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Blog Entries from July 2013

Secretary Pritzker Visits Albany, New York and Hartford, Connecticut


Secretary Penny Pritzker looks into a cleanroom with Paul Farrar, General Manager of Global 450mm Consortium (G450C) (Photos courtesy of SUNY's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE)) Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker traveled to Albany, N.Y. and Hartford, Conn. on the second leg of her nationwide listening tour. While in Albany, Secretary Pritzker met with senior leadership of SEMATECH and the New York College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE). SEMATECH is a consortium of leading semiconductor device, equipment, and materials manufacturers and university partners from around the globe working on collaborative research on computer chip technology. CNSE is part of the State College of New York (SUNY) system and is home to the world’s most advanced education, research, and economic development enterprise targeting nanoelectronics and nanotechnology innovations.

SEMATECH and CNSE are both models of how the public and private sectors can work together effectively, advancing innovation, industry collaboration and investment in the United States. Secretary Pritzker also toured and heard from the Commerce Department employees at the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s Weather Forecast Office.

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How EDA is Supporting Critical Infrastructure in a Missouri City


Perryville Industrial Park sign One of the ways to ensure that America creates an economy that supports good middle-class jobs is by building critical infrastructure that businesses need to thrive and grow. Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA) has been at the forefront of such efforts, most recently in Perryville, Missouri, where it is joining with the state of Missouri and local authorities to help pay for improved road access to the Perryville Industrial Park.

Industrial parks are the economic lifeblood of many communities, particularly smaller ones. The Perryville Industrial Park is an excellent example of this, being home to an impressive roster of companies that provide good jobs for residents of Perryville and its surrounding Perry County. These include TG Missouri, a manufacturer of automotive components and a supplier to such companies as Toyota, and Robinson Construction, a specialized builder of industrial and manufacturing facilities.The $1.5 million EDA investment in Perryville supports a $4.7 million project that will make possible the expansion of the Perryville Industrial Park by building a new road to connect two major nearby highways, providing an alternate means of accessing expanded shipping and receiving facilities.

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Message From Acting Assistant Secretary Matt S. Erskine


U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Matt Erskine Dear Friends,

A recent survey of business executives by consulting firm A.T. Kearney shows that, for the first time since 2001, the United States has knocked China out of first place as the favored place for foreign direct investment. This finding is extremely good news, but it doesn’t mean we can rest in our efforts to build a supportive environment for business growth and job creation. Communities everywhere must position themselves to compete in the new economy. Those best able to align and leverage their assets with the needs of investors will attract and expand investment. And the Economic Development Administration can help. In EDA’s latest annual report, highlighted in this issue of Innovate@EDA, you will find examples from every state about how EDA has joined with local communities to catalyze their investment plans to grow their economies. We also have some insightful thoughts from Mark Muro, senior fellow and director of policy at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program, on regional development and the revitalization of American manufacturing. Lastly, we highlight some important findings on the state of entrepreneurship that were published recently by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Thank you for your interest in our work at the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

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Q&A: Regional Development and the Revitalization of American Manufacturing


Mark Muro, senior fellow and director of policy at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program Mark Muro is a senior fellow and the director of policy at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program, where he manages the program’s public policy analysis and leads its Next Economy Initiative. Currently he is leading a series of analyses focused on North American “advanced industries”—that is, industries characterized by the development and deployment of new technologies. He recently answered some questions about revitalizing the U.S. manufacturing sector and the importance of regional strategies in achieving this.

Question: In your work at the Brookings Institution you’ve talked about revitalizing American manufacturing and the needs of the “next economy.” What are those needs and the long term impact to the nation’s global competitiveness?

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Highlight: EDA’s 2012 Annual Report Published


EDA's Key Numbers in FY 2012 With $297 Million Invested in 674 Projects during Fiscal Year 2012, EDA Continued Its Strong Support of Regional Business Growth and Job Creation

In fiscal year 2012, EDA awarded approximately $297 million to support 674 investments through its Economic Development Assistance Programs and disaster relief funding, according to its just-released annual report to Congress.

“The success of these investments shows that when the right partners in regional economic ecosystems come together and increase their level of interaction, good things happen for job creation, investment, and improved prosperity,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary Matt Erskine. “It is through such efforts that EDA is working to ensure that America is not just able to face the challenges of the 21st century economy, but to prosper and grow for years to come.

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Spotlight: Penny Pritzker Sworn in as 38th U.S. Secretary of Commerce


Penny Pritzker is sworn in as the 38th U.S. Secretary of Commerce by Vice President Joe Biden on June 26. Penny Pritzker was sworn in as the nation’s 38th Commerce Secretary on June 26, 2013. As a key member of President Obama’s economic team, Secretary Pritzker will lead the Department of Commerce in carrying out the important work that gives entrepreneurs and businesses the tools they need to create jobs and keep the American economy growing, two of the administration’s highest priorities. She will also work extensively with the business community, bringing their concerns and ideas to the forefront.

“It is an honor to join President Obama’s economic team as Secretary of Commerce,” said Secretary Pritzker. “The Department of Commerce provides many unique assets that are critical to strengthening our economy, creating jobs, and ensuring America’s competitiveness—from support for manufacturing and exports, to the promotion of innovation, to the economic data that startups and businesses rely on. Our Department stands ready to serve as an active partner to the business community as we work together to continue building a 21st century American economy.”

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Success Story: EDA Investments: Supporting Entrepreneurship and Job Creation


Map of entrepreneurial activity by state, 2012 What do the states of Montana, Vermont, New Mexico, Alaska, and Mississippi have in common? They are, according to a report published this spring by the Kauffman Foundation, Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, 1996–2012, the states that posted the highest rates of entrepreneurial activity in 2012.

According to the Kauffman Foundation report:

  • Montanans operate 530 businesses per 100,000 adults, Vermonters and New Mexicans operate 520 businesses per 100,000 adults, and Alaskans and Mississippians operate 430 businesses per 100,000 adults.
  • A most important measure—the formation of businesses with employees—held steady from 2011 to 2012: At 0.11 percent (meaning 11 employer businesses per 100,000 individuals), an average of 193,000 new employer businesses were formed each quarter in 2012.

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Special Features: Funds Available for Communities Facing Defense Cuts


The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is offering funding for community planning assistance and economic diversification in response to reductions or cancellations in defense spending. Funding is being made available through DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment (DOD-OEA). Proposals for funding will be considered on a continuing basis, subject to available appropriations, and a decision will be made within 30 business days of receipt of a complete application. For details, visit DOD-OEA’s website or consult the June 17, 2013 Federal Register notice.

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