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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $3.9 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Develop a Recovery Innovation Coordination and Center of Excellence in San Juan, Puerto Rico

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $3.9 million grant to the Instituto de Formación Democrática, San Juan, Puerto Rico, to support a recovery coordinator position and related staff to develop the framework for establishing the new Recovery Innovation Coordination and Center of Excellence. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

The grant will be used to contract a Recovery Innovation Coordinator and support staff to develop and implement capacity-building programs to serve as a framework to create a regional Center of Excellence for Economic Resilience and Impact Investment. The project will aim to improve the effectiveness of the non-profit sector in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as to strengthen the long-term capacity of local governments and non-profit organizations. This EDA grant will be matched with $889,416 in local funds.

“President Biden is committed to harnessing the full power of the federal government to ensure our nation not only recovers from this pandemic but builds a stronger America for the future,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment will play an important role in enhancing Puerto Rico’s disaster recovery capabilities.”

“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in supporting community-led economic development strategies designed to boost coronavirus recovery and response efforts,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “We are pleased to partner with the Instituto de Formación Democrática to boost Puerto Rico’s long-term disaster recovery capacity.”

“Recovery efforts have been at the forefront of my government agenda. Now more than ever, Puerto Rico looks to further our rebuilding and recovery, and these investments through ARP funds have been a strategic part of that effort,” said Governor Pedro Pierluisi. “We thank the Biden-Harris administration for, once again, showing their commitment to providing longstanding solutions that positively affect the lives of the American citizens of Puerto Rico.”

“Community driven efforts have been a crucial component in Puerto Rico’s recovery,” said Congresswoman Jenniffer González-Colón. “I’m grateful to our local organizations – some of which I’ve worked closely with to secure federal resources – for their continue involvement and initiatives to fulfill the needs of our communities across Island. I welcome this EDA investment to support the development of the Instituto de Formación Democrática’s new Recovery Innovation Coordination and Center of Excellence, which will assist the constituency with disaster related requests.”

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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