NEWS: DRA invests $500,000 in two projects to strengthen Arkansas’ economy, infrastructure

March 29, 2018

30 new jobs to be created in Cleveland, Lawrence counties

LITTLE ROCK, AR – The Delta Regional Authority and Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson today announced $500,000 in new DRA investments to strengthen Arkansas’s infrastructure, workforce and economy. DRA’s investments will help create nearly 30 new jobs and retain another 58 jobs in Cleveland and Lawrence counties.

“These investments align with DRA’s primary goal of investing in infrastructure that supports growth in Delta communities,” said Chris Caldwell, federal co-chairman of DRA. “DRA is committed to making a significant economic impact and delivering the greatest return in rural areas in Arkansas and across the region.”

“DRA’s investments are important to the continued economic growth of our state and make a real difference in rural areas like Cleveland and Lawrence counties,” said Gov. Asa Hutchinson. “Improving water systems and rural roads are vital infrastructure investments that support local business expansion and job growth.”

The investments were made through the program partnership with the U.S. Economic Development Administration. Both investments support DRA’s primary mission to invest in basic public infrastructure that strengthens economic development and job growth in rural areas. In 2017, DRA invested $2.8 million in nine Arkansas projects. Combined with public and private investments, the total investment in the state reached $25.5 million and helped create or retain nearly 1,200 jobs.

“Economic growth and development come from making smart investments that help lay the groundwork for or improve upon existing infrastructure that businesses need to thrive,” said Sen. John Boozman. “These projects will help hardworking Arkansans and businesses that support and contribute to their local economies. I appreciate the DRA’s commitment to helping Delta communities like those in Cleveland and Lawrence counties benefit from opportunities to expand infrastructure and spur future economic activity.”

In Cleveland County, DRA is investing $251,093 to improve water infrastructure that will support the relocation and expansion of two businesses, including extending water service to a lumber mill that is expanding along Highway 79. In addition, the enhanced water system will allow a poultry farm to expand operations and double its capacity. About 20 new jobs will be created while another 13 jobs will be retained by the two businesses; water improvements also will benefit 650 families in the area.

“Investment in infrastructure is vital if we are to grow our local economies and provide opportunity for the people of Arkansas,” said U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman. “This investment does both in Cleveland County, supporting the hard-working men and women who will work in these expanded businesses.”

In Lawrence County, DRA will invest $250,000 to pave County Road 210, which is now a gravel road. The infrastructure improvement also will support growing businesses in Black Rock.  The business is projected to add 10-15 new jobs and retain another 45 jobs.

Additionally, the project will benefit resident on the road by providing paved access to their homes and greatly reducing dust pollution created by increased truck traffic serving the facility.

“I am grateful for the continued investment the Delta Regional Authority makes in rural Arkansas,” said U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford. “Their efforts regularly improve the lives and economic well-being of my constituents through their focus on critical infrastructure.”
 

About the Delta Regional Authority
The Delta Regional Authority is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to help create jobs, build communities, and improve lives through strategic investments in economic development in 252 counties and parishes across eight states. To date, the DRA’s SEDAP investments, together with its state and local partners, have leveraged more than $3.7 billion in public and private investment into local small business owners, entrepreneurs, workers, and infrastructure development projects. These investments have helped create or retain more than 37,000 jobs, trained more than 3,700 workers for 21st Century jobs and provided water and sewer service to more than 66,000 residents since DRA was established. Learn more at dra.gov

About the Economic Development Administration
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth. Learn more at eda.gov

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Contact: Andrew Moreau
202-744-3558
amoreau@dra.gov