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Blog Entries from September 2013

Secretary Pritzker Tells Employees in the Northwest their Efforts are Key to American Innovation


Secretary Pritzker today in Seattle kicked-off her first visit to the Northwest as Commerce Secretary by visiting with EDA employees and employees from U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC), part of the International Trade Administration (ITA), U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) and Office of Inspector General (OIG). The secretary's visit is part of her latest stop on a nationwide listening tour and was an opportunity to thank the employees for their work for the Department of Commerce. At the meeting, the Secretary told employees gathered at the EDA regional office that the common thread in the bureaus throughout the department is working together to protect, promote, anticipate and inform what America needs to be competitive and innovative in the 21st century. This is the mission of the Commerce Department.

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Today’s Investments in Infrastructure and Workforce Are Ensuring Our Future Economic Growth


Deputy Assistant Secretary Matt Erskine Presents EDA Investment Grants to Tennessee and Kentucky (Photo courtesy of Jeremy Nash, News-Herald and The Connection) Making investments in our workforce and building out critical business infrastructure are key elements of any strategy to ensure our nations’ future economic growth. And when these investments are matched locally and amplify existing local and regional technological assets and expertise, they are doubly effective. I saw evidence of this today and yesterday when I travelled to Kentucky and Tennessee to announce three new EDA investments in these states. I was accompanied by Earl Gohl, federal co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission, which is doing impressive work that is critical to the competitiveness of this region.

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Message From Acting Assistant Secretary Matt S. Erskine


U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Matt Erskine Dear Friends,

Investing in our nation’s business infrastructure and work force is more important today than ever before. But it is something that no entity—be it a state or local government, a town, or an economic development authority—can do on its own: The resources required are large and, to be effective, any investment needs to call on a wide pool of talent and resources. The key to success is collaboration.

It is this philosophy—collaborative investment with local and regional partners—that guides our work at the Economic Development Administration. In this issue of Innovate@EDA, we highlight a variety of EDA projects that represent strong examples of our approach in action. These include helping entrepreneurs in New Orleans through The Idea Village and underwriting the groundbreaking work of Atlanta’s Global Center for Medical Innovation. And, according to a recent report published by the National Governors’ Association, it is an approach that informs the strategies many states are taking as they work to improve their economies.

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Q&A: Partnering to Attract and Retain Foreign Direct Investment


Photo of Jane Oates Ambassador Vinai Thummalapally serves as executive director of SelectUSA, a part of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. SelectUSA is the U.S. government-wide initiative to attract and retain business investment in the United States. Originally from Hyderabad, India, Ambassador Thummalapally brings a wealth of experience from both the private and public sectors to his job. Immediately prior to coming to SelectUSA, he served as ambassador to Belize from 2009 until 2013. Before that appointment he served as president of MAM-A Inc., (formerly Mitsui Advanced Media), the nation’s leading manufacturer and distributor of archival recordable optical discs. He also served as the plant manager of WEA Manufacturing Inc., was manufacturing manager of Disc Manufacturing, Inc., and holds U.S. patents for the design of optical disc manufacturing. Recently, Ambassador Thummalapally answered some questions about SelectUSA, its role in promoting investment in the United States, and the SelectUSA Summit scheduled to be held in Washington, D.C., October 31–November 1.

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Success Story: Helping the New Orleans Region Diversify, Grow, and Create Jobs


With support from EDA, The Idea Village, an independent nonprofit, has helped New Orleans become a magnet for entrepreneurial activity.

The sign posted at an event sponsored by New Orleans nonprofit, The Idea Village, should give a clue to anyone looking to find out more about the organization and its approach: “Crazy Ideas.” It’s the kind of spirit that the entrepreneurs who founded The Idea Village harnessed in their quest to reverse the economic decline of the Crescent City. Their success over the past 13 years has helped make New Orleans an entrepreneurial magnet: Forbes magazine named New Orleans the “Biggest Brain Magnet” of 2011 as well as the No. 2 “Best City for Jobs.” And a July 2010 Brookings Institution report, “Katrina After 5,” found that New Orleans’ entrepreneurial activity was 40 percent above the national average, while Inc. magazine called New Orleans the “Coolest Startup City in America.”

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Spotlight: Atlanta’s Global Center for Medical Innovation Helps Bring Innovations to Market


In a recent visit to Atlanta, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker saw first-hand how this EDA grantee and i6 winner is bringing together engineering and bioscience expertise to help entrepreneurs take their ideas from concept to market.

On August 23, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker visited the Global Center for Medical Innovation (GCMI) in Atlanta, Georgia, as part of her nationwide “listening tour.” GCMI is an independent, nonprofit organization founded in 2010 that works with universities, research centers, and investors to help accelerate the commercialization of innovative medical technology.

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Highlights: New Manufacturing Jobs Pay Better than Others


Manufacturing Wages Show Growth: Real earning for new hires and incumbents from 2007 to 2011 grew, in manufacturing industries, 3.5 percent for new hires and 2.4 percent for incumbents. For non-manufacturing industries during the same time period, wages grew 0.1 percent for new hires, but fell 3.1 percent for incumbents. Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration. A new report from the Department of Commerce shows that manufacturing jobs live up to their reputation as good jobs.

Manufacturing jobs created in recent years are well-paying jobs, according to a report released in late August by the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA). The report found that new hires in manufacturing had 38 percent greater monthly earnings than new hires in other sectors at the end of 2011. The monthly earnings premium for the manufacturing workforce as a whole, including both new hires and incumbents, was 25 percent. This earnings premium results from both greater hourly earnings and from more hours of work per month.

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