U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2.5 Million to Establish Drone Port and Support Workforce Development Efforts in Oklahoma
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is investing $2.5 million in the state of Oklahoma to diversify the regional economy and create new job opportunities.
“President Biden is committed to supporting new opportunities for economic development across the country,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “These EDA investments will provide the infrastructure necessary to support new opportunities for innovation, business growth, and workforce development in Oklahoma.”
“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in supporting locally-developed strategies designed to create economic opportunity,” said Dennis Alvord, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “EDA is pleased to assist the Osage Nation in developing one of only three commercial drone ports in the country and Fab Lab Tulsa Inc., in training fabrication workers for good-paying jobs.”
“I appreciate the Economic Development Administration’s investment in Oklahoma’s economic future,” said Governor Kevin Stitt. “These grants will help advance the commitment my administration has made to create jobs, improve infrastructure and development, and uplift our state’s economy.”
“I’m delighted to see the Economic Development Administration award the Osage Nation a $2.1 million grant supporting the development of the new Skyway36 airpark,” said Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03). “The investments and developments of the EDA and the Osage Nation will continue to spur innovation, STEM opportunities, and economic development throughout Oklahoma. The foundation of innovation requires investments in basic, early-stage research and next generation technologies and the Skyway36 Droneport & Technology Innovation Center will be a nucleus for UAS research and development and the tech startup space.”
The EDA investments announced today are:
- Osage Nation, Pawhuska, Oklahoma, will receive a $2.1 million EDA grant to renovate and improve a building and an adjacent hangar at an existing airpark to aid the development of an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) research and development park.
- Fab Lab Tulsa Inc., Tulsa, Oklahoma, will receive a $400,000 EDA grant to equip a new facility with modern digital fabrication equipment and systems. The project, to be matched with $400,000 in local funds, is expected to create 21 jobs and generate $1 million in private investment.
These projects were made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Indian Nations Council of Governments (INCOG). EDA funds INCOG to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.
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 invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.