PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A federal grant worth $125,000 has been awarded to help grow the composites industry and create jobs in Rhode Island.

The congressional delegation announced that the grant was awarded from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association and the town of Bristol. It’ll be used to develop a strategic plan to maximize the competitiveness of the local composites industry, with a focus on Bristol and surrounding communities.

The East Bay is home to more than 45 composites companies.

U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat, says they’re well-suited to meet the need for light, durable materials in infrastructure, aerospace, defense and wind energy.

The federal grant was matched by funding from the Rhode Island Foundation and $25,000 from the Real Jobs Rhode Island program.