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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke Announces $1 Million Investment to Create Jobs, Strengthen Economy in Disaster Impacted Regions

WASHINGTON - U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today announced a $1 million Economic Development Administration (EDA) investment in the National Association of Development Organizations Research Foundation of Washington, D.C. (NADO), to help develop best practices and implement strategies for economic revitalization and resilience in regions impacted by natural disasters in 2008. This investment is related to 2008 natural disaster damage inflicted on states in EDA's Austin (TX) Regional Office five-state jurisdiction.

"The Obama Administration is committed to creating jobs, encouraging innovation and improving our nation's competitiveness," Locke said. "The NADO Research Foundation will now be able assist this five-state region with their recovery, but also they will develop model strategies for economic recovery and disaster mitigation that can be replicated across the country."

Hurricanes and flooding caused billions of dollars in damage in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma - the five states under the Austin office's jurisdiction. FEMA designated 225 of the region's 503 counties official disaster areas.

Effective mitigation programs can reduce the risk to lives, buildings, commerce and infrastructure when disaster strikes, and can reduce reliance on state and federal relief funds.

NADO's primary focus will be to assess the role of EDA's Economic Development Districts (EDDs) throughout the disaster mitigation and recovery phases, and will undertake a three-tier project that will: assess the regional economic impact caused by disasters, evaluate the role of EDD's in economic recovery efforts following disasters, and develop a model for EDD roles in recovery efforts.

There are 378 EDDs across the nation. They are economic planning organizations that build and manage economic development strategies for the districts they represent.

NADO will assemble a team of experts to train EDD leadership and staff in various aspects of economic recovery during this three-year initiative. The model developed will be replicated to produce effective disaster mitigation in both urban and rural regions nationwide.

The Department of Commerce is a voice for Main Street businesses. It focuses on creating jobs by fostering innovation and opening markets to U.S. products.

EDA supports the economic development needs of distressed communities throughout the United States. Its mission is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness and preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy.

Additional information on how EDA investments are helping distressed communities create a positive and sustainable economic future can be accessed at: http://www.eda.gov.