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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $4 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Establish a Science and Creativity Center in Easton, Pennsylvania

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $4 million grant to Easton, Pennsylvania, to help establish the Science and Creativity Center. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This project will boost the local tourism industry by bringing new visitors to the city, its businesses, and attractions. This EDA grant will be matched with $6 million in local funds and is expected to create 267 jobs, retain nine jobs and generate $51.5 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

“President Biden’s American Rescue Plan delivers federal resources to communities to ensure our nation not only recovers from the pandemic, but builds a better America for the future,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This project will boost the tourism and hospitality industries in Easton while providing economic stability for the region.”

“The travel and tourism industry is an important part of many local economies across the country,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This EDA investment will provide for a planetarium, exhibit space, and other attractions designed to boost tourism and create jobs.”

“President Biden has prioritized pandemic recovery to the highest degree – this investment is creating good jobs, revitalizing the local economy, and educating a new generation of leaders,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “Opportunity awaits for Easton.”

“As Pennsylvania’s tourism industry recovers from the pandemic, the American Rescue Plan continues to deliver on its promise to revitalize local economies,” said Senator Bob Casey. “The establishment of a Science and Creativity Center would not only boost tourism in the Lehigh Valley, but support local preservation efforts. With increased funding, the nonprofit Nurture Nature Center can expand its educational mission while making significant investments in the region. I was proud to advocate for this funding and will continue to bring home federal dollars to invest in economic development in Pennsylvania.”

“The Science and Creativity Center in Easton – a multi-purpose facility supporting tourism, creating jobs, and enhancing the Easton community – is precisely the type of project the American Rescue Plan is intended to support,” said Congresswoman Susan Wild (PA-07). “I am proud to have secured $140,000 for Nurture Nature Center as one of my Community Project Funding requests, and that the EDA is making this critical investment in Easton and the surrounding region’s future.”

This project is funded under EDA’s $240 million competitive American Rescue Plan Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation program. EDA awarded $510 million in grants to all 50 states and territories in 2021. The two programs are designed to accelerate the recovery of communities that rely on the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sectors.

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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