U.S. Department of Commerce awards grant to Union College

Published on
September 05, 2013

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced that Union College has received a $1.5 million grant to aid in the renovation of the new Health and Natural Sciences building.

The U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Matt S. Erskine made the announcement Thursday morning before the annual Fall Convocation ceremony held in Robsion Arena on Union’s campus.

According to Erskine, the Economic Development Administration wants to invest in projects that lead to fiscal growth. He added that approved programs must meet what he termed “the four C’s”: be competitive; be a true local collaboration; be a co-investment; and a catalyst for economic growth. The new Health and Natural Sciences Building, he said, perfectly meets the criteria.

“This is a co-investment for the future that supports the American worker,” Erskine said, noting how the grant will help provide the means to train the workers, who in turn will give back by entering the local workforce while providing their services to the community.

“The EDA grants announced today will help establish a new…facility at Union College to train workers for jobs in the region’s growing health care sector,” Erskine said in a press release from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

In the same release, U.S. House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers also applauded the investment. “These EDA grants go a step further, helping us prepare for a greater healthcare workforce and address infrastructure improvement needs, ” he said.

Erskine was joined by Earl F. Gohl, the federal co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission, Barbourville Mayor David Thompson, Knox County Judge-Executive J.M. Hall and Union College President Marcia Hawkins, all of which also offered brief words of gratitude and congratulations.