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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

U.S. EDA Investment Supports Renewable Industry That Will Create Jobs in North Central Montana

U.S. Senators Max Baucus & Jon Tester Applaud Effort to Commercialize Green Technology & Spur Economic Growth

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration (EDA), along with U.S. Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester, today announced a $647,748 grant to the Montana State University-Northern of Havre, Mont., to support the North Central Montana Renewable Industry Initiative to commercialize green technology and create new high-skill, living-wage jobs. The project is expected to create 26 jobs and generate $90 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," said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez. "This EDA grant will enable Montana State University-Northern to develop a coordinated methodology to work with inventors, entrepreneurs, new start-up companies, and small businesses in the commercialization and manufacturing of renewable and energy efficiency technology."

"This is a smart investment in Montana jobs and American energy security, and I can't wait to see all the innovative ways MSU Northern puts this project to work for our state," said Montana's senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus.

"With today's announcement, Montana is taking another step forward to create renewable energy jobs and tap into Montana's vast energy resources," said U.S. Senator Jon Tester. "MSU Northern and Bear Paw Development Corporation will work with local developers to create jobs, promote biofuel projects along the Hi-Line, and grow Montana's economy. I will continue my fight for smart investments that support Montana's local markets and put Montanans to work."

"This project will help to ensure that Montana is part of the emerging 'Next Generation' bio-refining for fuels, plastics, and other high-value industrial chemicals. Montana's agricultural and innovation industries will be able to unite to bring new economic prosperity for this region. This industry will provide jobs with livable wages for graduates and displaced workers to keep more families in Montana," said James Limbaugh, Chancellor, Montana State University-Northern.

The North Central Montana Renewable Industry Initiative bridges the gap currently existing in efforts to transfer technologies from research into commercial development in north central Montana. The EDA investment will enable Montana State University-Northern's Bio-Energy Center to spur an emerging biodiesel production industry in the region—an opportunity tied to the region's long-term strength in grain production.

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.