Posted by Heidi Schwartz
(Arkansas) – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker has announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.25 million grant to Independence County in Arkansas to upgrade critical infrastructure that will support the expansion of the poultry industry. According to the grantee, the project will create 250 jobs and generate more than $30 million in private investment.
“The Obama Administration and the Commerce Department are committed to improving our nation’s infrastructure, which is crucial for both economic growth and job creation,” said Secretary Pritzker. “The EDA grants announced support projects that will provide water and road services to Independence County, AR, helping create jobs in the region.”
The poultry industry makes up a significant portion of the region’s economy. When a major employer closed a plant in the area in 2013, local officials worked with the Independence County Economic Development Department to attract another employer. Ozark Mountain Poultry bought the facility in November 2014 and is looking to expand its operations.
EDA’s investment will provide critical transportation access and water by helping to construct an access road from the highway to the feed mill site that will be built for heavy truck loads, a rail spur, and a potable water line. According to the grantee, these improvements will enable increased production, which will lead to additional investment for the community in the future.