Bennet, Gardner, Tipton Applaud Investment in Rural Colorado Businesses

Washington, DC - Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D) and Cory Gardner (R), along with U.S. Representative Scott Tipton (R-CO-3), today announced that the U.S. Department of Commerce has awarded $1.5 million to support business growth in rural Colorado.

"These grants provide critical funding to assist rural communities with workforce development and job creation efforts," Bennet said. "We will continue our work with the EDA in Delta and Montrose counties to assist communities that are struggling with job losses in the coal industry."

"This is great news for our state," Gardner said. "The economic development funding will help advance broadband connectivity on the Western Slope, while also aiding new job growth in the agriculture industry in Delta County and the surrounding areas."

"Many parts of rural Colorado are struggling to spark economic growth and job creation," Tipton said. "I commend the efforts made by Delta-Montrose Technical College and the Telluride Foundation to secure these grants, and I know they will go a long way towards supporting families and small businesses in the communities."

The following grants were awarded under the department's Economic Development Administration (EDA), as part of the 2017 Assistance to Coal Communities (ACC 2017) initiative:

  • $760,025 to the Telluride Foundation, Telluride, to help provide broadband connectivity to rural communities in San Miguel and Montrose County. 
  • $680,000 to the Technical College of the Rockies, Delta, to support the start-up operations of the ENGAGE Project, which will be operated under the umbrella of Delta Montrose Technical College. The ENGAGE Project will provide the necessary entrepreneurial support to help launch new value-added food, ag-related, and other businesses in Delta County.

The mission of the EDA is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, the EDA makes investments in economically-distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

EDA grants are awarded through a competitive process based upon the applicant's merit and eligibility and the availability of funds. More information on the EDA's grant process and investment process can be found at