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October 2020

Spotlight: Celebrating the Economic Impact of Opportunity Zones Across the U.S.

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President Trump Discussing Opportunity Zones at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Washington, DC

EDA is proud of its role in bolstering the American economy through its Opportunity Zones work. To date, EDA has invested more than $750 million in more than 500 Opportunity Zone projects across the country.

Created by President Donald J. Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity Zones are spurring economic development and job growth in economically-distressed communities across the country.

More than 35 million Americans live in the nearly 9,000 Opportunity Zones (PDF), which Governors identified and the Department of the Treasury certified, throughout the U.S. and its territories.

In August 2020, the White House Council of Economic Advisors issued The Impact of Opportunity Zones: An Initial Assessment Report (PDF), highlighting that Opportunity Zones are on track to create 500,000 jobs and lift one million people out of poverty. As of the end of 2019, Opportunity Zones have attracted over $78 billion in investments in underserved communities.

Click here to read more.

Success Story: EDA Innovation Investment Supports Textile Manufacturing in North Carolina

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Training participants at the Manufacturing Solutions Center in Conover, North Carolina.

North Carolina has a vibrant history in textile manufacturing, which dates back decades before technological advances such as the high-tech knitting machine.

“There’s been a lot of advances. It’s not exactly how it used to be. There is a lot of automation, technology and programming. There are robots that will sew your garments,” said Rachel Cranston, project and academic relationship coordinator at the Manufacturing Solutions Center (MSC), which is part of Catawba Valley Community College in North Carolina.

In 2019, Catawba Valley Community College received a $750,000 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to leverage resources for cutting-edge innovation and entrepreneurship at MSC, which is based in Conover, N.C. The college matched the grant with $750,000 in local funds.

The grant, awarded through EDA’s Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program (now known as Build to Scale), has allowed MSC to expand its support for small businesses looking to manufacture their textiles.

Click here to read more.

Highlight: EDA Investment in Kentucky Opportunity Zone to Provide Workforce Training and Job Creation in Manufacturing Sector

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Joel Frushone with state and local elected officials and Kentucky Community and Technical College System faculty, Hazard, Kentucky

On October 8, Joel Frushone, Director of EDA’s Office of External Affairs and Communications announced a $3.9 million grant to the Kentucky Community and Technical College System to renovate an existing building at Hazard Community & Technical College to house its new Advanced Manufacturing and Construction Center of Excellence. The event was broadcast via Facebook Live.

By utilizing land once reliant on coal mining, Kentucky Community and Technical College System is using one of Kentucky’s 144 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone in a progressive manner to diversify its workforce.

The EDA grant will be matched with $970,000 in local funds and is expected to retain 610 jobs. This is the 14th Opportunity Zone investment that EDA has made in Kentucky during the Trump Administration, totaling over $24 million.

Click here to read more.

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EDA SPRINT Challenge

SPRINT Challenge logo

This month, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross launched EDA’s SPRINT Challenge, a $25 million national competition to support the response efforts to the coronavirus pandemic through entrepreneurship and innovation and the Great American Comeback as we restore and rebuild our economy. Applications are due on December 3 – apply now!

For more information, please visit the EDA website to view the SPRINT Challenge Informational Webinar recording.


EDA Invests $4.2 Million to Boost Water System Capacity to Serve Business Needs in Petersburg, Indiana, Opportunity Zone

Secretary Ross presents $4.2 million to Petersburg, Indiana

On October 7, Secretary Wilbur Ross announced a $4.2 million EDA grant to Petersburg, Indiana, to expand its water system to support existing businesses and attract new business. Located in an Opportunity Zone, the investment is expected to create or retain nearly 100 jobs and spur $19.6 million in private investment.


EDA Invests $1.9 Million to Boost Industrial and Manufacturing Growth in North Carolina

Dana Gartzke addresses attendees at North Carolina manufacturing award event, Davidson County, North Carolina

On October 6, Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development announced $1.9 million to Davidson County, North Carolina, to boost manufacturing business growth in the region.


Opportunity Zone and Recovery Playbook

Scott Turner Announces Opportunity Zone Recovery Playbook in Brigham City, Utah.

On October 20, Executive Director of WHORC Scott Turner announced a $399,804 EDA award to the Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah to create a rural Opportunity Zone and Recovery Playbook to support local efforts to drive capital investment into Utah. The playbook will assist five Utah Economic Development Districts serving 21 counties in providing dedicated training and support to rural Utah counties looking to diversify their economies and increase their resiliency. When completed, the Playbook will be available to rural communities across the country to modify and utilize to meet their unique needs.


Fraud Alert

EDA does not provide grants to individuals and does not ask for personal information. If you believe you or someone you know has been the victim of a scam, contact the U.S. Department of Commerce Office of Inspector General or file a report online with the Federal Trade Commission.


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EDA in the News!

Riverside Drive Industrial Park lands $3.3 million infrastructure grant
NWI Times (10/1/20)

Petersburg gets federal grant for water improvements
Evansville Courier & Press (10/8/20)

Tampa-St. Pete’s focus on innovation shines as Commerce secretary kick offs competition to address Covid challenges
St. Petersburg Catalyst (10/14/20)

Lawrence receives $7.8M grant for bioscience facility, expected to bring 225 jobs
KSHB 41 Kansas City (10/15/20)

A significant opportunity: Federal grant provides $4.8 million to Moberly water, sewers
Moberly Monitor-Index (10/15/20)

HCTC receives $3.8 million grant to establish Advanced Manufacturing and Construction Center of Excellence, improve technical campus
Hazard Herald (10/15/20)

Business and Technology Park to be Established in Weatherford with $2.8 Million Investment from U.S. Department of Commerce
EIN Tech News (10/16/20)

EDA awards $1.25 million grant for water infrastructure upgrades at airpark
The Daily Ardmoreite (10/16/20)

Brigham City's reborn Union Block Building kick-starts statewide rural development
Standard-Examiner (10/20/20)

A disaster in the unmaking
The Star (10/22/20)

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