IRRRB Approves $3.65 Million in Education and Job Investments

By KBJR News 1

IRRRB Approves $3.65 Million in Education and Job Investments

August 8, 2013 Updated Aug 8, 2013 at 12:41 PM CDT

Eveleth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- The Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board has approved $3.65 million in funding that is expected to create 42 new jobs and 26 construction jobs on the Iron Range.

The Board approved investing $1.85 million from the Iron Range Higher Education Account as follows:

• $1,000,000 to the Northeast Higher Education District for the Iron Range Engineering program for the continued development of a higher education program that will allow students to earn a Bachelor’s of Science degree in engineering from Minnesota State University Mankato.

• $500,000 to local colleges for the completion of phase II implementation of telepresence technology classrooms.

• $350,000 to local colleges for the development and implementation of a professional level Certified Nurse Practitioner program on the Iron Range.

Cast Corporation of Hibbing received a $945,000 loan to construct a 20,000 square foot building and purchase production equipment to accommodate entry into the foundry business. The project is expected to create 15 to 16 jobs initially with plans to reach 25 to 30.

The city of Cohasset received a $12,500 public works grant for new water and sewer line connections to service a new retail development project and an existing business. This project will provide leverage for a new 8,500 square foot retail development. It is projected to create 6.5 construction jobs and a number of permanent jobs.

The city of Virginia received a $350,000 public works grant for water, sewer, utility extension and site work for a new surgery center on Bailey’s Lake was approved. This $3.35 million project, which is an expansion of the Sundell Eye Associates Clinic, is projected to create 12 new jobs and 19.5 construction jobs.

The IRRR Board also approved $500,000 in funding for the Business Energy Retrofit Program. Officials say that based on the success of a $250,000 pilot program held in Hibbing last year, the program will be expanded to the entire IRRRB service area, providing grants to eligible business owners to make cost effective energy improvements on buildings they own.

Posted to the web by Krista Burns