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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Boost Tourism-Related Workforce Development Efforts in Western Washington

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1 million grant to the Port Angeles Waterfront Center, Port Angeles, Washington, to support workforce development in the tourism sector. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This project will establish and supply the Field Hall Media Lab, a planned facility for training media technicians, stagehands, and related occupations on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. This EDA grant will be matched with $698,037 in local funds and is expected to create 175 jobs, retain 22 jobs, and generate $7.7 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

“President Biden recognizes the vital contribution the travel and tourism industry makes to the American economy,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This project will assist the community in filling a shortage of skilled media professionals while preparing residents for good-paying jobs.”

“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 support the development of a skilled workforce and strengthen permanent job placement throughout the region.”

“Field Hall in Port Angeles is destined to be the home of performing arts on the Olympic Peninsula,” said Senator Maria Cantwell. “Establishing the Media Lab with Peninsula College ensures that the talents and skills needed to meet our highest standards will come from folks raised on the Peninsula. These will be great jobs right here in the community they love.”

“As someone who was born and raised in Port Angeles, I know how important tourism and the arts are to our local economy. That’s why I’ve pushed for the federal government to step up and invest in this vital project. This new funding, which will help establish and supply the Field Hall Media Lab, will help folks learn new skills, create jobs, strengthen the arts in our community, and spur our local economy,” said Congressman Derek Kilmer (WA-06).

This project is funded under EDA’s $240 million competitive American Rescue Plan Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation program. EDA awarded $510 million in 2021 to all 50 states and territories. The two programs are designed to accelerate the recovery of communities that rely on the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sectors. Effective May 26, 2022, EDA has officially closed all of its American Rescue Plan programs for applications. The $3 billion program funding will be awarded on a rolling basis through September 30, 2022.

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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