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Biden admin unveils ‘historic’ investment for communities that could create 300,000 jobs in the ‘near term’

Thomas Catenacci, DCNF

President Joe Biden’s administration announced that it would give $3 billion in coronavirus stimulus funds to approved local communities across the country.

The program dubbed “Investing in America’s Communities” amounts to the largest initiative of its kind in decades, according to the Department of Commerce. Local governments and organizations nationwide impacted by the coronavirus pandemic are able to apply to receive the federal funds.

“President Biden’s American Rescue Plan delivered direct relief to the American people and was the first step to energizing the American economy following the devastating impacts of the coronavirus pandemic,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said in a statement. “Now, its medium-term investments will allow communities around the country not only rebuild but reimagine their economy for the future.”

Governments, colleges, non-profits, unions and tribes may apply for funds while individuals and for-profit companies may not, according to the announcement. The department will award grants to up to 30 total localities.

The Investing in America’s Communities effort includes six separate programs including the “Build Back Better Regional Challenge,” tourism grants and the “Good Jobs Challenge,” which will receive $1 billion, $750 million and $500 million respectively, the Commerce Department said. The administration will also offer $300 million for coal communities in an effort to reinvigorate areas that have been ravaged in recent years.

The “historic” initiative could create 300,000 new jobs in the “near term” in areas where funding is allocated, Raimondo told reporters on Thursday.

“We will work with local communities across the country on innovative new approaches to ensure that we can increase American competitiveness by strengthening our workforce, businesses, and communities and build back better in regions across the country,” she said.

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