ACEA awarded federal planning grant

New Jersey is one of 24 states, that won awards from the Economic Development Administration (EDA). The planning grant money is sourced from $3 billion in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funds. The Atlantic County Economic Alliance (ACEA) and its co-applicant, the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) will share $1 million in grant money which will go toward cataloguing the state’s assets in aviation, advanced transportation and logistics to support job growth in Atlantic County, according to a news release.

Gov. Phil Murphy designated the ACEA as the sole recipient of New Jersey’s award, the release states.

“It is very gratifying and an extraordinary honor to have our ongoing efforts to diversify the regional economy recognized by Governor Murphy,” said Lauren Moore Jr., president of the ACEA. “We sincerely thank the governor and look forward to working with him and his staff, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, and our statewide colleagues in collaborative efforts that will situate our region as a catalyst in the State’s post pandemic recovery efforts.”

“The ACEA and its partners have made great strides in nurturing the aviation growth sector within our State in recent years,” Murphy stated in a letter of support for the ACEA/NIA application for the statewide planning grant. “We are confident that by leveraging their [ACEA’s] early successes they will be successful in planning for high quality job opportunities for residents of every skill and interest and support inclusive business development opportunities for the aviation and emerging markets.”

In addition to backing from Governor Murphy, the ACEA received endorsements from the National Aviation Research & Technology Park, the Atlantic County Board of Commissioners and Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson to apply for and receive the EDA funds. The grant will help advance research and development efforts underway at the NARTP.

“It would not be possible to bring outside resources into our region at this level without support from so many, including ACEA’s own membership,” noted Moore. “We are optimistic about the future of our economy and grateful for all the help we have and continue to receive from local private sector sources, the State, and the U.S. Commerce Department.”