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HGTC Receives $8 Million from the U.S. Department of Commerce to Support Workforce Development through a New Marine Technology Center

(Conway, SC) 09/21/2023

Horry-Georgetown Technical College (HGTC) is thrilled to announce it has been awarded an $8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce through the Economic Development Administration (EDA), the largest award in HGTC history. The grant is earmarked for the construction of a new cutting-edge training facility on the Georgetown Campus, aimed at bolstering workforce development in the only Outboard Marine Technology and Boat Building Technology programs in the state of South Carolina.

“The awarding of this grant is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our HGTC faculty, staff, and students, as well as the support of our community partners. It reflects our unwavering commitment to workforce development and the future of our students, our community, and the marine technology sector. We deeply appreciate the EDA's recognition of our vision and goals. Their support, combined with the local funds secured, will have a transformative impact, creating hundreds of jobs and fostering a substantial impact in our community,” said Dr. Marilyn Murphy Fore, HGTC President.  

This significant investment in HGTC's new Marine Technology Center is poised to reshape the educational landscape of the community. The $8 million grant from the EDA will be complemented by an additional $4.7 million in local funding, further demonstrating the community's commitment to advancing workforce development in the marine technology sector. The collective investment is expected to have a profound impact on the local economy, leading to the creation of over 470 jobs and fostering $75 million in private investment.

Gina Raimondo, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, emphasized the importance of this initiative within the broader context of the Biden Administration's "Investing in America" agenda. "We're empowering our communities by ensuring that workers have the skills and resources they need to secure good-paying jobs in the communities where they live," said Secretary Raimondo. "This EDA investment will increase training opportunities for the people of Conway and create pathways to professional growth for workers. Local investments like these are critical to helping meet regional industry workforce needs." Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo highlighted the role of the Economic Development Administration in supporting local workforce development programs. "The new workforce training facility will prepare students for quality, in-demand jobs and support the growth of the state’s marine manufacturing sector," said Assistant Secretary Castillo.

This project was made possible through the collaborative efforts of the Waccamaw Regional Council of Governments (WRCOG), which played a pivotal role in regional planning and development. The EDA provided funding to WRCOG to unite the public and private sectors, creating an economic development roadmap that strengthens the regional economy, promotes private capital investment, and generates employment opportunities.

This project is funded under the Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2023, which allocated $483 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program funds for disaster relief and recovery.