Sen. Chris Coons, the first Delaware senator in more than 40 years to serve on the Appropriations Committee, secured funding in the fiscal 2020 federal spending bill for key economic and workforce development priorities, including support for small businesses and advanced manufacturing.

The bill passed Congress on Dec. 19.

“I’m pleased that this appropriations bill provides critical investments in our communities and the small businesses, innovators and families that keep our state strong and vibrant,” said Coons. “This bill supports programs that boost economic and workforce development, like the Manufacturing USA program and the Small Business Administration. I’m committed to ensuring that Delaware’s businesses have the resources and facilities they need to create good jobs and grow the economy.”

The federal spending bill includes provisions that will directly benefit manufacturing, Delaware’s small businesses, and workers:

— The bill provides $16 million for the Manufacturing USA program, directly benefiting NIIMBL, one of the nation’s 14 Manufacturing USA Institutes based in Newark. The bill also includes funding for a new grant program to seed potential institutes.

— The bill rejects the president’s attempts to defund the NIST Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership program, and instead increases its funding to $146 million so it can carry out its important mission and further support small manufacturers with new cybersecurity and digitalization challenges.

— The bill rejects the president’s proposal to eliminate the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund and instead increases the program’s funding to $262 million to promote economic development in low-income communities. $2 million of this funding will be used to create the Economic Mobility Corps grant program, a new initiative that Coons advanced to connect national service members to CDFIs.

— The bill provides $998 million for the Small Business Administration, 40% above the fiscal 2019 enacted level. Within this increase, $99 million is included for the 7(a) loan-guarantee subsidy to ensure the program will continue to support small businesses and lenders.

— The bill includes $2.82 billion for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Training formula grants to states to support the national system of education, skills training, and employment services for workers. The bill also provides $175 million for the Department of Labor’s Registered Apprenticeship Program.