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Blog Entries from October 2009

Secretary Locke Announces $8.65 Million in EDA Grants in Four States to Create Jobs, Strengthen the Economy

Economic Development Administration seal. Click to go to EDA Web site.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced $8.65 million in Economic Development Administration (EDA) grants in four states, including Pittsburgh, Penn., Fairmont, W.Va., Davis, W.Va., Roseburg, Ore. and Eagle Pass, Texas. EDA is an agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce that partners with distressed communities throughout the United States to foster economic growth and job creation.Its mission is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness and preparing American regions for growth and success in the global economy.

Secretary Locke and Census Bureau Director Groves Launch "Census In Schools" Program in Baltimore

Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Locke, Groves and Congressman Elijah Cummings at microphone. Click for larger image.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert Groves will launch “Census in Schools” at a Baltimore school Monday, November 2. The program, “2010 Census: It’s About Us,” gives schools a wide range of free, optional, standards-based lesson plans on subjects related to the census, ranging from math to social studies. The program is designed for students in kindergarten through 12th grade and will reach all 118,000 schools and 56 million students nationwide. (Nov. 2 release) (More) (Fact Sheet-PDF)

China Agrees to Improve Access for U.S. Companies, Reopen Markets and Clamp Down on Internet Piracy at JCCT

Huntsman, Vilsack, Kirk and Locke stand on stage for group photo. Click for larger image.

China agreed to reopen its market to U.S. pork and live swine, remove barriers for American firms to China’s growing clean energy market, and clamp down on Internet piracy at the 20th session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) in Hangzhou, China, co-chaired by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk along with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack led the discussions on key agricultural issues. Shown are Jon Huntsman, U.S. Ambassador to China, Vilsack, Kirk and Locke. (Release: agreements) (Fact sheet: agreements) (Release: JCCT conclusion) (Fact sheet: JCCT conclusion) (U.S. Delegation media availability transcript)

Commerce Secretary Locke Statement on Third Quarter GDP

Department of Commerce seal.

The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis released data on GDP in the third quarter. Real GDP increased 3.5 percent at an annual rate in the third quarter, after declining in five of the preceding six quarters. The gain marked the largest quarterly advance since the third quarter of 2007. (More) (Release)

Commerce Supports President Obama's Smart Grid Announcement through Accelerated Standards Effort

Image of solar panels. Click for larger image.

© Tobias Machhaus/Shutterstock

The U.S. Department of Commerce is engaged in expedited efforts to support President Barack Obama’s announcement today of federal grants to 49 states for investments in a nationwide Smart Grid. A draft set of accelerated Smart Grid standards—recently unveiled by Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and currently open for public comment—will help ensure that smart meters, sensors and other devices funded through the grants program work together seamlessly for a robust and reliable nationwide electricity system that saves energy and allows greater use of clean-energy technologies. (White House release)

Secretary Locke Kicks Off Visit to China with Discussions on Intellectual Property and Innovation

U.S. State Department map of China.

Map: U.S. State Department

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke stressed the importance of protecting intellectual property today at the Pearl River Delta International Forum on Innovation and Intellectual Property. At the forum, Locke spoke to government officials and business leaders and acknowledged that while China has made some progress protecting the intellectual property of foreign companies operating within its borders, more must be done. Later, at Jinan University, Locke joined a conversation with students about the significance of intellectual property rights for the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. (IPR Forum remarks) (Jinan University remarks)

NOAA and Partners Announce South Atlantic Alliance

Image of diver approaching underwater marine life. Click for larger image.

Representatives from Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida announced the formation of a partnership to better manage and protect ocean and coastal resources, ensure regional economic sustainability, and respond to disasters such as hurricanes. The announcement was made during the annual meeting of the Coastal States Organization in Charleston, S.C. (More)

Census Bureau Launches 2010 Census Campaign with New Web Site

Marquee of 2010census.gov Web site. Click to go to Web site.

The Department of Commerce’s U.S. Census Bureau kicked off its communications campaign to reach every resident in America with the launch of its 2010 Census Web site, 2010Census.gov. The Web site will serve as a platform for a national dialogue about how the census develops a “Portrait of America.” “2010Census.gov puts the census in the hands of the public,” said Census Bureau Director Robert M. Groves. “You can find out when you will get the form, and how to fill it out and mail it back. The site also provides a substantial amount of information regarding our commitment to privacy and confidentiality.” (More)

Secretary Locke Visits West Virginia Plant to Highlight ARRA Success, Job Creation, with Senator Rockefeller

President Mark Savan, Senator Rockefeller, Secretary Locke Governor Manchin watch as a plant work er demonstrates a product. Click for larger image.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke visited Simonton Windows in West Virginia with Senator Jay Rockefeller and Governor Joe Manchin to celebrate the return of 200 employees to the company, thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Combining Recovery Act energy tax credits and their own example of smart investment to stimulate real growth, Simonton Windows was able to rehire workers it had previously laid off at West Virginia plants. (More)

Secretary Locke Chairs First Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee Meeting

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke chaired the Obama administration’s first meeting of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC) and focused on initiatives to help boost U.S. exports, spur economic growth and create jobs. Secretary Locke was joined by U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Larry Summers, Director of the National Economic Council, and other top administration officials from 20 federal agencies on the White House campus. (More) (Remarks)