Press Release
February 8, 2023

Statement from Assistant Secretary Alejandra Y. Castillo on the President's State of the Union Address and Progress Made to Restore and Strengthen the U.S. Economy

Today, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo issued the following statement on the President's State of the Union Address and the Progress Made to Restore and Strengthen Our Economy:

As the President said in his State of the Union address to Congress last night, the Biden-Harris economic plan is about investing in places and people that have been forgotten.

At EDA, I'm proud to lead an organization that invests in America. As the only federal government agency focused exclusively on economic development, we are building a more equitable and more resilient economy that works for all Americans.

The gains we have seen encourage us to build on the progress made over the last two years to restore and strengthen our economy. The President's remarks reinforced how crucial EDA's work is to continued growth, industrial readiness, and economic prosperity.

We’re building an economy where no one is left behind, that's why the Economic Development Administration and the Department of Commerce are making strategic place-based investments in America’s regions, industries and workers to boost innovation, entrepreneurship, regional coordination and access to good-paying jobs.

Equity is at the core of our investment strategy and the work we do. For far too long, distressed communities have been excluded from needed training and education opportunities. Now, we are taking a multi-dimensional approach which includes wraparound supports and barrier reductions with a deliberate focus on integrating employers at every step. It is a shift that will allow greater participation from those historically left out systemically and lead to more equitable access to opportunity and economic mobility for communities.

EDA is investing in sustainable workforce ecosystems, meeting the needs of both American workers and industry, creating pathways to good jobs in some of the most economically distressed areas of the country, including rural communities, urban cores, and disaster affected regions.

We have set a new bar for federal investment in terms of our global competitiveness and economic security.

Last year, EDA awarded $3 billion in American Rescue Plan funding. These transformational investments in manufacturing, research & development, infrastructure, workforce training, and community development ensure the United States will be the global leader in the industries of the future.

I am excited about the work ahead and what we can achieve together.

There is still much work to be done as we lay the foundations for steady and stable long-term growth in the years to come.

We will continue to work with our federal partners, within the Department of Commerce and elsewhere, to employ a whole-of-government approach to deliver on President Biden's economic agenda and finish the job.”

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (
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.