FROSTBURG, Md. — Frostburg State University will use a $1.48 million grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission to establish programs at its Western Maryland Advanced Technology Center, officials said Thursday.
The grant is part of a larger $46.4 million package through the ARC’s Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization program that supports 57 projects across 184 coal-impacted counties. The initiative is aimed at giving federal resources to communities that have been affected by job loss due to the decline in coal and coal-related industries.
“Many of the projects we announced today will invest in educating and training the Appalachian workforce, nurturing entrepreneurship and supporting infrastructure — including broadband access,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “These investments in our Appalachian coal-impacted communities are critical in leveling the economic playing field so our communities can thrive.”
At FSU, the funding will be used to help establish a Waste-to-Value Center of Excellence, remote work center, the Renewable Energy Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program and the Center for Advanced Product Design and Manufacturing, according to a university news release.
“Frostburg State University is pleased to be the recipient of the only POWER grant ever awarded in the state of Maryland, a testament to the success that, working together, local, state and federal officials can deliver to our region,” said Al Delia, FSU’s vice president for Regional Development and Engagement.
Companies are interested in coming to Frostburg to be a part of the university’s Innovation Park, and because they can find a good quality of life and reasonably priced business real estate, said FSU President Ron Nowaczyk.
“This grant comes thanks to the efforts of many who care about Western Maryland and to the state legislature, especially our local delegation, and to Governor (Larry) Hogan for the funding and confidence they placed in Frostburg State University to enhance our economic development initiatives,” he said.
POWER was launched in 2015 by ARC and has invested more than $287.8 million in 362 projects across 353 coal-impacted counties. The most recent allotment is anticipated to create more than 9,187 jobs and attract about $519.5 million in leveraged private investments and be matched by $59.2 million in additional public and private funds across the region.