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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

U.S. EDA Partners with University of Hawaii to Create Jobs, Strengthen Regional Economy

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration (EDA) today announced a $220,000 grant to the University of Hawaii of Honolulu, Hawaii to support the operation of the University Center economic development technical assistance program.

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

"EDA encourages the innovative research and development that takes place at our nation's educational institutions," said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez. "This EDA grant will work to strengthen Hawaii's regional economy, focusing on niche tourism, creating higher-skill, higher-wage jobs, and promoting industry clusters."

"This award will enable the Pacific Business Center Program to utilize University of Hawaii resources to support the economic recovery of American Samoa hit by a devastating tsunami and earthquake, and the regional job training coordination between the U.S. Pacific Territories to help meet the daunting labor needs of the military buildup on Guam," said Dr. Failautusi Avegalio, Executive Director of the Pacific Business Center Program.

The University of Hawaii's University Center will use its resources to identify and support projects that diversify the regional economies away from a reliance on mainstream tourism and agriculture, particularly focusing on niche tourism, diversified/valued added agriculture, information and communication technology, marine science technology transfer/aquaculture, film and digital media, high technology ventures, renewable energy, and on private sector industry development, investment, and job creation.

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.