EDA grant targets south central Minnesota manufacturers hit hard by pandemic


NORTH MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — A $74,552 Economic Development Administration grant is set to aid south central Minnesota manufacturers.

Democratic Sen. Tina Smith, of Minnesota, says the grant will help manufacturers and communities in the region recover from economic losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“A lot of businesses have struggled with COVID. Some businesses have done just fine and others have been deeply challenged and this is a way of helping those businesses and helping those that work for them,” Smith stated.

The funds will go to the Region Nine Development Commission to help the group establish a disaster and economic recovery plan for manufacturing and job losses in local communities.

Manufacturing accounts for more than 22% of the jobs in the region.

“Manufacturing is the backbone of our regional economy. In eight of our nine counties, it’s the highest industry,” RNDC Executive Director Nicole Griensewic said.

The project begins in March and will last through 2022.

“We are really working on trying to make sure their voices are heard. Work with stakeholders, those in industry, plant managers, individuals that are part of the logistic providers and so part of that is going to be really working with them to have an advisory committee and interviews with these industry stakeholders, plant managers, etc. of smaller and larger manufacturing businesses,” added Griensewic.

Region Nine is made up of Blue Earth, Brown, Faribault, Le Sueur, Martin, Nicollet, Sibley, Waseca, and Watonwan counties.

View the KEYC video here.