DRA Announces $1.2 Million Investment into Missouri Communities

October 08, 2019

DRA’s investment will strengthen public infrastructure, workforce training and support economic development in communities across Missouri

CLARKSDALE, MS – Today, the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) made a $1.2 million investment to support infrastructure development and workforce training to grow the region’s economy and create jobs, DRA Federal Co-Chairman Chris Caldwell and Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced.

Nine new investments will provide funding for projects supporting water and sewer systems, workforce development programs, and capital investment in Opportunity Zones in communities across Missouri through DRA and other public and private resources.

“DRA’s mission is to support economic development by making investments into the physical infrastructure and human capital of the Delta region,” said Chairman Caldwell. “These investments will provide much needed improvements to water and sewer systems, workforce training programs, and industrial access roads to provide greater economic opportunities for Missouri residents and businesses.”

Funding for these projects is provided by the States’ Economic Development Assistance Program, DRA’s flagship grant program that makes strategic investments into projects supporting basic public infrastructure, transportation improvements, workforce training and education, and business development with an emphasis on entrepreneurship. DRA coordinates directly with Missouri’s Department of Economic Development and five local development districts in the state for program funding implementation.

Missouri: 2019 Investment Snapshot


# of Projects

DRA Investment

Total Investment

Jobs Created/Retained

Individuals Trained

Families Affected








“Our administration has continued to focus heavily on improving workforce development and infrastructure. To make Missouri more competitive, we are making strategic investments in these areas that will drive growth going forward,” Governor Mike Parson (R-MO) said. “We appreciate Delta Regional Authority’s $1.2 million investment in our communities, which will help meet Missouri’s needs and improve economic growth.”

Missouri’s congressional delegation issued the following statements:

"These resources will support key economic development projects in our rural communities, like improving critical infrastructure, strengthening workforce development programs, and more,” said U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO). “I’ll keep working with the DRA to ensure our rural communities have more tools to compete and succeed.”

“These investments will create good jobs, improve infrastructure, and bolster economic development in our rural communities,” said U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO).

“From water system enhancements in West Plains, to road improvements in Mississippi County, and training programs in New Madrid, these investments will improve our local workforce, create new jobs and benefit thousands of families here in southern Missouri,” said Congressman Jason Smith (R – 8th District). “These projects are exactly why Congress created the Delta Regional Authority and why I have continued to work closely with them to secure resources for Missouri’s 8th District. I look forward to continuing to support these projects that will attract businesses large and small to create good-paying jobs right here in southern Missouri.”


  1. Pemiscot County Port Railroad Extension | Caruthersville, MO: The Pemiscot County Port Authority will use DRA funds to extend the existing railroad to a new facility to increase the port’s capacity and ability to transload cottonseed from trucks to railcars. This investment is projected to create seven new jobs. DRA Investment: $206,000; Total Project Investment: $932,618
  1. JAG-Missouri, Inc. Workforce Readiness Initiative | Springfield, MO: Jobs for America’s Graduates-Missouri, Inc. will use DRA funds to implement workforce readiness training and dropout prevention measures in 26 Missouri high schools. This investment is projected to train 1,700 individuals for in-demand careers. DRA Investment: $200,000; Total Project Investment: $940,000
  1. Mississippi County Road Improvements | Charleston, MO: Mississippi County will use DRA funds to redesign and repair county roads to increase drainage and mitigate flooding that impacts the operations at the Mississippi County Port. This investment is projected to create 25 new jobs and retain 50. DRA Investment: $155,500; Total Project Investment: $887,955
  1. Cape Girardeau County Access Road Improvements | Jackson, MO: Cape Girardeau County will use DRA funds to pave the gravel roads leading to the industrial park to support business expansion in the region. DRA Investment: $137,825; Total Project Investment: $270,325
  1. Piedmont Water System Extension | Piedmont, MO: The City of Piedmont will use DRA funds to extend water and sewer lines and increase their system’s capacity to support the construction and operation of new commercial development in the city. This investment is projected to create five new jobs and impact five families who will benefit from improved water and sewer services. DRA Investment: $132,093; Total Project Investment: $174,368
  1. West Plains Water System Enhancement | West Plains, MO: The Ozarks Development Corporation will use DRA funds to replace an existing backup water line at Heritage Business Park to increase capacity and efficiency for existing industry and to support the recruitment of new businesses. This investment is projected to retain 200 jobs. DRA Investment: $105,255; Total Project Investment: $148,255
  1. Missouri Opportunity Zone Initiative | Jefferson City, MO: This Missouri Department of Economic Development will use DRA funds to partner with regional planning commissions to develop tools and trainings to help local communities attract investment into their designated Opportunity Zones. DRA Investment: $105,000
  1. New Madrid Workforce Training Programs | New Madrid, MO: The New Madrid School District will use DRA funds to purchase equipment for their new electrician program as well as their graphic arts and welding programs. This investment is projected to train 40 individuals for in-demand careers. DRA Investment: $80,000; Total Project Investment: $180,000
  1. Ste. Genevieve Water System Improvements | Ste. Genevieve, MO: Ste. Genevieve County will use DRA funds to construct an interconnection of their water systems for use in emergencies and natural disasters. This investment is projected to impact 2,380 families who will benefit from improved water and sewer services. DRA Investment: $65,528; Total Project Investment: $82,680

About the Delta Regional Authority

Established in 2000 by Congress, the Delta Regional Authority makes strategic investments of federal appropriations into the physical and human infrastructure of Delta communities. Led by the Delta Regional Authority Board-comprised of the Federal Co-Chairman, appointed by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and the governors of the eight states-the Delta Regional Authority fosters local and regional partnerships that address economic and social challenges to ultimately strengthen the Delta economy and the quality of life for Delta residents. The Delta Regional Authority works to improve regional economic opportunity by helping to create jobs, build communities, and improve the lives of the 10 million people who reside in the 252 counties and parishes of the eight-state Delta region.

DRA Media Contact:
Susan Edwards         

DRA Program Contact:
Kemp Morgan