WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced Thursday that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2 million grant to the city of West Frankfort, Illinois, to repurpose the West Frankfort Mall to serve growing industries. According to grantee estimates, the project is expected to create 218 jobs, retain 208 and generate $1.5 million in private investment.
“The Trump Administration is committed to not only retaining jobs in this country, but also to taking action that creates new opportunities for Americans,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “West Frankfort is taking a proactive approach to job creation by repurposing its mall to serve as a commercial business center that will support growing industries like healthcare.”
“This investment will strengthen West Frankfort’s efforts to attract and grow local small businesses by making critical infrastructure improvements to the mall’s parking lot, heating and cooling systems, and surrounding roadways,” Senator Duckworth said. “I’m committed to working to help secure federal funding that allows local communities and business leaders to access the resources they need to create jobs and drive economic development across our state.”
“The repurposing of the West Frankfort Mall represents an opportunity for economic growth and more good-paying jobs in the region,” said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). “I will continue advocating for federal funding to support Illinois’ development and growing industries.”
“This is great news for West Frankfort and all of Franklin County,” said U.S Representative Mike Bost (IL-12). “The grant will create hundreds of jobs and lead to over a million dollars in private investment and growing industries.”
The refurbishing of the West Frankfort Mall will help the city meet the needs of the region’s business community, many of which are impacted by significantly increased traffic. Specifically, the project will help to improve parking lots, install a new HVAC unit, ensure entryway safety and security, and build better roadways surrounding the building. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Greater Egypt Regional Planning and Development Commission. EDA funds the Greater Egypt Regional Planning and Development Commission to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.