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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

U.S. Economic Development Administration Invests $640,000 to Help Expand Job Development and Training Facility in Camden, New Jersey

CAMDEN, N.J. - U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Matt Erskine today toured Respond, Inc.'s Sayre New Worker Job Development Center in Camden, New Jersey and announced a $640,000 U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to help renovate and expand the job training facility and provide job seekers with the skills they need to fill entry level jobs in the automotive sector. In the last two years, Respond, Inc. has successfully placed more than 88 graduates into automotive service positions, and almost 11 percent of graduates have started their own automotive repair businesses, according to the grantee.

"The Obama administration is committed to equipping the American workforce with the knowledge and skills needed to fill jobs in growing sectors of the economy," said Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Matt Erskine. "With the expansion of this facility, Respond Inc. will be able to continue to produce qualified candidates for entry-level automotive technology jobs that pay good wages."

"This federal funding will help train workers in the Camden area for for good paying, sustainable jobs in the auto industry," said Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which funds EDA. "By investing in our workers, we can improve New Jersey's economy and create new opportunities for South Jersey families."

"This critical EDA grant will help our students and graduates put their skills to work, while providing a much needed service to the greater Camden community," said Wilbert Mitchell, executive director of Respond, Inc. "Investments in job training and job creation are just what we need to ensure the economic independence of the individuals and families we serve."

The EDA grant will help fund the expansion of Respond, Inc.'s Automotive Technology Training Center by renovating 3,256 square feet of store space into additional automotive diagnosis, repair, and customer relations areas. By expanding its training and entrepreneurial support services, the center will be able to build on its existing success in supporting a vibrant automotive services cluster in Camden. EDA has invested more than $2.4 million to help establish and expand this critical jobs training facility.

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.