Site Expected to Bring More Than 1,000 Green Jobs to Austin
Today, City of Austin officials accepted $1 million in grant funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). This EDA investment will fund water and sewer infrastructure improvements for the Austin [re]Manufacturing Hub. The Hub will be the City of Austin’s first eco-industrial park and the center for Zero Waste jobs in the recycling, reuse and repair industries. This project is expected to be an economic driver for new jobs and investments throughout the Central Texas region.
An eco-industrial park consists of facilities that conserve natural and economic resources, reduce energy and water use and provide opportunities for reuse or recycling. This redeveloped land will house industrial plants constructed by private sector businesses that utilize recyclables as raw materials in the production of new products.
“The Obama Administration is committed to supporting American manufacturing, which is a vital part of our nation’s economic growth,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams, who presented the City with the grant. “The EDA grant announced today supports critical infrastructure that will help green manufacturers thrive and strengthen the regional economy around Austin.”
Currently, many of the recyclable items collected in the City are sent overseas for manufacturing. The [re]Manufacturing Hub will be a place where recyclables can be transformed into new products locally.
“The goal for the hub is to close the recycling loop in Austin,” said Austin Resource Recovery Director Bob Gedert. “With these funds, the City will be able to lay the foundation and attract businesses that will help localize the entire recycling process.”
The Austin [re]Manufacturing hub will also provide the economic driver for jobs and investment through waste-based industry in the Central Texas region. It is expected to assist recycling and reuse companies in creating more than 1,000 jobs locally.
"It’s a big win for Austin to be receiving this grant from the Economic Development Administration,” said Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell. “Our [re]Manufacturing Hub is sure to attract green businesses that can turn our resident’s recyclables into new products. Also, I understand it’s estimated this project will leverage more than $30 million in private sector development, while creating up to 1,250 jobs,” he added.
“Manufacturing can provide significant job opportunities for those currently living in poverty, the unemployed, the underemployed, and the previously incarcerated,’ said Kevin Johns, Economic Development Department Director. “The Austin [re]Manufacturing Hub will be a catalyst for development in Southeast Austin, creating hundreds of quality green jobs in a growing industry.”
The City is matching the funds provided by the EDA for the wastewater utility extension with approximately $2 million. The grant funds will be considered for City Council approval in August.
“I want to congratulate the City of Austin on receiving this grant and on their national leadership in pursuing its Zero Waste goals said US Rep. Lloyd Doggett. “This project will reduce our carbon footprint, create economic opportunity across all income and educational levels and keep dollars circulating in the local economy.”
Infrastructure development is scheduled to begin early next year. Businesses interested in learning more about the opportunities available at the [re]Manufacturing Hub are encouraged to contact Austin Resource Recovery by visiting austintexas.gov/ecopark.
About Austin Resource Recovery
Austin Resource Recovery provides a wide range of services designed to transform waste into resources while keeping our community clean. Services include curbside collection of recycling, trash, yard trimmings and large brush and bulk items; street sweeping; dead animal collection; household hazardous waste disposal and recycling; and outreach and education. In December 2011, the Austin City Council approved the Austin Resource Recovery Master Plan, which is the City’s roadmap to Zero Waste. The City of Austin is committed to reducing the amount of waste sent to area landfills by 90 percent by 2040 or sooner.
About the Recycling Economic Development Program
Two City of Austin departments, Austin Resource Recovery and the Economic Development Department, have teamed up to launch the Recycling Economic Development Program. Under this innovative partnership, the City is implementing a comprehensive program to drive new recycling markets, including one-on-one business assistance, redeveloping the City’s closed landfill into the Austin [re]Manufacturing Hub, launching a business-to-business materials exchange program, and promoting local businesses that help Austin achieve Zero Waste by selling recycled products or offering repair, rental or sharing services.
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