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Contact: Public Affairs Department, (202) 482-4085
Friday, September 28, 2012

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $3 Million to Expand Business Infrastructure and Create Jobs in Alaska

WASHINGTON - Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank today announced two Economic Development Administration (EDA) grants totaling $3.1 million to the Yukon Delta Fisheries Development Association of Anchorage and the Aleut Community of Saint Paul Island, Alaska, to help expand business infrastructure and mitigate from flood damage in 2011. The investments are expected to help create 250 jobs and generate more than $21 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

"These $3.1 million in Economic Development Administration investments are examples of the Obama administration's commitment to helping local communities build critical infrastructure and recover from natural disasters," said Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank. "The two grants announced today will help Alaska communities expand their business base, create jobs, and recover from flood damage by rebuilding infrastructure that is vital to the well-being of their economies."

The investments announced today include $1.6 million to the Yukon Delta Fisheries Development Association to help build a salmon filet processing plant with a blast freezer in the city of Emmonak, Alaska, which will support economic resiliency in the remote region. The facility will also include an emergency command center, which will serve as the region's only official emergency site for first responder coordination to meet the needs of business and residents. The area was designated a federal disaster area in 2011 due to severe ice jams and flooding. The project is expected to create 50 new jobs and attract $4.5 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

A $1.5 million EDA investment is also going to the Aleut Community of Saint Paul Island to help build a marine service, repair, and supply center. The new facility will open up new employment opportunities for residents and bolster the fishing industry, which is the mainstay of the local economy. The project is expected to create 200 new jobs, and attract $17 million in private investment.

The project in Emmonak is 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 (PDF) (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 improved information sharing and the leveraging of existing resources 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.