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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Blog Entries from November 2013

Message From Acting Assistant Secretary Matt S. Erskine

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

Economic growth is spurred by competition and fueled by collaboration. Small businesses, local communities, and regional economies depend on both to thrive. This issue of Innovate@EDA highlights concrete examples of competition and collaboration that jointly create success across a variety of sectors and on many scales.

This month's EDA newsletter spotlight is on two EDA-led national multi-agency manufacturing initiatives that were announced recently. The agency will support winners of the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) and the Make it in America Challenge as they work to increase the competitive advantage of local communities and bring manufacturing jobs and investment to economically distressed regions.

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Q&A: Valerie Piper, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Development, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development

Photo of Valerie Piper Valerie Piper serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Development at the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, where she oversees the Offices of Community Renewal, Rural Housing and Economic Development, Grants Management for Economic Development and Brownfields Economic Development Initiatives, and the Congressional Grants Division. Ms. Piper is also responsible for cross-cutting strategies between HUD and other federal agencies to support jobs and small business in HUD economic development goals.

Question: The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Economic Development is guided by the basic principle that government can help to create an environment that encourages innovation, rewards risk-taking, and promotes equal opportunity. This orientation supports President Obama’s priority that federal agencies work together to better support bottom-up plans to spur economic and job growth. What multi-agency initiatives has HUD been involved in and what are some of the successes you have had?

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Success Story: Expanding Baltimore’s Food Economy and Job Market

Stylized drawing of several planned buildings in a city block An EDA investment is supporting the work of the Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition Inc. (HEBCA) to transform unused buildings into an engine of growth and employment for Baltimore’s food economy.

A shortage of commercial kitchens in Baltimore prevents local catering businesses from expanding their operations and hiring new workers. A feasibility study completed in 2012 demonstrated that a lack of facilities where local producers can legally and safely manufacture, prepare, and store specialty food products presents a barrier to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) that wish to compete locally and abroad. Overcoming this barrier would make new Baltimore business ventures more sustainable.

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Highlights: Competitiveness Report Features Six EDA Projects

Signs of Competitiveness in the Americas 2013 www.riacrepor-t.org/2013 Six EDA grantees were recognized in the Signs of Competitiveness in the Americas Report 2013, produced by Panama with the support of the Organization of American States (OAS) and presented at the Annual Meeting of the Inter-American Competitiveness Network (RIAC) in Panama City on October 2.

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