Kokomo, Indiana Region Receives $2.5 Million to Support Area Job Growth from the U.S. Commerce Department
November 24, 2010
Contact: John Atwood, (202) 482-4085
WASHINGTON - Following President Obama's visit to Kokomo, Ind., on Tuesday, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today announced a $2.5 million U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to the Miami County Economic Development Authority to help renovate and expand an existing aircraft hangar on the former Grissom Air Force Base just north of Kokomo. The project will help diversify the city's regional economy, which has been hard-hit by devastating plant closings and layoffs. Dean Baldwin Painting, an aircraft painting and maintenance company that will operate in the renovated hanger, expects to employ 200 people.
"The Obama administration is committed to providing communities with the resources they need to foster job creation and economic growth," Locke said. "Nowhere is that more evident than in Kokomo, as the president highlighted on Tuesday. Like millions of Recovery Act dollars already at work in the Kokomo area, this grant will support high-skill, living-wage jobs by helping to transform an existing structure to jumpstart local business growth."
On Tuesday, President Obama and Vice President Biden traveled to Kokomo, Ind., as part of the White House to Main Street Tour. In recent years, Kokomo has been hard-hit by devastating plant closings and layoffs, but with the help of the Recovery Act and the administration's auto restructuring plan, Kokomo is on the rebound today and unemployment has dropped by nearly 8 percentage points since mid-2009. A new hybrid vehicle component manufacturing plant has opened with the help of an $89 million Recovery Act grant; newly-restructured Chrysler Group has invested $343 million to retool and modernize its Kokomo transmission plant, which has helped retain more than 1,000 workers this year; and administration investments have helped support a downtown revitalization that led to the opening of a dozen new businesses in the area.
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.