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U.S. Economic Development Administration Invests Nearly $700,000 to Support Workforce Development in Rural Alaska


WASHINGTON — The U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) today announced a $697,991 grant to the Association of Village County Presidents (AVCP) in Bethel, Alaska, to purchase equipment that will be used to train workers in several mechanical disciplines. The project region includes the delta of the Yukon and Kuskokwin rivers and was declared a disaster area in 1999 as a result of the commercial failures of area fisheries and tributaries.

“Helping U.S. regions provide training opportunities for displaced workers is an important step to getting their economies back on track,” said U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Matt Erskine. “The EDA grant announced today will help train workers for jobs that can be filled now in order to help the delta region recover.”

EDA’s investment will enable the region to purchase training equipment for the Aviation Mechanics Program at the EDA-funded AVCP Hanger Facility in the Bethel Municipal Airport. It will also enable the AVCP to implement the Aviation Mechanics Program at the Airframe and Power Plant Mechanical Training School. These training programs will help the people of the delta region get jobs in an in-demand field. Due to the remoteness of the villages, many people rely on small planes maintained in other areas to get around the state. According to the grantee, this program will allow these aircraft to be maintained locally, which will build the workforce and strengthen tourism and related businesses in the region.

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.