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Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Announces the Availability of $27 Million in Recovery Act Funding to Help Midwestern Communities

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

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Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Announces the Availability of $27 Million in Recovery Act Funding to Help Midwestern Communities

Locke Outlines Obama Administration Economic Recovery Efforts During Holt Town Hall Discussion with Business Leaders

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced today the availability of $27 million in grants for Midwestern communities. These grants, made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, are available through the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA).

The region targeted by the grants is coping with the downturn of the U.S. auto industry. The money will be available for communities and organizations in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota.

Locke made the announcement during a town hall discussion at Dakkota Integrated Systems, just outside Lansing. In 2002, when Dakkota was getting off the ground, the Commerce Department's Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) helped the company secure vital tax credits to establish its Holt plant. Since then, Dakkota has taken advantage of the Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership program.

"The Recovery Act grants, and other actions we're taking, will help promote economic recovery and growth, and that will create jobs," Locke said. "This administration is working to get the right help where it's needed most."

This week, Obama Administration cabinet secretaries are fanning out across the states most affected by the struggles of the American auto industry to talk about the Obama Administration's efforts to create jobs and support U.S. businesses. At the town hall, Locke talked specifically about programs his agencies are leading that offer support to businesses in auto communities. And the Secretary discussed the need to simplify access to Commerce resources for companies and community organizations - a project he said the department is working on.

The Commerce Department's agencies will invest more than $110 million in grants, most coming through the EDA, in the states most affected by the challenges facing the troubled auto industry.

Additionally, under the Recovery Act, the Department of Commerce will deploy $4.7 billion to help bring broadband service to communities lacking the information infrastructure needed to compete in the 21st century economy.

The Commerce Department employs thousands of engineers, scientists, statisticians and management and trade specialists who can be critical resources for businesses, whether they need help patenting an idea, navigating foreign markets or figuring out ways to innovate and be more competitive.

The Department has offices across Michigan.