NEWS: Delta Regional Authority, state and local partners invest $21 million into West Tennessee

October 02, 2015

NEWBERN, Tenn. – The Delta Regional Authority and its partners are investing more than $21 million in federal, state, and local resources to support small business owners and entrepreneurs, workers and their families by improving economic development, workforce training, and job creation in West Tennessee’s Delta region, Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd announced today.

“The DRA is excited to announce another year of investing into the people, small businesses, and infrastructure that make West Tennessee a great place to create jobs, grow business, and raise a family,” Chairman Masingill said. “These investments strategically leverage funding for projects that will help to address the infrastructure, training, and public service needs of our communities while driving economic development and growing small businesses and entrepreneurs.”

The nine new investments, including construction and expansion of training centers and incubators and infrastructure improvements that support economic development, leverage $1.3 million in DRA resources into $21 million in total public and private investment for West Tennessee’s Delta communities, their residents, and their economies.

“Tennessee’s partnership with the Delta Regional Authority is essential as these investments help strengthen infrastructure and boost job growth in many West Tennessee communities,” Commissioner Boyd said. “We are focused on aligning our efforts to develop and maintain an educated and well-trained workforce, and with the continued support of the DRA, these efforts are made possible.

These investments are expected to help create and retain 396 jobs for local residents and train nearly 1,400 residents for jobs in their communities.

State           # of Projects   DRA Resources   Leveraged Funds   Total Investment
Tennessee         9 $1,345,045 $19,936,485 21,281,890

“I am grateful for this collaboration and for the much-needed support that will be received because of these investments,” Commissioner Boyd continued.

The investments are made through the DRA States’ Economic Development Assistance Program, the agency’s main federal funding program that invests in basic public infrastructure, transportation infrastructure, workforce development, and small business and entrepreneurship, and health access projects in the 252 counties and parishes of the eight-state Delta region. DRA coordinates directly with Tennessee’s three planning and development districts in the region for program funding implementation.

DRA leadership works closely with the governor of each state and his board designee to identify projects to receive SEDAP investments, which are aligned with state economic development goals.  

These federal investments require a minimal investment of state funds that can bring a large return in DRA and other agency funding and result in a great economic impact for the Delta region of Tennessee.

“I’m thankful for the investment the Delta Regional Authority has made in our local communities,” U.S. Congressman Stephen Fincher said. “Any investment that grows opportunities for folks in West Tennessee is a step in the right direction. I applaud the DRA for giving our communities the support they need to create jobs and increase economic development.”

“These federal, state and local investments into our community will help create jobs and make Memphis a better place to live, raise a family, and launch a business,” U.S. Congressman Steve Cohen said.

2015 SEDAP INVESTMENTS

1. West Tennessee AgLaunch Consortium, Regionwide (TN-7,8,9): Bringing to West Tennessee the AgLaunch program, an agriculture-focused, rural entrepreneurship program to create jobs, attract private investment, and provide new opportunities to farmers by stimulating rural entrepreneurship and agritech innovation. DRA Investment: $75,000; Leveraged Public Investment: $150,000.

2. Wastewater System Improvements, Benton and Decatur Counties (TN-7,8): Improvements made to existing treatment facility to eliminate recurring costs and retain area jobs and business for commercial businesses along Exit 126 on U.S. Interstate 40 (36 jobs to be retained and 120 families to be affected). DRA Investment: $190,932; Leveraged Public Investment: $156,000.

3. Advanced Manufacturing Technology Training for Northwest Tennessee, Newbern (TN-8): The Newbern College of Applied Technology will purchase a 3D Printer, Coordinate Measuring Machine, Injection Molding Machine, and a Bridgeport Mill to support skills training needs as identified by regional industry (750 workers to be trained). DRA Investment: $200,000.

4. Andersons Grain Company Industrial Access Road, Humboldt (TN-8): The surfacing of an existing roadbed for an access road serving the future Andersons Grain site (5 jobs to be created). DRA Investment: $105,000; Private Capital Investment: $19,000,000.

5. Parker Hannifin Industry Expansion, Greenfield (TN-8): Purchase of materials, site prep, grading, and drainage to construct a 20,000-square-foot building adjacent to the industry's property (50 jobs to be created and 155 jobs to be retained). DRA Investment: $200,000; Leveraged Public Investment: $300,000.

6. Incubator Entrepreneurial Training and Education, Germantown (TN-8,9):  Training and education to guide emerging and small businesses through the stages of business development at a new EPIcenter/City of Germantown satellite incubator through public-private partnership (125 entrepreneurs to be trained). DRA Investment: $93,863; Leveraged Public Investment: $30,750.

7. Agricenter Regional Training Center Waterline Extension, Memphis (TN-9): “Loop back" water line extension to increase water line pressure and volume for the expansion of the Case NewHolland Regional Training Center at Agricenter International (47 jobs to be created and 98 jobs to be retained). DRA Investment: $130,250.

8. Boilermakers and Welding Institute, Memphis (TN-9): State-of-the-art equipment, software, tools and supplies for realistic simulated training models at the Boilermakers and Welding Institute, which will serve as a regional training academy utilizing the latest advanced technology to train craftsmen, offer national credentials and provide career placement to students and workers in the tri-state greater Memphis region (5 jobs to be created and 500 workers to be trained). DRA Investment: $200,000; Private Capital Investment: $246,270.

9. M/WBE Strategic Growth Services, Memphis and communities throughout Delta region (TN-9): Continuation of project partnership with the Mid-South Minority Business Council Continuum to increase minority business participation in procurement opportunities across the Delta region through access to virtual training resources. This project serves communities in seven states through five county focus areas (10 entrepreneurs to be trained). DRA Investment: $150,000; Leveraged Public Investment: $53,825.

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. Through the past thirteen investment cycles of the DRA’s States Economic Development Assistance Program, DRA investments have leveraged $2.7 billion in other public and private investment into projects that are helping to create and retain 42,000 jobs, train 13,000 for a 21st century workforce, and provide more than 82,000 families access to clean water and sewer services. Learn more at dra.gov.

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Contact: Spencer Lucker
(501) 416-3789
slucker@dra.gov