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Blog Entries from August 2012

New, Innovative, Online Tool to Help Weigh Benefits of Economic Development Projects Using the Triple Bottom Line Model


Screenshot of Triple Bottom Line Tool website homepage Traditionally, the effectiveness of an economic development investment has been measured primarily by the number of jobs created and dollars leveraged. While critically important, the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) has partnered with Portland State University to create an innovative, web-based tool that takes into account a broader array of economic, environmental, and social impacts to more fully evaluate the potential impact of projects. This new Triple Bottom Line (TBL) Tool will help economic development practitioners, investors, and decision-makers assess, compare, and communicate the viability of potential investments.

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EDA: Helping Businesses in Columbus, Ohio, Grow and Hire


Erskine (left) at presentation showing time-lapse sequence of the building of the Ohio Supercomputer Center. (Photo: the Ohio Supercomputer Center) By helping regions plan for their economic future, and by giving businesses access to the advanced tools they need to compete in the 21st century, we can make sure that the U.S. economy grows and creates the well-paying jobs that are key to our long-term prosperity. I got a first-hand look at such efforts today in Columbus, Ohio, when I had the opportunity to participate in a roundtable with local economic development leaders and visit the facilities of the Ohio Supercomputer Center.

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Obama Administration to Strengthen Rural Alaskan Community Economy


Aerial view, Bristol Bay Lowlands (Alaska) Over the last three and a half years, President Obama has committed his administration to make investments to strengthen rural economies and create jobs. That includes Alaska’s Bristol Bay region.

The Bristol Bay Jobs Accelerator Project, an economic growth effort by the Bristol Bay Native Association in Dillingham, Alaska is one of the winners of the multiagency Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge, an initiative that pools the resources of 13 federal agencies to support innovation in rural regional industry clusters.

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Obama Administration Holds Rural Swing in North Carolina and Louisiana to Promote Jobs and Innovation


EDA Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge Logo Over the next two days, I will join several colleagues for a rural swing in North Carolina and Louisiana to promote jobs and innovation. Along with Deputy Under Secretary for USDA Rural Development Doug O’Brien, Appalachian Regional Commission Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl, and Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Christopher Masingill, I will attend events in rural America and tour two projects that were among the 13 winners of this year’s Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge.

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EDA Works with Federal Partners to Help Drought-Stricken Rural Areas


President Barack Obama meets with the White House Rural Council on August 7 to discuss ongoing efforts in response to the drought. (White House Photo by Pete Souza) A look at the recent national weather map underlines the reason for the Obama administration’s comprehensive response and action plan: large sections of the country are experiencing one of the worst droughts in decades—with levels ranging from “severe” to “extreme” and “exceptional.”

The consequences of drought don’t just affect farmers and their crops and livestock, but have ripple effects throughout the regional economies that depend on them. It is with this in mind that President Obama convened a recent meeting of theWhite House Rural Council to coordinate an administration-wide response to the drought and focus agency activities to partner and support Americans impacted by it.

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