Each of the nine successful projects being announced today are located within AmerenUE's 20,000-square-mile Missouri service territory, in compliance with the program's requirements. They represent a diverse group of businesses and civic organizations, including non-profit development agencies and public entities.
Seven grant awards, totaling $875,000, are for projects in the St. Louis Metropolitan area. The other two grants, totaling $380,000, are awarded to projects in central and northeastern Missouri. Two remaining projects from southeastern Missouri, totaling $400,000, will be announced at a similar event in Cape Girardeau in January. In total, these projects help leverage over $84 million in new project investment.
The recipients in the first round of awards in 2005 are:
St. Louis Minority Business Council/ Focused Growth Program and Loan Fund\-This program provides support for a three-year intensive business mentoring program designed to assist minority-owned business enterprises to the next level of business growth. The accompanying loan program is expected to leverage state and federal funding sources to assist with growth plans.
Project Location: St. Louis
Pike County Development Authority Louisiana\-This industrial park business expansion project is designed to assist with infrastructure construction to retain and expand two business operations in the City of Louisiana with expected new employment of 40-45 and the retention of 98 employees.
Project Location: Louisiana
St. Louis Regional Automotive Partnership\-This innovative partnership between St. Louis County, St. Charles County and the cities of Fenton, Hazelwood and Wentzville is designed to address long-term competitive strategies to help stabilize and grow the automotive sector in Missouri.
Project Location: St. Louis Metro Area
Warrenton Cooper, LLC\-This facility upgradeeopening project is designed to continue efforts to modernize the copper refining operation to increase output and return the facility to full production.
Project Location: Truesdale
City of Mexico-Advanced Technology Center Expansion Project\-This facility expansion will include laboratories and classrooms to support the Life Sciences Technology and the Medical Laboratory Technician programs\-two emerging occupations for Missouri's growth in the Life Sciences industry.
Project Location: Mexico
Center For Emerging Technologies/CET Building III\-A nationally recognized enterprise devoted to creating technology-based commercial enterprises, the center will use grant proceeds to assist in the planning for a third phase in the center's growth and development.
Project Location: St. Louis
Regional Center for Education & Work/Career Readiness Certification\-These funds will go to implement a job certification pilot, matching target businesses with job seekers in North St. Louis City, St. Louis County and St. Charles County.
Project Location: North St. Louis City & County, St. Charles County, Fenton
St. Louis University Expansion of Biomedical Research Facilities\-The grant will support the renovation and expansion of an $80 million biomedical research facility.
Project Location: St. Louis
St. Louis Black Leadership Roundtable Center for the Acceleration of African American Business\-The grant will help initiate a business support clearinghouse for African American-owned businesses through a collaborative relationship between the Black Leadership Roundtable and the St. Louis County Economic Council.
Project Location: Wellston area of St. Louis
Created with the 2002 completion of a joint settlement of a rate case between AmerenUE and the Missouri Public Service Commission staff, the AmerenCDC is dedicated to addressing critical economic development initiatives in the state. It is Missouri's first utility-based economic development company to operate exclusively across AmerenUE's retail electric service area in Missouri.
The AmerenCDC is managed, supervised and controlled by its board of directors, who are selected by a collaborative process between Missouri Governor Matt Blunt the Missouri Public Service Commission and AmerenUE.
The board made its final decisions based on each applicant's ability to stimulate community and economic development, resulting in community revitalization and the creation or retention of jobs.
"The board did an outstanding job of reviewing more than 43 applications over the past several months to identify those that have the greatest potential for job creation in our state," Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt said. "The members of the board are to be commended for their dedication to ensuring that this process was conducted fairly and transparently for the benefit of economic growth across the state."
"At Ameren, we work to be a performance leader within our industry and to be good stewards of the public trust. We define our success by the success of the communities and customers we serve," said Ameren Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Rainwater. "It has been a pleasure to work with the Office of the Governor, the Missouri Department of Economic Development and the Missouri Public Service Commission in developing this unique program that will support economic development in the state for years to come."
Ameren made an up-front contribution of $5 million to the CDC in September 2002. An additional $1 million contribution was made in 2003, 2004 and 2005. The company is funding an additional $1 million in July of 2006, bringing the total amount to $9 million to fulfill the commitments of the rate-case settlement.
In 2006, the AmerenCDC will again have two Economic Development Grant cycles. Applications will be available in January, or from the "AmerenCDC" link on Ameren's Web site, www.ameren.com, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 800.981.9409. Completed applications must be postmarked by May 1, 2006. A fourth grant cycle is scheduled to begin August 1, 2006.
Community development corporations have been used as economic development tools dating back to the mid-1970s. Today, they are used to stimulate economic development, housing, redevelopment and commercial revitalization in communities.
The Missouri Department of Economic Development has been instrumental in establishing several community-based CDCs to leverage state and federal funding resources for the benefit of communities. By covering AmerenUE's 65-county Missouri service area, the AmerenCDC offers broad geographic distribution and increased project activity.
With assets of $18 billion, Ameren owns a diverse mix of electric generating plants strategically located in its Midwest market with a capacity of more than 15,200 megawatts. Ameren serves 2.3 million electric customers and 900,000 natural gas customers in a 64,000 square-mile area of Missouri and Illinois.
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