Press Release
September 26, 2023

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1 Million to Support Aviation Workforce Development in Durant, Oklahoma

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1 million grant to Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant, Oklahoma, to create an Aerospace Technology Center at the Durant Regional Airport.

This grant will create a training center to boost the region’s aerospace workforce by enhancing existing training, implementing new programs, and developing local partnerships. This EDA investment, to be matched with $589,000 in local funds, is expected to create 213 jobs and generate $8.7 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

“President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is creating new opportunities for American workers across the country,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment in Southeastern Oklahoma State University will help the region’s aviation and aerospace workforce soar by preparing workers for a wide range of careers in the aerospace industry.”

“The Economic Development Administration works closely with communities to develop place-based economic development,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will provide new capacity for career preparation in aviation and aerospace, increase access to skills training for underserved individuals, and build a pipeline of skilled workers for regional employers, strengthening the regional economy.”

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.