The Utah Governor’s Office Economic Development (GOED) announced grant recipients for two new rural programs added by Utah’s Legislature. The programs are administered by the Office of Rural Development (ORD). Grants were awarded to applicants of the Rural Coworking and Innovation Center and the Rural Rapid Manufacturing grant programs.

These two new rural programs complement existing ORD programs and spur economic opportunities and investments in rural Utah.

“These two rural programs will further enhance investment opportunities in our rural counties,” said Ginger Chinn, managing director for Urban and Rural Business Services at GOED. “These programs are designed to meet the needs of hardworking entrepreneurs and support rural Utah.”

Grant applications were reviewed and scored by committees. Grant awardees for the Rural Coworking and Innovation Center are Utah State University–Blanding, Utah State University Extension–Garfield, Southeastern Utah Business and Technical Center, and Vernal City.

The Rural Rapid Manufacturing Grant was sponsored by Rep. Christine Watkins. Awardees are the Southern Utah University Engineering and Technology Department, and FutureInDesign, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing advanced manufacturing and soft skills training.

“I’m focused on Utah’s rural economic growth, and as a result, sponsored the RCIC bill this past legislative session,” said Rep. Carl Albrecht. “We hope these grant programs will make a difference in job creation in rural Utah.”

About the Rural Coworking and Innovation Center Grant

The Rural Coworking and Innovation Center grant assists rural businesses by providing individuals working in designated rural areas with infrastructure and equipment to participate in the online workforce. $500,000 per fiscal year is allocated for this grant.

Activities that qualify for this grant are:

  • Construction or renovation of a facility to create a Coworking and Innovation Center
  • Extending or improving utilities and broadband service connections to a Coworking and Innovation Center
  • Purchasing equipment, furniture and security systems as part of a Coworking and Innovation Center

The Office of Rural Development administers this grant through the Rural Online Working Hubs Grant Advisory Committee.

About the Rural Rapid Manufacturing Grant

The Rural Rapid Manufacturing grant assists in establishing laboratories designed to train students and employees, build and improve equipment, and offer scholarships within small-batch, fast delivery manufacturing.

Qualifying activities of this grant:

  • Construction or renovation of laboratories designed to train students and employees in:
    • Clothing production
    • Engineering and computer graphics
    • Manufacturing systems
    • Textile science
  • Building and improvement of equipment to provide training and participation in rapid manufacturing
  • Training and scholarships for students and employees to participate in rapid manufacturing employment opportunities

Utah’s Legislature allocated $500,000 on a one-time appropriation for this grant.

Visit the Office of Rural Development website to learn more about its programs.