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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2 Million to Establish New Graduate Education Center at Clemson University's Restoration Institute

EDA Grant to Help Increase Local STEM Workforce

WASHINGTON - Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank today announced a $2 million Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to Clemson University to help fund construction of a new graduate center at the Clemson University Restoration Institute in North Charleston, South Carolina. The project, which will support students in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) fields, is expected to create 110 new jobs and attract $2.9 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

"This $2 million in EDA investments is an example of the Obama administration's commitment to ensuring the American workforce has the education and skills needed for good-paying jobs in a 21st century economy," said Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Blank. "The grant announced today will help Clemson University support a STEM workforce in South Carolina, keeping American workers competitive and strengthening our economy."

"I appreciate the Obama Administration's continued support of the Clemson wind turbine facility," Congressman James Clyburn said. "Funding under the 'American Recovery and Reinvestment Act' established North Charleston as a hub for wind energy production and this EDA grant will expand that initial investment to add workforce training, research and development. I am pleased that this effort is becoming an important economic engine for the State of South Carolina."

Over the last decade, growth in STEM job openings climbed three times as fast as other jobs. In recent years, however, only about 13 percent of U.S. college graduates got degrees in the STEM fields. Jobs in STEM fields, which are typically good-paying and high-quality, produce many of the inventors and entrepreneurs who are driving American innovation and competitiveness.

When it opens, Clemson's new graduate education center will house a business incubator and shared laboratory space, furthering the Institute's work to support a knowledge-based, export-oriented industry cluster in such areas as renewable energy, advanced materials, restoration ecology, and community revitalization. The center will also house Clemson's statewide workforce development program.

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.