Owens Announces Northern Border Grant Opportunities

Congressman Bill Owens announces the availability of grant funds through the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC). Grants will be awarded to projects that develop infrastructure, provide workforce training and business development, provide health care and public services to underserved areas, promote resource conservation, or promote renewable or alternative energy production.

“Northern Border Regional Commission grants strengthen local economies and encourage job creation and workforce readiness,” said Rep. Owens. “These grants help local businesses create jobs and prepare our workforce to fill them, driving economic growth throughout the region. The Commission continues to support New Yorkers developing their skills and investing in long-term success.”

The NBRC was created by the Congress to alleviate economic distress and save or create job opportunities throughout the northeast. The Commission is responsible for Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Fulton, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. Sandy Blitz, Federal Co-Chair of the NBRC indicated in a release that the Commission intends to award roughly $4.5 million by September of this year with a maximum grant of $250,000.

“It is our belief that this increased funding is a direct reflection of the Congress’ positive attitude to the effectiveness of our program, and the manner in which we have dispensed previous grant funds,” Blitz added.

In recent years, projects across Northern New York have received NBRC grant funding. Recipients have included the Clayton Local Development Corporation, which received funds to renovate basic public utilities at a site on the St. Lawrence River. This renovation contributed to a private funding commitment to build the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel. The Wild Center received support for implementing its Northern New York Maple Project. Most recently the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority received NBRC funding to build a high-speed telecommunications fiber optic system at the commerce park. The Lewis County Development Corporation and the Business Development Corporation for a Greater Massena have also received NBRC development grants in the past several years.

2014 NBRC grants will be awarded to projects that:

- develop the transportation, water, sewer, energy, and telecommunications infrastructure of the region;

- assist the region in obtaining job skills and employment related education, as well as entrepreneurship, technology and business development;

- provide basic health care and other public services for those areas that are severely economically distressed and underdeveloped;

- promote resource conservation, tourism, recreation, and preservation of open spaces in a manner consistent with economic development goals;

- promote the development of renewable and alternative energy sources.

More information about this grant program is available through the New York State Department of State, which can be reached at (518) 473-3355, as well as through New York State regional economic development councils.

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