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University of South Alabama receiving $644K grant to renovate additive manufacturing lab, create cyber research hub

The University of South Alabama is receiving a U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant totaling $644,045. The grant will be applied toward the renovation of the school’s Laboratory for Additive Manufacturing, the creation of a cyber research hub and support of workforce development initiatives.

The grant will be matched with $161,011 in local investment.

H. Philip Paradice, Jr., director of EDA’s Atlanta Regional Office, said the grant’s purpose is to assist in combating the COVID-19-induced economic downturn.

“The Economic Development Administration is committed to helping communities across the nation implement strategies to mitigate economic hardships brought on by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Paradice. “This EDA investment will create an additive manufacturing laboratory, conducting cyber manufacturing research while providing training and workforce development.”

U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) touted the grant as “excellent news” for the Mobile area university.

“This EDA grant is excellent news for the University of South Alabama and the surrounding Mobile area,” said Shelby. “By renovating the Laboratory for Additive Manufacturing and providing resources for a well-trained workforce, we are investing in both the future of cyber research and those engaged in this important field. I am pleased EDA recognizes the value of USA’s role in cyber manufacturing and its ability to benefit the local economy.”

Echoing Shelby’s comments, U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl (R-Mobile) says the investment will serve as an boon to the area’s long-term economic success.

“The Economic Development Administration’s decision to award the University of South Alabama over $600,000 to renovate the Laboratory for Additive Manufacturing is incredible news,” said Carl. “This award will enable the public and private sectors to work together to strengthen and grow the regional economy as we recover from the many hardships brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the South Alabama Regional Planning Commission (SARPC). EDA funds SARPC 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.

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

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