U.S. Commerce Department Awards $2.1 Million to Advance Business Development in Holyoke, Massachusetts Innovation District
August 24, 2011
Contact: John Atwood, (202) 482-4085
WASHINGTON - Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Dr. Rebecca Blank today announced a $2.1 million Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to the Holyoke Gas and Electric (HG&E) Department and the city of Holyoke, Mass., to make hydro-electric infrastructure improvements needed to support tech-based business development in the city's Innovation District, a gateway for economic, educational, and workforce development in the region.
The upgrades will benefit facilities like the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center, a groundbreaking collaboration of five of the state's most research-intensive universities, state government and private industry. The project is expected to create up to 820 jobs and generate up to $80 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.
"Encouraging innovation and bringing new technologies to the marketplace are critical to creating jobs and improving our nation's economic competitiveness," Blank said. "This EDA grant will provide the critical infrastructure needed to expand Holyoke's Innovation District so it can help more companies grow and create jobs."
"This EDA investment will not only support the Green High Performance Computing Center with its collaborative forces from high tech and higher education, which has been the stuff of front pages for months, but it will help all of the Innovation District and the city," said Holyoke Mayor Elaine Pluta. "Add to that the Cisco Smart + Connected Communities project and the fact that HG & E's hydroelectric power is a long standing clean energy resource; these are exciting job producing developments in Holyoke that are certainly not reserved for the future tense."
This EDA investment will fund electrical transmission and distribution upgrades for a municipally owned hydro-electric power generation system, providing greater reliability and capacity in the city's Innovation District.
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.