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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

Halifax County, North Carolina Receives U.S. EDA Support to Grow the Region's Manufacturing and Food Clusters to Create New Jobs

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration (EDA) today announced a $779,203 grant to Halifax County, N.C., to make water infrastructure improvements to serve the Halifax Corporate Park and nearby industry. Empire Foods, Inc. and its new manufacturing firm are expected to locate in the Park and will use innovative packaging technology to preserve food without chemicals, irradiation or harmful side effects. The project is expected to create 200 jobs and generate $2.9 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

"The Obama administration is working tirelessly to help America's regions leverage local resources and build the public-private partnerships that are so vital to creating new jobs," said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez. "This EDA grant will provide infrastructure that will expand the region's manufacturing and food clusters."

"EDA's investment in infrastructure to serve the Empire Foods project is critical to the growth of an emerging food cluster in Halifax County. In addition to the 200 new jobs, Empire Foods will also support supply chain development by providing new markets for local and regional agricultural products to be processed at their facility," said Cathy Scott, Executive Director, Halifax County.

Empire Foods, Inc. and its new manufacturing firm will use innovative packaging technology developed by scientists at North Carolina State University to provide local growers with the ability to allow crops to ripen in the field prior to harvest, enhancing vitamin and nutrient value.

The grant aligns with EDA's priority to advance public-private partnerships and collaborative regional innovation.

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.