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Contact: Public Affairs Department, (202) 482-4085
Friday, September 28, 2012

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests Nearly $10 Million to Make Critical Infrastructure Improvements and Support Economic and Job Growth in California

WASHINGTON - Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank today announced six Economic Development Administration (EDA) grants to California totaling $9.9 million. The funding is going to the cities of Garden Grove, Salinas, South Gate, and Visalia, as well as the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the University of Southern California, to help expand critical business infrastructure, repair infrastructure damaged by disasters, and develop plans to guide future economic development. The investments are expected to help create or retain 2,400 jobs, according to grantee estimates.

"These $9.9 million in Economic Development Administration investments are examples of the Obama administration's commitment to helping local communities create jobs and strengthen their economic growth and competitiveness," said Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank. "The six grants announced today will help California communities attract new businesses, create jobs, and recover from flood damage by rebuilding infrastructure that is vital to the well-being of their local economies."

The investments announced today include:

  • A $2.9 million EDA grant to the city of Garden Grove to make roadway and storm infrastructure improvements to Harbor Boulevard to reduce the likelihood of property damage to existing commercial centers from flooding and support the growth of the city's hotel and leisure industry cluster. The project is expected to create 930 jobs and generate $290 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

  • A $2.5 million EDA grant to the city of South Gate to make improvements to the intersection of Firestone Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue, one of the city's busiest intersections and the entry point to the region's industrial areas. The improved roadways will facilitate access to land that will be available for manufacturing and other light industrial use. The project is expected to create 245 new jobs, primarily in the manufacturing sector.

  • A $2.1 million EDA grant to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for infrastructure improvements and equipment for a laboratory and prototyping/training workshop at the LA Kretz Innovation Campus. The campus is being developed as a clean-tech industry hub for government, research institutions, and industry. The project is expected to create 171 new jobs, according to grantee estimates.

  • A $1.9 million EDA grant to the city of Visalia to improve the city's storm water drainage system to protect the local business community from flooding. The area is prone to flooding and received a presidential disaster declaration in 2011 due to storm damage to the city's downtown business areas that brought mud flows, flooding, and debris. The project is expected to help retain or create 1,075 jobs, according to grantee estimates.

  • A $250,000 EDA grant to the University of Southern California to implement a technical assistance program that will help governments, small businesses, and community organizations in 10 southern California counties bolster their efforts to keep their economies strong and aid in recovery during disasters.

  • A $147,447 EDA grant to the city of Salinas to develop an analytical study of economic opportunities that will identify existing business enterprises, establish a team to identify innovative, technology-based businesses, create an economic development marketing strategy, and identify facilities that could be used by new businesses.

The Garden Grove, Visalia, and University of Southern California projects are part of a $200 million appropriation made by Congress to EDA to help communities that received a major disaster designation in fiscal year 2011 with long-term economic recovery and infrastructure support.

Within the context of the administration's National Disaster Recovery Framework (PDF) (NDRF), EDA serves as the Coordinating Agency on behalf of the Department of Commerce for the Economic Recovery Support Function (RSF) to coordinate the activities of a diverse group of partner agencies supporting recovery in disaster-impacted communities. The activities consist primarily of improved information sharing and the leveraging of existing resources to make a positive impact for communities affected by disasters.

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.