Charleston – Huntington, WV. August 17, 2021— The U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration has announced a $1.3 million dollar grant to Advantage Valley Inc. Funds will support the organization’s Expanding Markets Initiative which will facilitate the creation of 143 jobs and retention of 184 jobs, as well as $11 million of new private investment. Through this program, 225 companies in the Charleston-Huntington Metro region, will receive technical services to expand access to new markets. Services will be delivered through a unique partnership between Advantage Valley Inc, seven local economic development organizations, and the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Manufacturing. Funding from this program will continue federal, state, and local efforts to support the diversification of West Virginia’s economy and provide much-needed support for businesses seeking to diversify their customer base.
“Advantage Valley’s existing businesses are the region’s most important economic asset and that is why our Expanding Markets team is here to support their growth and expansion. This program will help companies identify new customer opportunities, gain access to new market areas, as well as improve supply chain connections within our region. Nurturing locally owned businesses that employ local workers with living wages is essential to creating a sustainable economy,” said Terrell Ellis, Executive Director of Advantage Valley Inc.
As the only federal government agency focused exclusively on economic development, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) plays a critical role in facilitating regional economic development efforts in communities across the nation. Guided by the basic principle that sustainable economic development should be locally-driven, EDA works directly with communities and regions to help them build the capacity for economic development based on local business conditions and needs. “We are very grateful for our partnership with EDA who understands the importance of regional collaboration. Our economic development organizations have worked hard to foster that spirit of collaboration in our region, and that’s why EDA’s support is so meaningful”, said Ellis.