St. Clairsville, OH (September 28, 2022) – Belmont College will receive a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) for construction of a new building to house the College’s construction trades programs.
This grant will aid regional workforce development in the construction trades, preparing students for in-demand jobs in Building Preservation/Restoration (BPR), HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) repair and maintenance, welding training, and related safety programs. The EDA investment will be matched with $3.2 million in state and local funds and is expected to create 100 jobs and generate $200,000 in private investment, according to grantee estimates.
Once completed, the new construction trades building will be located on the 54 acres of property that Belmont College owns between Hammond Road and State Route 331 in St. Clairsville, Ohio. The new building will provide primary lab space and classroom space for the BPR, HVAC, and Welding programs. Additionally, a portion of the building’s classroom and lab space will be utilized by the College’s Fire and EMS (Emergency Medical Services) program.
“We are appreciative of the support from the EDA in support of our construction trades programs,” said Dr. Paul F. Gasparro, President. “Funding from this grant will enable us to build a modern facility for our Building Preservation/Restoration, HVAC, Welding, and safety programs.”
Gasparro continued, “These degree programs have several things in common; they provide much needed high wage job opportunities in fast-growing fields, they are incorporating new technologies in their training, and have partner industries ready to hire Belmont graduates.”
“These funds will be instrumental in providing state-of-the-art equipment and training in our classrooms to meet the demands of our workforce,” he said. “This project represents hope for the region that it’s residents will receive affordable training in fields where they can make a family sustaining wage and make a difference in the Ohio Valley.”
“President Biden is committed to supporting communities as they build a better America,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment will create a skilled workforce to meet local needs in the construction trades, while creating jobs and building economic resiliency in the region.”
“The Economic Development Administration is pleased to support locally driven efforts to strengthen the regional economy,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “We are proud to partner with Belmont College as it leads the effort to build a robust construction trades workforce in the Appalachian Region of Ohio and West Virginia, ensuring that economic resiliency reaches all pockets of our country.”
“Ohio has a proud history of leading the country in manufacturing innovation. We’re building on that legacy by making new investments in Belmont College to train the next generation of Ohio construction workers,” said Senator Sherrod Brown. “We know Ohio workers can compete with anyone in the world, and this will allow more Ohioans to build careers in good-paying jobs.”
“As a longtime supporter of the local trades, I am very pleased that Belmont College is a recipient of this award,” said Congressman Bill Johnson (OH-06). “The more we can do to help students develop their skills and prepare them for today’s modern workforce, the better. These skilled trades will always be essential to America’s future, and the marketable skills the students will obtain will better prepare them to pursue their own version of the American Dream. I look forward to continuing to work with college and local officials to ensure the success of the construction trades program.”
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About Belmont College (www.belmontcollege.edu)
Founded in 1971, Belmont College is one of 23 community colleges in the University System of Ohio. The College offers more than 40 associate degree and certificate programs to serve the multiple needs of area citizens. Belmont offers a comprehensive array of credit and non-credit programming at the Main Campus in St. Clairsville, Ohio. For more information, visit belmontcollege.edu.
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 invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.