Walorski: St. Joseph County awarded grant to improve internet in Indiana Enterprise Center

    Rep. Jackie Walorski says St. Joseph County has been awarded a $1 million grant to improve high speed internet in the Indiana Enterprise Center in New Carlisle. // WSBT 22 photo

    St. Joseph County has been awarded a grant to improve high speed internet in the Indiana Enterprise Center in New Carlisle.

    The county just won a $1 million federal grant from the Department of Commerce. It will be used to help pay for a fiber conduit network around New Carlisle.

    This announcement was just made at the Navistar proving ground.

    That network means fast internet. Which has been a serious problem around New Carlisle. There’s just not enough broadband connectivity.

    County leaders say that means the area has missed out on big companies that might have set up shop there. That means those companies took good, high paying jobs elsewhere. That could all change.

    With fast internet, county leaders expect a lot of new interest in the area. It’ll benefit the people who already live in the area, too.

    Read the full press release below from the U.S. Department of Commerce:

    WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1 million grant to St. Joseph County, Indiana, to expand high-speed broadband infrastructure at the Indiana Enterprise Center (IEC). According to grantee estimates, the project is expected to create 230 jobs and spur $710 million in private investment.

    “President Trump is working diligently every day to help improve our country’s infrastructure so we can facilitate more job creation and success,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “Upgrading broadband at the Indiana Enterprise Center will support new business development, boosting economic growth in St Joseph County and in broader Indiana.”

    “In Indiana, we are doing everything we can to connect Hoosiers,” said Gov. Eric J. Holcomb. “I’m so pleased to see the President and his administration support our endeavors in this specific and significant way. Affordable access to the Internet is essential to our growth, and this grant will help expand northern Indiana’s economic opportunities.”

    “Access to the Internet is critical in the 21st century, and the disconnect that many Hoosiers experience with low broadband coverage puts them at an unfair disadvantage,” said Senator Mike Braun. “This EDA grant will provide critical funding for broadband access to help connect every Hoosier to quality high-speed internet access.”

    “America’s economy is booming, and northern Indiana is leading the way to a future of growth and innovation,” said Congresswoman Walorski. “This critical investment in broadband infrastructure will help unlock our region’s full economic potential and create good jobs for Hoosiers. I’m committed to working with local business and community leaders to make sure northern Indiana continues to be a great place for businesses to build, invest, and hire.”

    This project will catalyze job growth and attract private investment with the installation of high-speed broadband infrastructure to support the 15,000-acre IEC. The fiber optic network loop will also ensure competitiveness and job creation in the region. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Michiana Area Council of Governments. EDA funds the Michiana Area Council of Governments to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

    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 makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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