NMRMC receives $2.6M investment in recovery assistance

Chanute Tribune staff

In the midst of providing the community with COVID-19 vaccinations this week, Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center is doing cartwheels.

“We’re so excited,” said Anna Methvin, NMRMC Foundation director.

The US Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced Thursday that it was awarding a $2.6 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to NMRMC to establish the Southeast Kansas Impact Center for Wellness, Education and Business. This EDA grant, to be matched with $650,000 in local investment, is expected to create 256 jobs and generate $45 million in private investment.

“The awarding of these grant funds comes with sincere appreciation of our state and local partners in this project. This was truly a group effort and we are honored to have been selected,” Dennis Franks, NMRMC CEO, said. 

The center will house a workforce training center.

“The Economic Development Administration is committed to helping communities across the nation implement strategies to mitigate economic hardships brought on by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Dennis Alvord, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “The new Southeast Kansas Impact Center for Wellness, Education, and Business will house a workforce training center that will be run in partnership with local businesses and clinic and telehealth facilities that will allow NMRMC to meet rapidly growing telehealth provider needs.” 

“We must use every tool at our disposal to rebuild a healthier, stronger Kansas following the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “This grant will strengthen the local economy in Chanute and support the telehealth and workforce training needs in southeast Kansas by adding 256 new jobs and $45 million in private investment.”

Other legislators are pleased with the project, too.

“This grant is an investment in the people and economy of southeast Kansas, creating hundreds of jobs, improving telehealth services and providing important resources for workforce training,” said Senator Jerry Moran, R-Kan. “Thank you to the Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center for leading the charge on this initiative and the many healthcare providers and local businesses willing to work in partnership to bring this project to a reality. As the lead Republican on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies, I will continue to support the ongoing and critical mission of the Economic Development Administration to assist the economic activity of our communities, especially during this pandemic.”

The EDA grant will assist in the demolition of the existing, blighted former tuberculosis hospital located adjacent to NMRMC and the construction of the new Impact Center on the site. 

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Southeast  Kansas  Regional Planning Commission, which EDA funds to help bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment, and create jobs. Some of the many people and organizations instrumental in this grant application include Gov. Kelly, Lt. Gov. David Toland, Senator Moran, Former Senator Pat Roberts, the Neosho County Commission, the City of Chanute, Charlie Newell of Orizon Aerostructures, Dan Mildfelt of Community National Bank & Trust, Alison Mih, P.E., Matt Godinez with Chanute Regional Development Authority, Susan Galemore, SEK Regional Planning Commission, Ross Hendrickson, MRH Insurance Group, the NMRMC Board of Trustees, and the NMRMC Foundation, to name a few.

This project is funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Public Law 116-136), which provided EDA with $1.5 billion for economic assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program, provides a wide-range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

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About Orizon Aerostructures

Orizon manufactures large complex structural components, provides metal finish processing and fabricates major sub-assemblies for leading airframe manufacturers in the commercial aerospace, defense, space and general aviation industries. The company’s investments in digitized systems/software, proprietary engineering/ programming techniques, advanced machine tools, and automated assembly technologies provides affordable solutions for the largest Aerospace and Defense manufacturers in the world. Orizon is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, with HUBZone Certified facilities in Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri.