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Contact: Public Affairs Department, (202) 482-4085
Wednesday, September 12, 2012

U.S. Commerce Department Invests $1 Million to Help Develop Long-Term Economic Recovery Strategies in Three States

Funding to Help New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont, Rebound from Economic Impact of Recent Natural Disasters

WASHINGTON - Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank today announced three Economic Development Administration (EDA) grants totaling $1 million to help New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont, develop statewide, long-term economic recovery strategies that will guide them as they work to create economic opportunity and jobs in the wake of recent natural disasters, including Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

"These Economic Development Administration investments in New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont, totaling $1 million, are great examples of the Obama administration's commitment to helping communities that have been impacted by natural disasters rebuild and recover," said Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank. "The grants announced today will help create economic recovery strategies that are a crucial part of supporting statewide economic growth and job creation."

The investments announced today include:

  • A $300,000 EDA grant to the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development in Montpelier, Vermont, to develop a long-term economic recovery strategy that will take into consideration traditional economic development activities and provide an in-depth examination of Vermont's economy in the post-Hurricane Irene environment. The statewide strategy will be a first for Vermont and will facilitate collaboration of both the public and private sectors to explore not only traditional economic development activities, but also the needs of the business community.

  • A $500,000 EDA grant to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to provide the state with the capacity to support disaster-impacted communities in their long-term recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. Through the creation of an economic recovery team, the Commonwealth will institutionalize a process for the ongoing coordination of its recovery efforts, particularly those that focus on encouraging the return of economic and business activities after future disasters.

  • A $250,000 EDA grant to the New York State Department of Economic Development in Albany, New York, to assist in the development of an economic development resiliency strategy by Empire State Development, the state's economic development agency. The strategy will be instrumental in stimulating the economic recovery of the state's agricultural industry, especially producers located in the 37 counties of eastern and central New York that were affected by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. In addition, this grant will enable these communities to be more resilient when faced with future disasters.

The projects announced today are part of a $200 million appropriation made by Congress to EDA to help communities that received a major disaster designation in fiscal year 2011 with long-term economic recovery and infrastructure support.

Within the context of the administration's National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF), EDA serves as the Coordinating Agency on behalf of the Department of Commerce for the Economic Recovery Support Function (RSF) to coordinate the activities of a diverse group of partner agencies supporting recovery in disaster-impacted communities. The activities consist primarily of leveraging existing resources and authorities to make a positive impact for communities affected by disasters.

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.