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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

Southeastern Kentucky Green Manufacturing Sector Receives Boost from U.S. EDA

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration (EDA) today announced a $252,000 grant to Kentucky Highlands Community Development Corporation of London, Ky., in partnership with the University of Kentucky Research Foundation of Lexington, Ky., to develop innovative plans to utilize the Southeastern Kentucky region's houseboat manufacturing facilities to build new energy-efficient houses. The project is expected to create 36 jobs and generate $250,000 in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

"Investing in our manufacturing base and energy-efficient infrastructure is critical to our nation's economic competitiveness," said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John R. Fernandez. "This EDA grant will make use of local existing manufacturing facilities to produce new energy efficient homes, while creating news jobs and reviving the existing houseboat manufacturing industry cluster.

"This project will help several of the houseboat manufacturers in Wayne County and surrounding counties that have either closed or announced closure in the past year," said Jerry Rickett, Chief Executive Officer of the Kentucky Highlands Community Development Corporation.

Part of EDA's Global Climate Change Mitigation Incentive Fund (GCCMIF), this project supports a partnership between The Kentucky Highlands Community Development Corporation and the University of Kentucky and Stardust Cruisers to leverage the under-utilized houseboat manufacturing facilities in Southeastern Kentucky. The project supports a line of modular homes that reduce the amount of energy consumed and lower energy costs for residents of the new homes, while reviving the houseboat manufacturing industry cluster.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration:

The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.