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Message From Assistant Secretary
Jay Williams

U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay WilliamsI am incredibly excited to join EDA at this critical time for our nation’s economic growth. As our country continues its recovery, EDA plays an important role in partnering with local communities to help them become robust regional engines for business creation and job growth.

I was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio. My city had a thriving manufacturing economy for years – until it didn’t. The hard times that befell my community and the federal support that helped it bounce back give me a special and very personal appreciation for the importance of EDA’s mission and work. I am humbled to have been chosen by President Obama for this position, and I look forward to working with partners in the federal government and in communities like yours to continue to grow our economy and make our regions more competitive. I hope you enjoy this month’s Innovate@EDA. The theme is data – another priority in the Department of Commerce’s strategic plan. Effective economic development simply cannot take place without data. Regions need to understand their strengths, identify their assets, and plan. As you’ll see in this month’s edition, data plays a significant role in the work EDA does as well as the projects we support.

I look forward to working with all of you during my tenure with EDA.
Jay