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U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Announces $4.6 Million Investment to Boost Disaster Recovery Efforts in the Cedar Rapids Region

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, June 1, 2009

CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

202-482-4883

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Announces $4.6 Million Investment to Boost Disaster Recovery Efforts in the Cedar Rapids Region

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today announced a $4.6 million Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to St. Luke’s Health Care Foundation and Coe College of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to help build an energy efficient, natural gas, steam heating plant that will restore permanent heating capacity to the hospital and college following flood damage inflicted in 2008. St. Luke’s Hospital and Coe College employ more than 3,000 workers.

“The Obama Administration is committed to creating jobs, encouraging innovation and improving our nation’s competitiveness,” Locke said. “With this investment, we’ll turn the challenge presented by a natural disaster into an opportunity to revitalize the local economy and advance President Obama’s agenda for moving our nation toward energy independence.”

Iowa Governor Chet Culver, after meeting with Locke yesterday, said, “I am proud to have been able to work with Secretary Locke and President Obama to secure this grant that will aid in our continued flood recovery effort and put Iowans back to work. Like the federal Recovery Act and Iowa’s own I-Jobs program, this investment is a forward-looking measure that is smart, targeted and energy-efficient. I look forward to what this partnership can deliver to Iowa in the future.”

“As we approach the one year anniversary of these floods, this funding will help key institutions in Cedar Rapids rebuild and will continue to put the devastation behind us,” U.S. Senator Tom Harkin said. “This project will keep the utility costs at Coe College and St. Luke’s down, which is important to their economic health.”

“This grant represents a significant investment in the long-term recovery of our community,” U.S. Representative Dave Loebsack said. “These funds come from the disaster supplemental that I, along with the Iowa Delegation, worked on in Congress, and I am pleased that the Economic Development Administration has awarded funds to aid St. Luke’s and Coe College in the construction of a new steam system that will reduce costs and enable both institutions to continue to contribute to the development of the community.”

The Department of Commerce is a voice for Main Street businesses. It focuses on creating jobs by fostering innovation and opening markets to U.S. products. Locke is a key member of President Barack Obama’s economic team.

EDA is an agency within the U.S. Commerce Department and supports the economic development needs of distressed communities throughout the United States. 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 worldwide economy.

Additional information on how EDA investments are helping distressed communities create a positive and sustainable economic future can be accessed at: www.eda.gov.