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Contact: John Atwood, 202-482-4085
Friday, June 22, 2012

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2 Million to Advance High-Tech Workforce Training in Richmond County, North Carolina

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA) today announced a $2 million EDA grant to Richmond Community College of Hamlet, North Carolina, to renovate and expand a workforce training center on the college's campus. The project is expected to create 435 jobs and generate $38 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

"Developing a workforce that has the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics skills needed to meet the needs of the 21st century economy is a top priority for the Obama Administration," said Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Matt Erskine. "This investment will help grow North Carolina's workforce and ensure that workers possess the skills for the jobs and industries of the future."

The EDA investment helps fund the renovation and expansion of the Forte Building on the Richmond Community College campus. It will be made into a state of the art, high-tech training center for careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) related fields, supporting the future needs of North Carolina's advanced manufacturing industry and its emerging energy production and transmission cluster.

To improve industry partnerships with community colleges to ensure that America's community college students are gaining the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in the workforce, the Obama administration launched the "Skills for America's Future" initiative. In addition, the Administration's "Educate to Innovate" campaign is working to improve the participation and performance of America's students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The campaign includes efforts not only from the Federal Government but also from leading companies, foundations, nonprofits, and science and engineering societies to work with young people across America to excel in science and math.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.