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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

Commerce Department & Center for Automotive Research Collaborate to Strengthen Auto Communities

Conference to Explore Ways to Grow Economies of Auto-impacted Communities in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Minnesota

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration (EDA) today announced a $200,000 grant to the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) of Ann Arbor, Michigan to execute a conference that will explore ways to attract national and global investment to auto-dependent communities in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

"Collaboration is critical to helping auto-impacted communities remain competitive," said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez. "The conference will advance the public-private partnerships that are critical to helping these communities grow their economies and create jobs."

"The conference will provide a forum where economic developers, community state, and federal policy makers and other stakeholders can share knowledge about the region's automotive and manufacturing economy and learn about future trends that may impact the automotive endowment in the Chicago region," said Dr. Sean P. McAlinden, Executive Vice President of Research, CAR.

The conference is a follow-on event to the summit CAR held in April 2009. Details of the 2010 conference will be made available in the near future on the CAR Web site: (http://www.cargroup.org/carhome.asp).

In addition, this EDA investment is part of a concerted and coordinated strategy by the Obama Administration to engage multiple federal agencies in support of auto communities, suppliers and workers in transition.

"The Commerce Department and EDA have been strong partners in our work over the last year, and this investment in the CAR conference will advance the cause. It provides a valuable opportunity for these communities to learn about best practice from one another," said Dr. Ed Montgomery, Executive Director of the White House Council on Auto Communities and Workers, the organization established by the President in June 2009 to facilitate full engagement of all federal resources and expertise in the initiative.

On May 18, the White House Council , the U.S. Department of Labor, the Brookings Institution, and the Funders' Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities co-hosted a Summit on "Auto Communities and the Next Economy: Partnerships in Innovations." Information on that event can be found at: http://www.brookings.edu/events/2010/0518_auto_summit.aspx.

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.