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U.S. Commerce Department Invests $500,000 to Upgrade Business Infrastructure at Bridgeworks Enterprise Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank, Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski tour small business incubator set to receive funds
Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank announced a $500,000 Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to the Allentown Economic Development Corporation and the Allentown Commercial and Industrial Development Authority to upgrade Allentown’s Bridgeworks Enterprise Center during a visit to the Pennsylvania city on August 21, 2012. Acting Secretary Blank and Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski toured the Bridgeworks Small Business Incubator. By attracting $350,000 in private investment, the project is expected to create 46 jobs, according to estimates by the Allentown Economic Development Corporation and the Allentown Commercial and Industrial Development Authority.

“This $500,000 EDA investment in Allentown is an example of the Obama administration’s commitment to helping businesses get the tools and infrastructure they need to grow and create jobs,” said Acting Secretary Blank. “The grant announced today to Bridgeworks, a business incubator that has served as a hub for local business growth for more than 20 years, will help promote business opportunities throughout the Lehigh Valley region and help local businesses and workers build things here and sell them everywhere to create American jobs.”

“The Bridgeworks Enterprise Center at the former Mack Truck facility plays an important role in spurring manufacturing jobs and attracting new business to Allentown and I am thrilled about this investment by the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration to support the expansion of the business incubator and create new jobs,” said Mayor Ed Pawlowski.

The EDA investment funds the renovation of the Bridgeworks Enterprise Center, a business incubator that is located in a 62,000 square foot former Mack Truck plant. Upgrades include replacing old fiberglass roof panels in the building’s nearly century-old sawtooth roof with energy-efficient insulated panels and insulated glass skylights. These upgrades will improve the efficiency of the facility’s heating and cooling systems, lower the center’s utility costs, and provide better climate control for tenants.
The grants announced today are part of the Obama administration’s efforts to push for policies that will grow the economy and support the middle class, such as the remaining proposals in the American Jobs Act, which independent experts have said could create one million jobs. Specifically, the president continues to urge Congress to take action that will promote a strong middle class, including by ending tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, making the tax code simpler and fairer for small businesses, and extending the tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans, including 97 percent of small businesses.