U.S. Secretary of Commerce Tech Grant
The U.S. Secretary of Commerce has renewed our regional manufacturing community designation for another two-year period. Southwest Alabama’s eight country region was among the first of 12 communities across the nation to be awarded the U.S. Department of Commerce Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) designation. The primary benefit of this designation is preferential scoring on applications to eleven federal agencies for grant funding. Since 2014, the IMCP community has received more than $20 million in federal funds in the region.
Two of the grants received this year as an outgrowth of the region’s federal designation as a manufacturing community include:
- $2.9 million awarded to the Mobile Area Chamber Foundation to renovate a building on St. Louis Street in downtown Mobile that will house the Innovation PortAL. Local private foundations, private industry, the city of Mobile, Mobile County and the University of South Alabama committed $1.9 million in matching funds. Innovation PortAL will help entrepreneurs launch a business idea or accelerate an existing company with the assistance of industry experts, mentors and specialized training.
• $14.5 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant awarded to the City of Mobile to reconstruct the Broad-Beauregard corridor. The funding will rebuild aging infrastructure, help connect citizens to jobs and revitalize historic neighborhoods. The plan includes bike and pedestrian lanes and landscaped medians, reconnecting neighborhoods currently divided by Broad Street’s five-lanes of concrete.