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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1 Million to Help Diversify Coal Community Economies and Boost Workforce Opportunities in Crownpoint, New Mexico

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1 million grant to Navajo Technical University of Crownpoint, New Mexico, to build a Metrology and Materials Testing Center (MMTC) that will help diversify the Navajo Nations’ economy and train displaced workers in the energy sector. According to grantee estimates, the project is expected to generate $15 million in private investment.

“The Trump Administration is fulfilling the President’s commitment to America’s coal workers as the Department of Commerce issues new investments that will help countless communities thrive,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “Through this project, Navajo Technical University will help the region diversify and rebound by providing opportunities for local workers.”

“This investment will help us continue to diversify our state’s economy and create jobs, which is critical to the success of our small communities like Crownpoint,” said Governor Martinez. “Since day one, I have been committed to growing our economy and this support will help us build upon our efforts.”

“I’m proud to welcome this funding to help Navajo Technical University train students and workers for jobs manufacturing advanced technologies and products,” said Senator Martin Heinrich. “As the Ranking Member of the Joint Economic Committee, I am focused on making forward-looking investments like this and targeting areas where we have the potential to diversify our economy, create jobs, and grow major new industries. By preparing our students and retraining our labor force for the jobs of the future, we can build pathways toward a more diverse future generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and create a sustainable and prosperous future for communities all across our state.”

The new MMTC at Navajo Technical University will house space for 3D metal printing, material testing, sensor development, and offices.

This project is funded under the 2018 Assistance to Coal Communities (ACC 2108) program. EDA award funds through ACC 2018 on a competitive basis to aid communities severely impacted by the declining use of coal by supporting activities and programs which fuel economic diversification, job creation, capital investment, workforce development, and re-employment opportunities.

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 makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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