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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

Commerce Department Announces $12.9 Million in Grants to Increase U.S. Global Competitiveness

U.S. EDA Investments to Support Job Creation in AL, MA, NC, PA, SC, TN, VA, WA, & WI

WASHINGTON - U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today announced $12.9 million in U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) grants to help communities in Alabama, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin adjust to increasing competition in the global marketplace, better positioning them to create jobs and boost their local economies.

"The Obama administration is committed to helping main street businesses strengthen their global competitiveness," Locke said. "These EDA grants will help create jobs and support economic growth in these communities by developing strategies and projects that will diversify local economies and keep companies competitive."

The grants announced today include:

  • $2.4 million to the Cowlitz Wahkiakum Council of Governments and the city of Woodland, Wash., to make infrastructure improvements to expand the Woodland Light Industrial Park.
  • $1.8 million to the city of Darlington, S.C., to make sewer system improvements to increase sewer treatment capacity for existing and prospective industries.
  • $1.7 million to Franklin County, N.C., and the Kerr-Tar Regional Economic Development Corporation to build a roadway for improved access to the Triangle North Franklin Business Park.
  • $1.6 million to the Winston County Commission, the city of Haleyville, and the Cooperative District of Winston County, Ala., to make infrastructure improvements to serve businesses locating in the Winston County Industrial Park and Haleyville's North Industrial Park.
  • $1.6 million to Lincoln County and the city of Lincolnton, N.C., to make sewer improvements needed for the development of Phase 1 of the Airport Business Park.
  • $1.5 million to the New River Valley Planning District Commission of Radford, Va., to provide funding for the Western Virginia Transportation Equipment Manufacturing Competitiveness Initiative (TEMCI). The initiative will increase the ability of regional manufacturing and supplier firms to compete in the global marketplace by providing technical assistance to transportation equipment manufacturing and supplier firms in product development, process improvements, and the integration of green technologies and processes.
  • $1.2 million to Overton County and the city of Livingston, Tenn., to extend a water line needed to develop an industrial park in the county that will attract and accommodate new industry.
  • $750,000 to McMinn County, Tenn., and the McMinn County Economic Development Authority to install broadband fiber in three county industrial parks to help attract new businesses to the area.
  • $133,500 to the East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission of Menasha, Wis., to fund a strategic plan for expanding global trade in Brown, Calumet, Fond du Lac, Manitowoc, Marinette, Outagamie, Sheboygan, Waupaca, and Winnebago counties in northeastern Wisconsin.
  • $78,102 to the Franklin Regional Council of Governments of Greenfield, Mass., to develop a strategic plan for the Franklin County Interconnection and Innovation District, which will leverage existing and emerging regional strengths to encourage job growth and business expansion in information technology, renewable energy, green technology, the creative economy, and advanced manufacturing.
  • $75,000 to the Northwest Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission of Oil City, Pa., to develop a trade strategy to assist Crawford County's tooling and machining industry in boosting its competitiveness and finding new opportunities for success in the global marketplace.
  • $53,194 to Barnwell County, S.C., to support the development and implementation of a strategic plan for leveraging public-private partnerships and regional assets to enhance the specialty agribusiness sector.

Earlier this year, President Obama unveiled his National Export Initiative (NEI), an effort to help U.S. businesses sell their goods and services abroad with a goal of doubling U.S. exports over the next five years in support of 2 million American jobs. Through the NEI, the federal government is expanding its trade advocacy efforts in all forms, including educating U.S. companies about opportunities overseas, directly connecting U.S. companies with new customers, and advocating more forcefully for U.S. company interests in contracting processes.

These grants are funded under EDA's Community Trade Adjustment Assistance (CTAA) Program, which is aimed at helping to create and retain jobs by providing project grants to communities (cities, counties, or other political subdivisions of a state or a consortium of political subdivisions of a state, including District Organizations of Economic Development Districts) that have experienced, or are threatened by, job loss resulting from increased global competition.

Grants under the program can be used to support a wide range of technical, planning, and infrastructure projects to help communities adapt to the global marketplace and diversify their economies. Additional information is available at: http://www.eda.gov/InvestmentsGrants/CommunityTAA.xml.

EDA expects to announce additional CTAA program grants within the next month.

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.