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Contact: Public Affairs Department, (202) 482-4085
Wednesday, May 30, 2012

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2.8 Million to Grow Aiken County, South Carolina, Manufacturing Jobs

WASHINGTON - U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson today announced two grants totaling $2.8 million from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to Aiken County, South Carolina. The investments will support the building of a new training facility at Aiken Technical College and make water infrastructure improvements needed to support a new tire manufacturing facility. Together, the projects will create 307 jobs and leverage $392 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

"These $2.8 million EDA investments in Aiken County are an example of the Obama Administration's commitment to supporting American manufacturing," said Secretary Bryson. "These EDA grants will help South Carolina train local workers to compete for high-skill manufacturing jobs and provide critical infrastructure to support a major manufacturing operation, thereby building on the nearly half a million manufacturing jobs that have been created in the past two years and supporting components crucial to an economy that is built to last."

The $2 million investment in Aiken Technical College will support the construction of a LEED Silvercertified facility to train workers to meet the needs of the region's new and expanding advanced manufacturing, nuclear technology, and alternate energy clusters.

EDA's $895,000 grant to the Breezy Hill Water and Sewer Company will help build water infrastructure to support a new Bridgestone Americas tire manufacturing plant that will produce large and off-road radial tires. It will be the first Bridgestone plant to manufacture these tires outside of Japan.

Under Secretary Bryson's leadership, the Commerce Department is focused on three areas to help create more American jobs: supporting advanced manufacturing, helping U.S. companies increase exports, and encouraging more companies to invest in or expand operations in the United States. Bryson co-chairs the White House Office of Manufacturing Policy, which is coordinating government-wide efforts to support and strengthen America's manufacturing sector, especially advanced manufacturing.

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.