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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests to Support Food Processing Sector in Pasco, Washington

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $3 million grant to the city of Pasco, Washington, to make water infrastructure improvements needed to serve food processing and other businesses in the region. The grant, which will be matched with $3.9 million in local funds, will serve a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act designated Opportunity Zone, and is expected to help create or retain 700 jobs and generate nearly $36 million in private investment.

“The Trump Administration understands that business in America will not thrive without reliable and up-to-date infrastructure,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This project in Pasco will help enable the region’s critical food processing sector to create additional economic opportunity and will provide further incentive for investment in a nearby Opportunity Zone.”

“This grant will help the City of Pasco support businesses in the Tri-Cities region for years to come,” said Senator Cantwell. “The investment will create jobs and economic opportunities for hundreds of people in Southeastern Washington.”

“This grant will not only provide much-needed infrastructure improvement, but it further incentivizes private investment in one of the food processing powerhouses of the country,” said Representative Newhouse. “Opportunity zones create exactly that for communities in rural areas like Central Washington: opportunity. By increasing the capacity of Pasco’s water use facility, we are not only creating nearly 700 jobs, but we are encouraging economic prosperity, which was the intent of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.”

The project will construct dual force mains and pump station at Pasco's Process Water Use Facility (PWRF) to increase capacity to serve the expansion and location plans of food processing and other businesses.

The funding announced today goes to a designated Opportunity Zone, created by President Donald J. Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to spur economic development by giving tax incentives to investors in economically-distressed communities nationwide. In June 2019, EDA added Opportunity Zones as an Investment Priority, which increases the number of catalytic Opportunity Zone-related projects that EDA can fund to fuel greater public investment in these areas. To learn more about the Opportunity Zone program, see the Treasury Department resources page here. To learn more about the Department’s work in Opportunity Zones, read our blog post.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (
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.

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