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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $751,203 in American Rescue Plan Funds to Support Tourism Development in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $751,203 grant to the University of Puerto Rico at Carolina (UPR Carolina), to support development of the tourism sectors in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

The investment will allow UPR Carolina’s School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration to offer in-person instruction, online learning, hybrid training, and workforce development in the food and hospitality sectors for students in Puerto Rico and from the U.S. Virgin Islands. This EDA investment will be matched with $185,752 in local funds.

“The travel and tourism sectors are critical economic drivers for many communities and the Economic Development Administration is pleased to support community-led strategies to boost these important industries and build a better America,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This grant will ultimately help sustain and evolve the tourism industry post-pandemic and build economic resiliency.”

“Once again, I would like to thank the Biden- Harris Administration, specifically Deputy Secretary Graves and Assistant Secretary Castillo, for their commitment to helping my administration’s vision become a reality that will benefit the 3.2 million American citizens that call Puerto Rico home,” said Governor Pedro R. Pierluisi. “Further developing the tourism sector on the Island is an important step towards the diversification of our economy in a way that will lead to more work opportunities, economic growth, and financial stability.”

“Puerto Rico’s tourism industry in 2021 generated 86,000 jobs and over $760 million in revenue. Despite the devastation of the 2017 Hurricanes and more recently the COVID-19 pandemic, we have found a way to mitigate the impact and nurture economic activity through this market,” said Congresswoman Jenniffer González Colón (PR-01). “I congratulate the University of Puerto Rico-Carolina for securing this funding and welcome this federal investment, which sums up to our efforts towards reaching Puerto Rico’s maximum potential as a tourism destination by providing educational tools to create a strong workforce in the hospitality sector.”

This project is funded under EDA’s American Rescue Plan Economic Adjustment Assistance program, which makes $500 million in Economic Adjustment Assistance grants available to American communities. The Economic Adjustment Assistance program is EDA’s most flexible program, and grants made under this program will help hundreds of communities across the nation plan, build, innovate, and put people back to work through construction or non-construction projects designed to meet local needs.

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 invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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