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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2.5 Million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance to Support Business Development and Training at Stephen F. Austin State University

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2.5 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas, to support the Center for Applied Research and Rural Innovation and promote business development and workforce training efforts. This EDA grant, to be matched with $892,895 in local funds, is expected to create 90 jobs and generate $13 million in private investment.

“President Biden is committed to harnessing the full power of the federal government to ensure our nation not only recovers from this pandemic but builds back stronger,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment in Stephen F. Austin State University will help to grow targeted industries in advanced manufacturing and information technology, creating a more resilient regional economy for the future.”

“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in supporting community-led economic development strategies designed to boost coronavirus recovery and response efforts,” said Dennis Alvord, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “The Center for Applied Research and Rural Innovation will offer business services, student engagement, conference and training space, an information technology hub, and a manufacturing and learning center, providing new opportunities for industries to grow and expand.”

“I thank the Economic Development Administration for recognizing the business development potential at Stephen F. Austin State University,” said Governor Greg Abbott. “This grant will support and bolster the City of Nacogdoches, as well as the university, as it continues to grow and develop its local economy. These funds will undoubtedly play a significant role in job development and economic opportunity in East Texas for years to come.”

“Investing in Texas higher education will provide our students with invaluable skills and resources now and keep Texas’s economy strong in the future,” said Senator John Cornyn. “I applaud this announcement and will continue to do everything I can to help students at Stephen F. Austin State University.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Deep East Texas Council of Governments (DETCOG). EDA funds DETCOG 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.

This project is funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Public Law 116-136 PDF), which provided EDA with $1.5 billion for economic assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) (PDF) program, provides a wide-range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

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.

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