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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

U.S. Commerce Department Investment to Boost California's Agriculture Industry

Senator Barbara Boxer & Congressman Sam Farr Applaud $3.48 Million Grant to Create Local Jobs

WASHINGTON - Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank, along with Senator Barbara Boxer and Congressman Sam Farr, today announced a $3.48 million Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to the city of Salinas, Calif., to help replace deteriorating industrial wastewater conveyance pipelines serving the Salinas Agricultural Industrial Park and other agriculture-related businesses in Salinas Valley. The project is expected to retain 2,000 jobs and create 2,000 more by keeping agricultural businesses in the city. It is also expected to generate $150 million in private investment with the expansion of the Salinas Ag-Industrial Park, according to grantee estimates.

"Improving regional infrastructure in support of business growth is critical to our ability to create jobs and remain competitive," Acting Secretary Blank said. "This EDA grant will support existing businesses and help attract new businesses and jobs to the region by providing critical infrastructure improvements needed to advance the agriculture industry in Salinas."

"This grant is an example of the type of Federal investments President Obama is calling for to create jobs for Americans right now," said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez.

Senator Boxer said, "This project will leverage up to $150 million in private-sector investment and help Salinas save and create jobs so that it can remain a leader in the agriculture industry. This is a great example of how investments through the Economic Development Administration help maintain and create jobs and drive economic growth in our communities."

"Salinas is a critical engine in our region's economy and at the heart of our nation's agriculture industry," said Congressman Farr. "This grant will go a long way in ensuring that we continue to not only invest in Salina's future, but in the infrastructure that keeps people working today and well into the future."

The EDA-funded infrastructure improvements will benefit 14 existing businesses at the industrial park and help to expand it to accommodate new businesses. It is anticipated that the project will attract a university presence to promote agriculture research.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov):

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.