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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

Commerce Department Grant to Help Strengthen Manufacturing Sector in Idaho and Washington

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration (EDA) today announced a $160,000 grant to the Clearwater Economic Development Association of Lewiston, Idaho to help establish an organizational network that will advance the interests of manufacturing business enterprises in Idaho and Washington.

"Supporting growth and innovation in manufacturing is critical to helping America out-compete the rest of the world and create 21st-century jobs," said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez. "This EDA grant will support the development of an organizational structure that will enhance the opportunities for rural manufacturing enterprises in both Idaho and Washington."

"If the region's manufacturers receive the assistance they need, they could help the region recover from its long-term structural problem," said Christine Frei, Executive Director, Clearwater Economic Development Association.

The organizational goals of the network will include the improvement economic opportunities and business conditions for rural manufacturers, improvement of manufacturer management and operational capability, business development support, and improvement of employment opportunities in rural areas. Project tasks will include the delivery of business development services, performance of outreach and network building activities, and providing technical assistance services.

Project work will take place in Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Clearwater, Idaho, Kootenai, Latah, Lewis, Nez Perce, and Shoshone Counties, which are located in the northern part of Idaho and Asotin, Columbia, Garfield, and Whitman Counties, which are located in the southeastern part of Washington.

The Obama Administration is committed to building a stronger economy by investing in the research and technology that will lead to new ideas and new industries of the future - that means building new roads and bridges and manufacturing new products right here in America. Recently, the President announced several new commitments by the private sector, colleges, and the National Association of Manufacturers to make it possible for 500,000 community college students to get industry-accepted credentials for manufacturing jobs that companies across America are looking to fill. He also met with his Jobs Council to discuss ways we can spur private sector hiring in the short term and ensure our workers have the skills and training they need in this economy. The Jobs Council announced an effort to train 10,000 new American engineers every year, strengthening our competitiveness to ensure the new jobs and new industries are created right here in America.

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.