On Friday, August 12, 2016 Governor Asa Hutchinson and Congressman Steve Womack were on hand as EDA Austin Regional Director, Jorge Ayala, announced approximately $1.4 million in EDA investments in Northwest Arkansas. The recipients of the EDA investments were Benton County, the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, and the Arkansas World Trade Center. NWAEDD was proud to work with all three entities through the application process and congratulates them on their success!
Benton County received $551,013.00 to help complete the Spanker Creek Bridge project. The Spanker Creek Bridge is highly traveled and is prone to issues with flooding. Benton County identified this as the most critical infrastructure project in the county due to its impact to the local economy. The improved crossing will ensure that local businesses will be able to continue to operate efficiently and employees can make it to work in the event of future floods. An average of 4,500 vehicles a day pass over this bridge.
The Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce received $450,000.00 to purchase robotic equipment and hire staff to support the launch of the NWA Regional Robotics Training Center and Fab Lab. The Robotics Training Center will provide training for employees from companies who have on-site robots and will also help train students and others who wish to become certified robotics technicians. The Fab Lab will help provide entrepreneurs with the resources they need to commercialize their ideas.
The Arkansas World Trade Center will receive $400,000.00 to bolster its ability to promote expansion of exports from Arkansas, especially in counties affected by natural disasters. The Center’s international trade guidance has generated new and expanded revenue of more than $40 million since late 2013, yet much more potential for international trade remains untapped. This EDA investment will ensure the success of these and other international trade efforts.