Alabama project advances to Phase 2 of national competitionDecember 31, 2021
An Alabama project in the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge has advanced to the second round of the contest.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimonda announced in a news release that Alabama’s DRIVE project is one of 60 finalists to be awarded $500,000 and advanced to compete for a prize of up to $100 million that will go to projects that develop and strengthen industry clusters boasting economic equity, creating good-paying jobs and enhancing the nation’s global competitiveness.
“The Build Back Better Regional Challenge aims to supercharge local economies and increase American competitiveness around the globe,” Raimondo said in the release. “The outpouring of interest in this program shows the demand for the Build Back Better agenda and the desire to not only create good-paying jobs, but also strengthen our country’s economic resiliency for years down the road.”
DRIVE, Driving Regional Innovation through Vehicle Electrification, led by the University of Alabama, is designed to bolster the Wide West Alabama 24-county region and put it in position to lead the state and nation in the future of mobility. The University of Alabama is the lead institution in the coalition that includes West Alabama Works, Tuscaloosa County Economic Development Authority, and Shelton State, Beevil State and Wallaca Selma community colleges.
“As the state’s flagship institution, The University of Alabama is positioned to lead this initiative designed to improve quality of life through job creation and training while boosting the automotive industry in our state to continue advancing technological achievements,” said Dr. Russell Mumper, UA vice president for research and economic development in a news release posted on the university’s website. “We look forward to working with our partners to take a holistic approach to creating a highly-skilled workforce beginning in K-12, progressing through community colleges and universities and in partnership with industry.”
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