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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

Commerce Department Invests in Grainger County, Tennessee to Create Jobs in Wake of Plant Closings

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration (EDA) today announced a $60,000 grant to the Industrial Development Board of Grainger County, Tennessee to conduct a study on the feasibility of attracting solar energy product manufacturers to the region.

"This investment will help Grainger County analyze how it can capitalize on one of its unique natural asset, the abundance of silica sandstone," said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez. "Attracting innovative entrepreneurs involved in the manufacturing of high technology alternative energy components would create higher-skill, living-wage job opportunities."

"In our region recent plant closings have caused the loss of 308 jobs. This project will help the region position its self to capitalize on the emerging trends in solar panel manufacturing," said Mr. David Lietzke, Chairman of the Industrial Development Board of Grainger County.

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.