Wisconsin celebrates 25 years of Transportation Economic Assistance grants
September 6, 2012
More than 75,000 jobs created and retained through TEA grants since 1987
Governor Scott Walker announced today the 25th anniversary of the state’s Transportation Economic Assistance (TEA) grant program. It started in 1987 as a way to create and retain jobs by awarding dollars to municipalities for transportation-related improvement projects.
"We are keeping Wisconsin open for business through the TEA program," said Governor Walker. "Investing in infrastructure is a priority because it allows communities to provide the necessary transportation means so Wisconsin businesses can grow and compete in today's global economy."
The TEA program is administered by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Planning and Economic Development. Applications are accepted year round, with grants being awarded on a first come, first serve basis. Any Wisconsin unit of government (city, county, town or village) can apply.
"In 25 years, we’ve invested more than $87 million in 320 projects around the state," said WisDOT Secretary Mark Gottlieb. "Those projects have created or retained 75,350 direct and indirect jobs."
Governor Tommy Thompson announced the first TEA grant on September 8, 1987. In a news release, Thompson said, "We created the new Transportation Economic Assistance program to allow the state to move more quickly to help communities make transportation improvements when the opportunity for new jobs hangs in the balance."
That first TEA grant went to the city of La Crosse in the amount of $1.4 million. It allowed what was then Gateway Foods, now Reinhart Foodservice, to add 300 new employees. In addition, more than 540 indirect jobs resulted from the construction of a new access road for Gateway Foods and other expanding industries.
TEA grants fund up to 50 percent of a road, rail, harbor or airport project, which is designed to either attract employers to Wisconsin, or encourage business and industry to remain and expand operations within the state.
"We are extremely proud of what the TEA grant program has done for Wisconsin's economy and transportation network in the past 25 years," concluded Gottlieb. "We look forward to the next 25 years and building upon the program's success."
WisDOT has created a special 25th Anniversary Transportation Economic Assistance web site. It includes a detailed state map and description of all 320 TEA projects since 1987, along with video testimony from grant recipients.
Note: The 25th Anniversary TEA logo is available upon request by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, contact:
Don Uelmen, TEA Program Manager
(608) 266-3488, email@example.com