This site contains information that has been considered archived and will no longer be updated. Visit the CURRENT website.

Jump to main content.

Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce to Invest $1.7 Million to Support Workforce Development and Entrepreneurial Growth Near Rockport, Texas, Opportunity Zone

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.7 million grant to Aransas County, Texas, to create a workforce development and entrepreneurship center at Del Mar College in support of skilled job creation and regional economic diversification. The EDA grant, to be located near a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone, will be matched with more than $435,000 in local funds.

“The Trump Administration is committed to creating modern American jobs and ensuring U.S. business communities grow in Opportunity Zones,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The partnership between Aransas County and Del Mar College to create a workforce development center is essential to the region’s business needs.”

“The Economic Development Administration is pleased to support Aransas County’s strategy to train workers for in-demand jobs,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “The new workforce development and entrepreneurship center at Del Mar College will provide the high-skills training businesses in the region need to grow and thrive and the project’s location near a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone will help to drive private investment into the region.”

The funding announced today will catalyze private investment in a nearby Opportunity Zone. Created by President Donald J. Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity Zones are spurring economic development 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 Commerce Department’s work in Opportunity Zones, please visit EDA’s Opportunity Zones webpage. To learn more about the Opportunity Zone program, see the Opportunity Now resources webpage. To learn more about Opportunity Zone best practices, see the recently released White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council Report (PDF) to President Trump.

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.

Resource Directory Disaster Recovery Annual Reports Stay Connected
(Subscribe to EDA's monthly e-newsletter)

Facebook icon Twitter icon LinkedIn icon YouTube icon