New grants designed so 'everyone’s included' in pandemic recovery: Commerce secretary

Three billion dollars in new Commerce Department pandemic recovery grants announced Thursday are designed so 'everyone’s included,' Secretary Gina Raimondo told ABC News.

7/23/2021 7:40:00 AM

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo says new 'investing in America' grants are designed so every community in America feels empowered and included to get back on their feet in the wake of the pandemic.

Three billion dollars in new Commerce Department pandemic recovery grants announced Thursday are designed so 'everyone’s included,' Secretary Gina Raimondo told ABC News.

With concerns growing about how long current price surges will last, Raimondo said the Biden administration is watching inflation"very closely.""And not, you know, not trying to deny that there’s a link between large fiscal stimulus and inflation," she said,"but inflation is not the only thing we need to be worried about."

‘I Don’t Know Who I Am Anymore, Little Buddy!’ Says Mother In Midst Of Nervous Breakdown Michael Moore on continued American military involvement abroad: “This has to stop” Police say they shot and killed an armed man near where crowds had gathered for the US Open of Surfing event

Raimondo said the kind of funding the Commerce Department is investing in communities can be"quite beneficial" in countering inflation.Alex Wong/Getty ImagesCommerce Secretary Gina Raimondo speaks to members of the press outside the West Wing of the White House after a meeting with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, May 7, 2021.

"These are investments in productivity. And that's what we need to be making. Every economist will tell you, you want to invest, to enhance productivity, and that's exactly what this is," Raimondo said."This is investments in infrastructure, investments in skills, education, job training, and those are not inflation creating expenditures of money."

The grants will be distributed through the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration.Programs include the"Build back better challenge," in which regions can apply for up to $100 million to"accelerate recovery and inclusive economic growth by developing new industries or expanding existing ones through planning, infrastructure development, workforce training, innovation and commercialization, access to capital, and more," the department said.

Those programs include $300 million to invest in communities affected by the shrinking coal mining industry."We also need to be there for communities that have been traditionally dependent on coal," Raimondo explained."And so that's what this money is for putting folks to work in those communities, making investments in those communities so they benefit from the transition to renewables, whether that's retraining, or innovation hubs or building infrastructure."

Raimondo insisted there would be no political considerations when grants are made to coal mining communities, especially since influential Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin represents West Virginia, a state hit hard by the industry downturn.“It isn't just West Virginia. It's Virginia, it's West Virginia it's Ohio with Kentucky it's you know it's not about one state it's about being honest with people and creating jobs for people everywhere,” she explained.

Another program is aimed at getting Americans back to work through investments in worker training and in funding infrastructure projects."So, the way it works is pretty simple: a group of companies would come together in a community, they would say, 'we have 1000 open jobs right now,' for example, in order to hire people for those jobs. 'These are the skills they need to have,'" she said."Then the money that we're providing would train those people in exactly those skills, and here's the best part, the businesses have to hire the folks, so that this is not trained, and pray and get a job. This is enroll, train, graduate, get your job."

Biden plan seeks to expand education, from pre-K to college New York faces a showdown this week over vaccine mandates in schools, courts and health care China's factories, households grapple with power cuts

The Commerce Department also will focus on providing funds for underserved communities, providing regional tourism grants, and helping communities plan for any potential economic hardship in the future.Raimondo said the administration is not telling local communities how to invest their money, but rather providing a road map.

MORE: Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo says no 'hardwire deadline' on infrastructure deal"This is bottom up," she said."This is not Washington telling any community, how to do economic development. Every community has certain strengths, maybe it's, a certain talent pool, maybe it's, I don't know tourism, maybe it's a certain kind of skill set, maybe it's a certain technical know how. So each community wants to build on those strengths, and then use our funds to kind of supercharge those efforts."

Money will be available almost immediately especially for communities impacted by a lack of tourism because of the pandemic, Raimondo explained."There's so many communities that have lost jobs because of the lack of travel and lack of tourism," she said."You need help yesterday and we know that."

Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty ImagesCommerce Secretary Gina Raimondo speaks at an event in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on June 3, 2021.Raimondo also touted the $1.2 billion infrastructure bill being debated in Congress.

In 2016, when she was governor of Rhode Island, she passed"Rhode Works," a sweeping infrastructure measure targeted at fixing Rhode Island’s roads and bridges, which then were among the worst in the nation. The cornerstone of the program was imposing tolls on truckers to pass through the state in order to fund the project.

"It was none other than Vice President Joe Biden, who traveled to Rhode island with me to stand under a crumbling bridge to say, 'get behind this governor and let's make this infrastructure investment happen,'" she said.She urged Congress to pass the bill, saying that while it might seem controversial now, once communities see money being put into action, it will be seen as favorable.

UK could ask soldiers to deliver fuel as service stations run dry Australia's Scott Morrison may dodge the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow Meet Olaf Scholz, the man who might replace Angela Merkel as Germany's next chancellor Read more: ABC News »

German conservative candidate makes voting blunder on election day

Germany's conservative chancellor candidate Armin Laschet was ridiculed on social media for a misstep on election day on Sunday, capping a campaign marred by embarrassing gaffes that hurt his popularity.

BruceFo43322941 Righteous team… Now,… Where does the money come from? The same magic top hat The pandemic is a unique problem for all of us. Let's stop settled individually. good

New Commerce grants designed so 'everyone’s included' in pandemic recovery: RaimondoCommerce Secretary Gina Raimondo says new 'investing in America' grants being announced Thursday are designed so every community in America feels empowered and included to get back on their feet in the wake of the pandemic.

Netflix, season 3In the first half of 2020 Netflix registered 25m new members worldwide, twice as many as had signed up in the same period a year earlier 这个世界上最昂贵的就是真相,最难的就是对善恶的认知 —此内容来自郭文贵2021年7月17日盖特直播 The most expensive thing in this world is the truth, and the most difficult thing is to distinguish good from evil . --Miles Guo, 17 July 2021, Gettr this is terrible news Yet it's not enough for them

Turkish defence firm releases images of new unmanned combat aircraftMilitary-grade drones produced by the Turkish defence technology company Baykar have given Turkish security forces an advantage, especially in cross-border, anti-terror operations in the region Air dominance is the next goal...regrettably drones in this category are missing... Mashallah Baykar technology lollll the name in urdu means useless tech 🙈

Gov. Andrew Cuomo Is Losing Major Political Donors Amid Federal, State ProbesNew York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is starting to lose some of his major donors as he fights off a state sexual-harassment probe and a federal investigation into how his administration handled Covid-19 in nursing homes Will be feature in borat 3? Flying away!!!!

For a Beach Vacation That’s Not Just Beach, Try DelawareCoastal hamlets like Lewes and Rehoboth offer a host of sophisticated new attractions as more pandemic transplants look to host Zoom calls near the beach. It’s the second time that visited Delaware my experiences at Delaware have being always amazing! I love this beautiful City ♥️

"Concrete Utopia," the New Exhibition from Photographer Saneun Hwang, Captures the Fleeting Nature of NYC: BUST InterviewSaneun Hwang is a multidisciplinary artist that combines poetry and photography to explore the ever-changing city that is NYC. Her latest exhibition opens Friday at Local_Project nyc poetry artistofthesummer nycphotography