to be matched with $600,000 in local investment, is expected to retain about 275 jobs, and generate $15 million in private investment.

“EDA is committed to helping communities across the nation implement strategies to mitigate economic hardships brought on by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Dennis Alvord, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This investment in the Alpena Community College Manufacturing Skills Center Initiative will create new training opportunities for Northeast Michigan’s workforce and ensure there is a steady pool of skilled workers for local businesses.”

“This investment in Alpena Community College will create opportunities for northeastern Michiganders of all backgrounds to receive important skills trainings and attain good-paying jobs,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Throughout the pandemic, we have seen more and more Michiganders express interest in pursuing additional skills or a degree, and this CARES Act Recovery Assistance Grant will provide some of our hardest-hit communities a much-needed chance at a long-lasting, sustainable economic recovery. I am grateful to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration for recognizing Michigan’s potential and giving workers in the Alpena area a chance to get back on their feet through continued education and skills trainings.”

The project will renovate two spaces totaling more than 14,000-square-feet, to allow for the college to expand its advanced manufacturing program and provide 16 new welding booths.

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.