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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

U.S. Commerce Department Invests $1 Million to Strengthen the Competitiveness of the East Hartford, Connecticut Workforce

WASHINGTON - U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today announced a $1.15 million Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to the Town of East Hartford, Conn., for transportation infrastructure improvements to Riverside Drive that will support the expansion of Goodwin College, a provider of workforce development training and a growing employer in the region. These improvements will also facilitate better access to Rentschler Field, a planned research and technology community. The investment is expected to create 185 jobs and generate up to $90 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

"The Obama administration is committed to job growth and business development, and this grant will fund vital transportation infrastructure needed in the East Hartford community," Locke said. "This project will help to create jobs and keep local industries competitive by connecting the workforce to training opportunities and encouraging collaboration between the academic and private sectors in the region."

"The reconstruction of Riverside Drive, the entrance to Goodwin College, is vital to the continued expansion of the college - a project that has been designated a number one priority in the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy of the Metro Hartford region. To support this project, we plan to use all available resources at our command, and EDA's investment is critical to the project's success," said East Hartford Mayor Marcia Leclerc.

Enhancing the transportation infrastructure in East Hartford will link Goodwin College both physically and academically to the region's workforce and technology innovators to establish a more competitive and diversified urban economy.

The Town of East Hartford is located in the metro Hartford area and is classified by the state of Connecticut as a distressed municipality. The region has struggled to maintain its workforce and suffers from local job losses in major industries such as manufacturing and insurance.

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.