The Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced last month nearly $700,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars to support a new workforce development center in Marion, North Carolina.

Marion, a town of 7,800 people, is a coal mining town and was ranked a tier 2 distressed community based on 1021 analysis by the North Carolina Department of Commerce. Marion lost population between 2017 and 2020 and had amedian household income of $46,000 in 2019.

EDA reports the “grant will help to renovate the historic Old Fort building to establish a workforce training center that will provide courses and certification in manufacturing, construction, and trail development. The EDA investment will be matched with $483,680 in local funds.”

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