Jump to main content.


This site contains information that has been considered archived and will no longer be updated. Please click here to go to the CURRENT eda.gov website.

A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

U.S. EDA Collaborates with Three Midwest Universities to Boost Economic Opportunity and Jobs

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration (EDA) today announced $480,000 in grants to universities in three states to support the University Center Economic Development Program, a partnership between the federal government and academia that helps make the varied and vast resources of universities available to local communities.

The University Center program provides local government and nonprofit organizations with resources to better analyze the economic needs of local communities.

The grants include:

  • $169,763 to the University of Michigan of Ann Arbor, Mich.
  • $160,000 to the University of Wisconsin-Stout of Menomonie, Wis.
  • $150,000 to the Regents of the University of Minnesota of Minneapolis, Minn.

"The Economic Development Administration strongly supports the innovative research and development that takes place at our nation's colleges and universities," said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John R. Fernandez. "These EDA grants will work to advance regional competitiveness by spurring innovation and entrepreneurship, creating higher-skill, living-wage jobs, and promoting industry clusters."

"We look forward to working with EDA in the upcoming grant period to address economic distress and dislocation and to work toward economic recovery, economic growth, and to foster job creation" said Lawrence A. Molnar, Director of the EDA University Center for Economic Diversification at the University of Michigan.

"UW-Stout's EDA-University Center looks forward to continuing to provide its service region with impacts-focused technical assistance and applied research, and to executing the scope of work in year three of this award. We remain committed to assisting in the creation and retention of higher-skill, higher-wage jobs in our most economically distressed communities," said Randall Hulke, Project Director, EDA University Center.

"Our focus is to utilize the capacity of the University of Minnesota, Crookston in partnership with the broader University of Minnesota system and economic development agencies to support job creation, capital investment, business recruitment and job retention," said Dr. Jack M. Geller, Professor and Director of the EDA University Center.

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.