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Three N.C. organizations receive manufacturing grants from Department of Commerce

CHARLOTTE – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker revealed Thursday the winners of nearly $7 million in federal grant money, and three in-state organizations were selected to receive the money: the Charlotte-based Centralina Council of Governments, the Greensboro-based Piedmont Triad Partnership and the Morganton-based Burke Partnership for Economic Development, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The three organizations will receive a chunk of $4.4 million from the U.S. Department of Commerce in an initiative from President Barack Obama called “Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership.” The remainder of the $7 million in total grants is coming from the Environmental Protection Agency, $1.3 million; the Small Business Administration, $766,000; and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, $528,000, the release said.

The grants and other investments announced Thursday are the first round of funding in a reform effort to reward communities for creating globally competitive environments that attract, retain and expand investment in manufacturing, and spur international trade and exports, according to the release.

“The IMCP is a program that challenges communities around the country to coordinate their resources for strategies on economic development,” Pritzker said in the release. “These planning grants and investments provide an opportunity for communities to design plans that help revitalize American manufacturing, attract investment, and strengthen our economy.”

The Centralina Council of Governments is a voluntary organization of nine municipal and county governments serving the Charlotte area, according to the council’s website. It represents Anson, Cabarrus, Gaston, Lincoln, Iredell, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly and Union counties.

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