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Aliquippa Mayor Dwan Walker will tell you that his city is 4.4 square miles in area, contains 192 roads, 52 alleys and has a population of 9,453 people, with a 12 percent unemployment rate, a 29 percent poverty rate, and a per capita income of $13,718.

But as of Jan. 5, he can tell you it now has $3 million in state investment designed to rebuild the city and turn those numbers around.

Walker, who was the keynote speaker at Chatham University’s Dr. Martin Luther King Day Jr. breakfast, Jan. 12, told the New Pittsburgh Courier in an exclusive interview he has a huge vision for Aliquippa’s future…and he has ways to achieve it.

In broad strokes, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development has issued $3 million in tax credit financing, which will be allocated over 6 years to further the city’s strategic development plan.

In the first year, the funds have been earmarked for:

•The acquisition and demolition of 18 houses to remove blight and create sites for possible new housing, side yards and amenities;

•The creation of a digital media lab, classroom, and technology classes in B.F. Jones Memorial Library to provide educational and training services and skills development;

•Development of a partnership with Job Training for Beaver County Inc. to execute the Aliquippa Targeted Job Success Workshop;

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