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News About the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $1.2 billion in Recovery Act funding, along with $117 million in private investment, for 126 broadband infrastructure projects that will create jobs and provide improved service to rural communities.

The broadband projects announced today will give rural Americans access to the tools they need to attract new businesses, jobs, health care and educational opportunities,” Vilsack said. “The Obama Administration understands that bringing broadband to rural America provides a gateway for businesses and key anchor institutions - such as libraries, schools, public safety and community centers - to provide services to thousands of Americans. These projects will create jobs building these networks, and the completed systems will provide a platform for rural economic growth for years to come.”  [White House, 8/4/10]

New York Times - A Clean-Energy Industry Takes Shape in Michigan

In February 2009, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which among other things, provided $2.4 billion to encourage development of a domestic industry to make lighter, more energy-dense lithium ion batteries to power electric vehicles.

There are 17 new plants in production, under construction or approaching ground-breaking in Michigan's nascent electric-vehicle battery sector, according to the state Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth. Two of them, representing an investment of $523 million, are in Holland…

The two new plants [in Michigan], Mr. [Randy] Thelen [President of Lakeshore Advantage] said, could stimulate a regional auto battery manufacturing and supply industry capable of eventually employing 10,000 people. [8/3/10]

The Times Record (Maine) - Ceremony marks launch of Portland to Brunswick rail upgrade

[MEMBER MENTIONED: Chellie Pingree (ME-1)]

…Federal Rail Authority Administrator Joseph Szabo, Pan Am Railways workers Monday removed old railroad ties and began laying the first of 50 1,650-foot sections of rail along the tracks near Maine Street.

Maine received the rail upgrade money as part of President Barack Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This project is the first in the nation to break ground on a rail upgrade underwritten by dollars allocated as part of last year's federal economic stimulus package.

This is good for the economy, and it's good for the culture and romance of Maine,” U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, told the crowd.

“Given all the bad news for so long, I really do think it's a testament to the community that they said, ‘We're going to go after everything we can,'” Pingree said.  [8/3/10]

St. Louis Business Journal (Missouri) -Social Security Administration to hire 200 in St. Louis

[DISTRICT MENTIONED: Wm. Lacy Clay (MO-1)]

The Social Security Administration plans to hire more than 200 people at its new stimulus-funded offices in St. Louis.

The agency's new National Hearing Center, the largest such center in the nation, is co-located with two other Social Security facilities, the National Case Assistance Center and the Midwest Training Center, at 4300 Goodfellow Blvd.

The expansion project was funded with $16.5 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act money. [8/3/10]

WSLS NBC-10 (Virginia) - Laid off TECHMA workers to get federal help

[MEMBER MENTIONED: Tom Perriello (VA-5)]

Congressman Tom Perriello announced today that the workers who lost their jobs as a result of the layoffs at TECHMA U.S.A. in Gretna will be eligible to receive federal Trade Adjustment Assistance from funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The benefits will assist workers with job retraining and health care premium payments.

“Even as we work to create new job opportunities in Central and Southern Virginia, we must make sure there is a safety net for those swept up in the brutal economic downturn. Nothing can replace a good-paying job, but these benefits will provide a lifeline for the workers affected by the recent layoffs at TECHMA,” said Perriello. “With this federal assistance, the workers who have been displaced by the recent layoff will get help to maintain their health coverage and receive the new skills and training they need to compete in this tough job market.” [8/2/10]

York Daily Record (Pennsylvania) - Feds release $514 million in stimulus funds for Pa. education

The federal government on Monday authorized the release of $514 million in stimulus funds for Pennsylvania, according to a news release from the state Department of Education.

The money -- the second installment of State Fiscal Stabilization Funds -- had already been incorporated into the 2010-11 state budget to support K-12 education through the basic education subsidy and to supporting funding for public higher education institutions… [8/3/10]

The Columbia Daily Tribune (Missouri) - Food banks get share of stimulus

Nearly $25 million in federal aid is coming to Missouri to help restock food pantry shelves, and the money couldn't come at a better time, one local shelter director said.

Gov. Jay Nixon yesterday announced that $24.7 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will be split among a network of six food banks, including the one in Columbia, that serve some 1,700 pantries and agencies. [8/3/10]

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