WASHINGTON, D.C. (WRIC) — A large project in Southern Virginia that is expected to create jobs and strengthen the region’s economy is getting a major boost in support from the federal government.

The U.S. Department of Commerce has announced that its Economic Development Administration is awarding $2.2 million to the Brunswick County Industrial Development Authority in Lawrenceville, Virginia, for the construction of a produce processing and distribution facility. The project, which was announced in the fall of 2021 by former Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, has designated the county’s 114-acre I-85 Business Center Park as the site of the new produce packing facility.

“The Economic Development Administration is pleased to support Lawrenceville as they seek to diversify the region’s economy,” said Alejandra Y. Castillo, the Department’s Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, in the release. “This EDA grant will provide for construction of the facility as well as necessary infrastructure, including HVAC, electrical and mechanical systems, sewer service, fire protection and other necessities in support of industrial development in the region.”

The investment will be matched with $1.5 million in local funds. According to estimates done by Brunswick County, the money is expected to create 60 jobs while retaining 143 jobs, and generate $3.9 million in private investment.

“Today’s announcement sends a clear message that Virginia is open for businesses and that the federal government is ready to invest in the businesses in our Commonwealth,” Gov. Glenn Youngkin said in the release. “Brunswick County Industrial Development Authority’s job retainment and growth will continue to help drive the Commonwealth’s economic growth.”

The EDA is a federal agency within the Department of Commerce that supports community initiatives across states to help create jobs, promote innovation and facilitate long-term economic growth in the nation. Additional information about the agency is available on its website.