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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2 Million to Support Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing in South Carolina

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2 million grant to Trident Technical College in Charleston, South Carolina. The funding will support the construction of an on-campus aeronautical training center. According to the grantee, two beneficiaries have provided commitments that will enable the creation of 345 new jobs, the retention of 15 jobs, and $77 million in private investment as a result of the project.

“Supporting local economies and helping them grow their emerging industries is the core of EDA’s mission and work,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams. “The EDA investment announced today will help the Charleston region bolster its aerospace workforce to support its growing aerospace cluster, helping the region become more competitive on the global stage.”

EDA’s investment will help fund the critical infrastructure and site work, including road development, earth work, and site clearing, necessary to construct Trident Technical College's new 200,000 square foot Aeronautical Training Center. According to the grantee, the region has experienced significant job losses in recent years due to closures and layoffs. According to the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina, annual employment growth in the aerospace cluster in the state has averaged 11.4% since 2010.  Charleston is home to Boeing as well as more than 75 other aerospace and aviation-related businesses.  In addition to the exponential growth of the aerospace sector in Charleston, there are 466 private aerospace companies within SC, making it necessary to accelerate the education of the technical workforce. The Center will support workforce training to meet these growing demands.

Workforce development and skills training is a major focus for the Commerce Department for the first time, and EDA plays a big role in supporting that effort. In November 2014, EDA issued a Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) for the Accelerating Industry-led Regional Partnerships for Talent Development program. The FFO is designed to find EDA a national partner that will work with the Department of Commerce to launch a regional learning exchange that will identify, promote, and expand on successful best practices for industry-driven regional partnerships for talent development. EDA continues to support projects, like the one in Charleston, that help communities develop a workforce with the skills that local employers need to fill jobs that are available now and in the future.

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.