Daily Record Staff//September 16, 2021
//September 16, 2021
Frostburg State University was awarded $1,480,979 by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) for the Western Maryland Advanced Technology Center at FSU Innovation Park, the ARC announced Thursday.
The park will help establish a Waste-to-Value (W2V) Center of Excellence, a Remote Work Center, the Renewable Energy Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program and the Center for Advanced Product Design and Manufacturing serving western Maryland and the surrounding region.
This award is part of a $46.4 million package supporting 57 projects across 184 coal-impacted counties through ARC’s POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative. POWER targets federal resources to communities affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations and coal-related supply chain industries. Partners in the work include Allegany County, the Maryland Department of Commerce, The Office of the Governor through Special Secretary Wendi Peters and private companies, including Optimize Renewables, Delmock Technologies Inc., Aeon Technologies LLC, SonoAsh LLC and TGCC.
Since POWER launched in 2015, ARC has invested more than $287.8 million in 362 projects across 353 coal-impacted counties. The nearly $46.4 million awarded today is projected to create/retain more than 9,187 jobs, attract nearly $519.5 million in leveraged private investments and be matched by $59.2 million in additional public and private funds across the region.
ARC is working with Chamberlin/Dunn LLC, a third-party research firm, to closely monitor, analyze and evaluate these investments. A new report, published today in conjunction with the announcement, drew on 72 stories representing 44 unique POWER projects funded between fiscal years 2015-2020 to determine the most significant changes that occurred as a result of POWER.
The evaluation found that projects funded through POWER grants met or exceeded targets for jobs retained and/or created, businesses created, workers trained and revenues increased. Chamberlin/Dunn is continuing to monitor POWER investments and make recommendations to ARC for ongoing programmatic efficiencies.