Bustos Secures Funding for Western Illinois University Quad-City Campus Manufacturing Lab

Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17), a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, announced that she has secured $10 million for the Quad Cities Manufacturing Lab and $400,000 for programming focused on Small Business at Western Illinois University (WIU) Quad-Cities. campus as part of a major funding program. The package passed the House and will be voted on by the Senate and signed into law by President Biden in the coming days.

“As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, my top priority is bringing taxpayers’ money home to support our communities,” said MP Bustos. “That’s why I’m thrilled to announce that $10 million in federal funding will come to the Quad Cities Manufacturing Lab and $400,000 will support small business-focused programs at the Quad-Cities campus at Western Illinois. University. Not only will these funds help create new small businesses in the area, but they will help existing ones develop succession plans to extend their longevity in the community.

Cheri Bustos

“We are very grateful to Rep. Bustos for her support. She understands the fundamental importance of small business to Illinois’ Main Street economy. With an investment centered on the WIU-QC campus, our project offers three strategies to help business owners throughout the business lifecycle. First, we plan to expand our reach to help start new businesses, especially in underserved communities in the Quad Cities and Northwestern Illinois. Second, we plan to help existing businesses grow by helping them through the procurement process. Third, we’ll help business owners looking for an exit strategy develop viable succession plans. The broader vision is to position WIU as a catalyst for a more robust and sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem for the Quad Cities, as well as West Central and Northwestern Illinois,” said Christopher Merrett, director of the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University. .

Congresswoman Bustos submitted the application to expand WIU’s ability to drive innovation and small business success. The funding will support a program to promote new business start-ups through entrepreneurship training, help existing small businesses explore new markets, and encourage early-stage small businesses to create business succession plans .

According to the most recent Illinois Small Business Profile released by the Small Business Administration, there are approximately 1.2 million small businesses in Illinois. Small businesses employ 2.1 million people and make up 45% of Illinois’ private sector workforce.

This proposal builds on WIU’s current success in reaching minority and women’s entrepreneurs in the Quad Cities and Northwestern Illinois and would offer technical assistance to help small businesses, including owned businesses. to minorities and women. Although studies show that a majority of small businesses do not maintain succession plans, this initiative would launch a regional succession planning initiative that would include an online succession planning toolkit, a marketing strategy to make sure people know about the resource and will be offering a series of business succession planning workshops in the Quad Cities and in northwest and central Illinois.

In addition to direct funding for the project, Congresswoman Bustos also helped garner support for a number of priorities for the Quad-Cities community, including:

  • $15 million for large-scale additive manufacturing prototyping: The funding will support programs at the Rock Island Arsenal Center for Excellence for Additive and Advanced Manufacturing that prototype components such as the next-generation combat vehicle’s seamless hulls. The ability to craft combat vehicles without joints will increase both manufacturing efficiency and a vehicle’s ability to survive.
  • $25 million for Soft Recoil Artillery Systems: This funding will support the work of the Rock Island-based Mandus Group, which is testing soft recoil technology for use on U.S. Army Humvees.
  • $15 Million in Expeditionary Additive Construction: This funding supports a critical initiative at the Rock Island Arsenal Center of Excellence.
  • $10 million for Quad-Cities Manufacturing Lab: This funding will support the lab’s development of personal protective equipment that will provide military members with larger, lighter protection.
  • $5 million for environmentally friendly coatings for military equipment: This funding will support the development of coatings that prevent corrosion of military equipment and improve longevity. Much of this work and testing takes place at the Rock Island Arsenal.
  • A provision to improve future missions on locks and dams in the Rock Island District of the US Army Corps of Engineers: Today’s package includes language that would encourage better communication and a thorough reporting process on the long-term viability of the Chicago and Rock Island districts to ensure projects are properly awarded.
  • Flood protection: The bill includes $275 million for the Flood Hazard Mapping and Hazard Analysis program, a tool communities use to learn which areas have the highest flood risk .
  • $8 million in funding to help local governments create plans to address social factors that affect long-term health: This funding would address factors such as shortages of health care providers, food deserts, unsafe and precarious housing and other environmental factors specific to the needs of the local community. This provision is in line with that of the deputy Bustos Social Determinants Accelerator Act.
  • $25 million in funding for a pilot program in the National Health Service Corps: This provision will extend loan repayment for five years and provide $200,000 to providers working in a rural area facing a shortage of health professionals. This aligns with MP Bustos Rural America Health Corps Act to help recruit and retain healthcare professionals to address labor shortages and meet the needs of small towns in Northwest and Central Illinois.
  • Support for small business succession planning to encourage the Small Business Administration to help develop guidance, training, best practices, workshops and other resources: This will help small business owners and entrepreneurs to establish and execute a business succession plan. This is in line with the opinion of MP Bustos Small Business Succession Planning Act.
  • A provision to encourage all federal agencies to purchase flags containing 100% materials made in the United States: This is in line with Congresswoman Bustos’ decision. American Flag Act.
  • A provision to encourage the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review pending applications for advanced biofuels under the Renewable Fuels Standard.
  • Support for Enhanced Veteran Telehealth Services: This support is essential to meet the health care needs of our Veterans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • A provision encouraging the Veterans Healthcare Administration’s (VHA) Veterans Transportation Program (VTP) to adopt on-demand shared transportation service: This will increase transportation access, coverage, and efficiency for veterans in rural communities.
  • $3.5 million for a military online property management pilot program: to create a tool similar to popular online real estate websites, to market existing, unused property to the military, other federal agencies or private partners. This is an initiative that MP Bustos helped bring about.
  • $10 million for new low-carbon fuels and engine technologies: This funding will support research and development of new engine architectures that incorporate low-carbon fuels like ethanol and biodiesel, including the performance of these engines on higher blends of renewable fuels – which is critical to family farmers in northwest and central Illinois.
  • Help expedite Bureau of Prisons (BOP) retention bonuses: This will help facilities where 10% or more of the total available positions are vacant, to combat understaffing issues at sites like Thomson Prison .
  • Help expedite Direct Hiring Authority approval for BOP locations: This will help locations where 10% or more of the total number of available positions are vacant, to address understaffing issues at sites like Thomson prison.
Bustos Secures Funding for Western Illinois University Quad-City Campus Manufacturing Lab

Sean Leary is a writer, director, artist, musician, producer, and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since he started at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. A graduate with honors from the master’s program at the University of Southern California, he has written more than 50 books, including the best-selling books The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.

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