President Joe Biden’s administration says it is making $3 billion in economic development grants available to communities — a tenfold increase in the program paid for by this year’s COVID-19 relief bill.
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo tells The Associated Press her agency on Thursday will begin accepting applications for the competitive grants, which officials hope will create hundreds of thousands of jobs.
“This is about real help for communities across the country as they rebuild,” Raimondo said Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press. “It’s about longer-term investments to help communities build themselves back from the bottom up in the ways that work best for them.”
The goal is to help struggling cities and towns make long-term investments to drive development for years to come.
The grants will be targeted at supporting local infrastructure, job training programs and developing new industries.
“These are taxpayer dollars we are investing in communities, so we want to help them get recovery right,” said Raimondo. “These investments can help ensure they can rebuild more sustainably and more equitably in the ways that work best for them.”