U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2.7 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to the Great Lakes Boat Building School, in Cedarville, Michigan, to construct a 10,000-square-foot school expansion, establish new boat-docking infrastructure and purchase additional marine electronics testing equipment.
This project will more than double training capacity for marine service technicians at the school, which has a one-year waiting list, and enhance students’ learning experiences. The school is located in Michigan’s Eastern Upper Peninsula, a rural region bordered by both Lake Huron and Lake Superior where tourism is the predominant economic driver. This EDA grant will be matched with $686,595 in local funds and is expected to create 270 jobs and generate $5 million in private investment.
“President Biden is committed to ensuring our nation not only recovers from this pandemic but builds back stronger,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment will support Michigan’s marine industry, including recreational boating, throughout the Great Lakes State – all while building resiliency in the region’s economy for decades to come.”
This project is funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Public Law 116-136), which provided EDA with $1.5 billion for economic assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program, provides a wide range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are grateful to our federal partners for investing in Michiganders and creating opportunities in our beautiful Upper Peninsula,” said Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “This investment will deliver federal resources to empower the boating industry, among others, and shore up economic security for families and small businesses in the region for years to come. We will continue working at the state level and with our federal partners to grow our economy, create good-paying jobs, and deliver on the kitchen-table issues that matter most to families.”