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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

U.S. Commerce Department Grant Advances President Obama's Commitment to Creating Jobs, Strengthening Economy in Central Florida

Major helicopter training program to be expanded at Space Coast Regional Airport

WASHINGTON - U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today announced a $2 million Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to the Titusville-Cocoa Airport Authority of Titusville, Fla., to assist in the expansion of the Bristow Academy, a major helicopter pilot training facility, and create new central Florida aerospace sector jobs. The project is expected to save 155 jobs, create 97 jobs and generate $2 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

"President Obama is committed to strengthening the central Florida economy and expanding job opportunities as we transition from the Shuttle program," Locke said. "This EDA grant will create higher-skill, living wage jobs by improving the Space Coast Regional Airport to allow a major helicopter training facility to expand operations."

"The $2 million grant that we have secured for the Space Coast Regional Airport will help create jobs and give a real economic boost to our community," said Congresswoman Suzanne Kosmas. "I am happy that my office and the EDA are able to assist the Titusville-Cocoa Airport Authority in their efforts to improve their facilities in order to support local businesses like Bristow Academy. I will continue working to bring people together to create jobs and ensure a bright economic future for the Space Coast."

President Obama recently visited the Kennedy Space Center to announce a $6 billion increase over the next five years in NASA's budget to increase exploration of the solar system. The President's plan also increases Earth-based observations to improve our understanding of the world and its climate in order to protect the environment for future generations. The President also unveiled a $40 million initiative led by the White House and federal agencies to develop a plan for regional and economic growth, which will add more than 2,500 jobs along the Space Coast in the next two years, with the potential of thousands more as companies compete to be a part of the new space transportation industry.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov):

This year, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) marks 45 years of public service, with a mission of 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.