St. Louis wins ‘Build Back Better Regional Challenge’ Grant
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - St. Louis is one step forward in developing the region’s manufacturing industry after winning a $25 million competitive federal Build Back Better Regional Challenge grant.
“This was an opportunity for the city, the county and the region to come together and really go after something really significant,” said Rodney Crim, CEO and President of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership. “To just be one of the 21 out of 529 applicants is just amazing.”
The grant was established to boost economic recovery from the pandemic and rebuild American communities. St. Louis winning the grant will push forward efforts to grow the region’s manufacturing industry and continue to develop two of the metro’s next-generation industries: Bioscience and geospatial technology.
Officials with the St. Louis economic development partnership said it will grow the regional economy through workforce development, community revitalization, innovation and entrepreneurship.
“This groundbreaking funding for the St. Louis Tech Triangle will serve as a national model for inclusive economic growth built on innovative, next-generation technologies,” said Congresswoman Cori Bush. “We know that this funding is more than just an investment in the technological sphere – it is an investment in people that will serve as an economic catalyst for the entire St. Louis Region.”
St. Louis will also use the grant to develop the region’s globally significant advanced manufacturing industry cluster, including the construction of the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Center (AMICSTL) in North St. Louis City. The center grew out of an initiative at the St. Louis economic development partnership and is part of a bigger effort to revamp North City as a manufacturing and tech hub. Boeing also recently invested $5 million into the center.
“The center piece of the proposal that this metropolitan area put forward in response to the president’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge is the Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Center,” said Jason Hall, CEO Greater of St. Louis Inc., which is the formal applicant on behalf of the St. Louis metro, an effort it coordinated and spearheaded with the public-sector St. Louis Economic Development Partnership.
7 million of the 25 million dollars federal grant funding will service the creation of AMICSTL. Hall says it was strategically chosen to be built across from Ranken Technical College in North City.
“One, it brings in new innovation fueled anchor institution to north St. Louis, an area that needs investment from this region if we’re going to all move forward together,” said Hall.
The Greater St. Louis, Inc. proposal was one of only 21 selected to receive a grant, less than 4% of the original applicant pool. In addition to the $25 million federal grant, $16.3 million in local matching funds will go toward the effort, bringing the total investment in the metro, to date, to $41.3 million.
“One voice with one plan led to a big win for St. Louis,” said Hall. “We can’t say this enough: when the St. Louis metro works together and speaks with one voice, we succeed. Working together as a metro is working, and it is how we will win this next decade for St. Louis.”
President Biden and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo held a live-streamed event Friday at 10 a.m. with the winners of the Build Back Better Regional Challenge grants.
“As the first mayor to be born, raised and still live in north St. Louis, I can’t emphasize how transformational these kinds of investments and opportunities will be for our young people, our city’s working families and our neighborhood,: said St. Louis City Mayor Tishaura Jones.
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