Guest blog post from Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, Jay Williams
Since taking office, President Obama and his
administration have worked to help communities and regions impacted by natural
disasters and major economic challenges respond and rebuild stronger than
This week, on a visit to Colorado, I was
pleased to have the opportunity to announce two Economic
Development Administration investments that support
those efforts in two communities.
In Estes Park, a picturesque town located at
the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, residents are working diligently
to rebound from severe flooding that hit them hard as they were preparing for
the busy snow season – and the economic tourism boon that comes with it - last
To help the town following the federally-declared
flood disaster, I was honored to announce a $300,000 EDA
investment to help the Town develop a strategy that
will guide their economic diversification and resiliency efforts. One key
component of this grant is developing specific actions to make use of Estes
Park’s existing fiber optic ring to deliver improved broadband services to the town
and surrounding region. By working with other affected communities – including nearby
Loveland and Lyons – this strategy will help the
region diversify while strengthening their existing established industry clusters.
In Colorado’s central western region, the
recent closure of Oxbow Elk Creek coal mine has resulted in a regional economic
To help the region respond, I announced a $245,000 EDA
to the Region 10 League for
Economic Assistance and Planning of Montrose, Colorado, to help create a
strategy that aims to improve and enhance the economic resiliency and
sustainability of Delta and Gunnison counties.
Resiliency is critical to economic prosperity:
all communities—whether in a position likely to weather significant natural
disasters, or struggling to deal with immediate or pending catastrophes—must have
or be able to develop strategies that can mitigate an economic downturn and
support long-term recovery efforts.
I am proud of the important role EDA plays in
helping communities get back on their feet stronger than before.