The Delta Regional Authority and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, together with their federal and local-based partners, today announced $3.3 million in new DRA investments to strengthen Louisiana’s infrastructure, workforce and economy. DRA’s investments will support public and private partnerships and bring a total of $9.5 million in new investments to Louisiana.
The Delgado Community College Maritime, Fire, Radar & Industrial Training Facility will receive $200,000 from the DRA to better serve the maritime transportation, petroleum and petrochemical industries and meet new safety standards. The Delgado project will result in a completely renovated fire field to meet the future demands of those industries across the Delta.
“The Delta Regional Authority continues to be a strong and committed partner in moving Louisiana forward,” said Gov. Edwards. “We are very fortunate to be among the select group of states that received this award, which when combined with other public-private partnerships has already more than doubled its impact. This is tremendous, and I want to thank the DRA for investing in projects that will enable our people and our communities to have safe drinking water, expand health care options, and provide access to workforce training and development programs that will ultimately enhance the lives of so many.”
Seventeen of the investments were made through the DRA States' Economic Development Assistance Program (SEDAP), the agency's main federal funding program that invests in basic public infrastructure, transportation infrastructure, workforce development, and small business and entrepreneurship projects. The other investments were through DRA’s Community Infrastructure Fund (CIF).
“DRA investments will support infrastructure improvements to deliver clean drinking water and meet sanitary sewer standards in several rural Louisiana communities, support entrepreneurial efforts for minority students, increase community competitiveness, and improve health care in underserved areas,” said Peter Kinder, alternate federal co-chairman of DRA. “These projects will help create jobs, build communities, and improve lives across the Louisiana Delta region. This effort highlights DRA’s ability to build public-private partnerships to invest in the future of the Delta.”
Louisiana is one of eight states to receive DRA investments. The agency’s total investments in the Mississippi River Delta Region and Black Belt of Alabama will reach $20 million in 2017. With contributions from public and private partners, total investments will be $231.6 million.
“This investment in our infrastructure will strengthen our economy and bring good jobs to hard working Louisiana families,” said Dr. Bill Cassidy. “We appreciate the Delta Regional Authority’s continued efforts to grow public and private partnerships to improve our state.”
“As a member of the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations (E&W) Subcommittee, I fought to ensure that Congress would not eliminate the Delta Regional Authority. DRA is an essential program across the eight-state Mississippi Delta region,” said U.S. Sen. John Kennedy. “I made sure that this year’s E&W appropriations bill fully funded the DRA and ensured that $10 million of its budget will be used for flood control, basic infrastructure development and transportation improvements.”
DRA – LOUISIANA ECONOMIC INVESTMENTS:
“I appreciate the DRA for investing well over $1 million in infrastructure investments for communities throughout the 5th Congressional District,” said U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham. “These projects will help deliver clean water, stimulate economic development and create jobs. I look forward to continuing to work with the DRA on ways we can further enhance our Delta communities in the future.”
“These investments in our infrastructure bring critical projects to fruition, especially for our rural communities,” said U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins. “Making our communities more resilient with safe and modern infrastructure systems creates jobs and drives economic growth.”
“Since coming to Congress, I have continually emphasized the importance of maintaining Louisiana’s infrastructure systems. These actions support not only our state, but contribute to the nation as a whole,” said U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson. “I am especially glad Louisiana’s Fourth District will directly receive some of these investments. I look forward to seeing the many benefits the program will provide in the years to come.”
“These grants by the Delta Regional Authority are going to allow local partners to carry out important work,” said U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond. “These grants will expand important job training programs to help Louisiana residents learn skills that high-tech and good-paying jobs in the area require. Getting students at HBCUs more resources to learn about tech, students at Delgado better facilities to train for maritime and other local industries, and students across the state with disabilities better support are all good investments that will grow our economy and strengthen our state.”
DRA coordinates directly with Louisiana’s planning and development districts for program funding implementation. In addition, the agency works closely with Gov. Edwards and his board designee to identify projects to receive SEDAP investments, which are aligned with state economic development goals. These federal investments require a minimal investment of state funds that can bring a large return in DRA and other agency funding and result in a greater economic impact for the Delta region of Louisiana.
About The Delta Regional Authority
The Delta Regional Authority is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to help create jobs, build communities, and improve lives through strategic investments in economic development in 252 counties and parishes across eight states. To date, the DRA’s SEDAP investments, together with its state and local partners, have leveraged more than $3.7 billion in public and private investment into local small business owners, entrepreneurs, workers, and infrastructure development projects. These investments have helped create or retain more than 37,000 jobs, trained more than 7,300 workers for 21st Century jobs and provided water and sewer service to more than 66,000 residents since DRA was established. Learn more at dra.gov.