The Advanced Training & Technology Center (ATTC), located in Joplin, Missouri is a 51,000 SF facility located in downtown Joplin, MO. This former pharmaceutical warehouse was retrofitted after the catastrophic E-5 tornado in May 2011 destroyed large parts of Joplin. The tornado demolished the local high school requiring the high school’s STEM programs to relocate while the high school was rebuilt. The Joplin School district used FEMA funds to turn an unused facility into a temporary school. Upon the completion of the new high school, the facility was once again left vacant. ATTC is located directly across the street from the Joplin Chamber of Commerce, who was interested in filling a gap in workforce development and training and pushing forward Joplin’s entrepreneurial ecosystem with additional small business incubation areas and co-working centers. The Chamber approached the City of Joplin to partner in utilizing some of the City’s CDBG-DR funds from the tornado to create a downtown campus for high-demand job training and small business support.
Viriya Consulting, in conjunction with Guidehouse, was tasked with walking the Chamber through the sub-recipient process and the intricacies of federal funding opportunities. Over 6.5 million dollars were allocated to the project for construction (Phase I) and equipment purchases (Phase II). Our technical assistance and monitoring of the sub-recipient has led to a compliant, viable, and fully functional incubation center that has attracted both large and small industries to Joplin. The workforce development and training has boosted existing employers’ ability to expand due to access to a higher quality local workforce.
The CDBG-DR guidelines are difficult for most municipalities and sub-recipients to navigate alone. Our team has made this project both successful and at a significantly lower risk of non-compliance. The 6.5-million-dollar investment in the Joplin workforce and small business sectors have already started to show a return on investment for the community. This innovative use of CDBG-DR funds is a crowning jewel in the City of Joplin’s tornado recovery efforts.
*photo was provided by ATTC