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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $300,000 to Create Jobs, Strengthen Economy in Little Rock, Arkansas

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration (EDA) today announced a $300,000 grant to Winrock International and Arkansas State University in Little Rock, Ark., to complete an economic adjustment strategy for the northeast Arkansas region that will focus on the development of disaster resistant crops and bio-energy technology to assure the economic viability of the agriculture sector in flood prone areas.

"Economic recovery and growth are top priorities for the Obama Administration," said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John R. Fernandez. "This EDA grant will spur innovation in the development of disaster resistant crops and provide a more stable income stream particularly in the aftermath of natural disasters that frequently strike the region."

"This project is vital to the improvement of economic conditions in rural Arkansas," said Annett Pagan, Director of U.S. Programs at Winrock International. "Northeast Arkansas was tremendously impacted by severe storms, flooding and tornadoes in 2008. The region's long-range focus must be on identifying crops that are less susceptible to flooding, wind, draught and other natural disasters."

The Economic Development Administration marks 45 years of public service, leading the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. EDA is an agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce that partners with distressed communities throughout the United States to foster job creation, collaboration and innovation.

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.