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Press Releases

Contact: Public Affairs Department, (202) 482-4085
Monday, July 2, 2012

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests to Help Grow Renewable Energy Jobs Lee County, Florida

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA) today announced a $551,000 grant to Lee County, Florida, to support the preliminary design, modeling, and permitting of wastewater and infrastructure improvements to serve the region's Renewable Energy and Research Diamond. The project is expected to create 1,500 new jobs and attract more than $10 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

"Investing in infrastructure that facilitates business growth and job creation is a top priority for the Obama Administration," said Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Matt Erskine. "This EDA grant will allow Fort Myers and Lee County to make the critical infrastructure improvements needed to attract new, diversified businesses interests in growing sectors like clean energy, biomedical technology, and advanced manufacturing."

The EDA grant funds the planning phase for a new wastewater treatment system that will replace existing septic tank systems. This will allow for expansion of the Renewable Energy and Research Diamond, a designated high-tech industrial area targeted by Lee County for economic diversification and job creation. The Renewable Energy and Research Diamond is anchored by Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) and the Southwest Florida International Airport, and includes several private-sector industrial, commercial, and research-oriented facilities. FGCU has already committed to the construction of two research and business incubation facilities on the site.

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.