As first published by Ethan Duran for The Daily Reporter.

Milwaukee on Wednesday was named a finalist for a federal economic development grant worth up to $50 million, according to U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin. The “Recompete Pilot Program,” which focuses on distressed communities, was created under the CHIPS and Science Act.

The program targets areas were the primary age for work significantly trails behind the rest of the country, according to officials. Part of Milwaukee’s plan is to rebuild vacant areas on the 30th Street Industrial Corridor and encourage union and trade jobs. The U.S. Economic Development Administration will administer the grant.

A coalition for the “Grow Milwaukee Recompete Plan,” one of 22 organizations selected out of 560 applicants, has a chance to compete for the $50 million in economic development funds, officials said. The coalition will also receive a $500,000 strategy development grant to refine their economic plan, officials added.

“I am thrilled that Milwaukee has been selected for this program, putting us on the path to connect more people with good-paying jobs, grow our Made in Wisconsin economy, and ensure that no community is left behind,” Baldwin said in a statement.

Grow Milwaukee will focus on the 30th Street Industrial Corridor and address historical segregation and business challenges to boost economic prosperity, officials noted.

The coalition includes Northwest Side Community Development Corporation, the Milwaukee Bucks, Rockwell Automation, Jonco Industries, WRTP | BIG STEP, the City of Milwaukee, and Milwaukee County, officials said. The group aims to rebuild vacant sites and create workforce pathways including union and trades jobs.

The development grant can be used to hire experts, build and strengthen partnerships, perform studies, and more, officials said.

The Recompete Pilot Program targets areas where the prime age for employment significantly trails the national average and tries to close the gap with large and flexible developments, officials added.

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