General Business

State Library Receives $34M in Federal Funding for Statewide Capital Improvements

The New Jersey State Library (NJSL), an affiliate of Thomas Edison State University, has launched a Community Center Digital Connect (CCDC) program, a community resilience project that will address disparities in access to education, employment, and health services by investing in capital improvements at community facilities across the state. CCDC is funded by the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund (CPF), established by Section 604 of the Social Security Act, as added by Section 9901 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The federal Capital Projects Fund was designed to address critical needs that emerged during the COVID-19 public health emergency, and provides crucial funding for enhancing the quality of life, economic vitality, and resilience of communities across the United States.
On March 15, 2024, Gov. Phil Murphy announced that the state has been approved for a total of nearly $180 million through the U.S. Treasury’s Capital Project Fund to support a wide range of infrastructure projects that promote public health and safety, digital connectivity, and equitable access to critical services. More than $34 million of these funds have been approved for the State Library’s CCDC program, which will enable the construction or improvement of buildings that directly support employment, education, and health monitoring.

“The State Library’s CCDC Program is a prime example of the strategic investments we are making with federal pandemic funds to address key challenges in building more resilient communities,” said the governor. “This critical funding will help alleviate the disparities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and empower our communities through connectivity to ultimately improve literacy and education, boost employment, and protect public health across our state.”

“We are excited to work with the selected libraries, community and health centers to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals and communities across the state,” said Jen Nelson, State Librarian, New Jersey State Library. “Our mission is to empower residents by providing community-based access to high-quality modern infrastructure, including broadband, which is essential for accessing critical services.”

Communities with critical need were preselected, with eligibility determined by the community’s score on a Census-derived index. Eligible applicants participated in a competitive grant process, administered by the New Jersey State Library. The distribution of funding covers all corners of the state, from Phillipsburg in Warren County, to Atlantic City in Atlantic County.

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