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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests to Provide Critical Infrastructure Upgrades to Serve Alaska Opportunity Zones

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is investing $4.7 million in the state of Alaska to help build and repair critical infrastructure needed to support business. The EDA grants, to be located in or to serve Tax Cuts and Jobs Act designated Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $4.4 million in local funds and are expected to help create or retain more than 180 jobs and spur $36.1 million in private investment.

“The Trump Administration’s economic goal is to create American jobs and to ensure U.S. business communities can thrive,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “These infrastructure upgrades will support business ventures and jobs across Alaska. These grants highlight how President Trump’s Opportunity Zone initiative can be joined with private capital.”

“President Trump has once again demonstrated his understanding and commitment to Alaska, its people and responsible economic development,” said Governor Michael J. Dunleavy. “Both grants will make a tangible difference in Wrangell, Nome and the surrounding areas with new jobs, private investment and opportunity so I want to thank President Trump and Commerce Secretary Ross for their leadership.”

“Today’s announcement is great news and I thank the administration for recognizing the importance of the impact these investments can have on our smaller communities,” said Senator Murkowski. “Not only will these funds improve existing critical infrastructure for maritime use, but through support for new construction of a water treatment plant we are also creating jobs. Safe drinking water is a basic necessity that we cannot take for granted. These investments will truly have a lasting impact on Alaska.”

The EDA investments announced today are:

  • The city and borough of Wrangell will receive $2.9 million to support the construction of a water treatment plant that will provide a potable water supply. The EDA grant, to be matched with $3.9 million in local funds, is expected to help create 71 jobs and generate $18.5 million in private investment.
  • The city of Nome will receive $1.69 million for the repair of a sea vessel launch ramp at Nome Inner Harbor. The improved infrastructure will enable maritime business enterprises to expand operations. The grant, to be matched with $423,103 in local funds, is expected to help create 63 jobs, retain 49 jobs and generate $17.6 million in private investment.

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 Commerce Department’s work in Opportunity Zones, please visit EDA’s Opportunity Zones webpage.

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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