Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1 million grant to the Thurston Economic Development Council for Business & Innovation, Lacey, Washington, to support the workforce development programs of Lacey MakerSpace in Western Washington. This EDA project, to be matched with $251,700 in local funds, is expected to create 76 jobs, retain 22 jobs, and generate $1.4 million in private investment.
“President Biden is committed to helping our communities advance their plans to create economic opportunity for their residents,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment will help train workers needed to better support the growth of local manufacturing, creating new jobs and attracting additional businesses to the area.”
“The Economic Development Administration is pleased to support the Thurston Economic Development Council as they seek to diversify the region’s economy,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will support the acquisition of equipment for Lacey MakerSpace to train workers and business owners in Thurston, Mason, Lewis, and Grays Harbor counties in modern manufacturing processes.”
“The pandemic showed just how overdue investments in our workers and local economies are, which is why I am so glad to see this critical funding go to innovative training programs in Western Washington that will promote job growth, get people back to work, and ensure that we have an economy that works for everyone,” said Senator Patty Murray. “Building back stronger and fairer means prioritizing local workforce development – and I’m going to keep working to secure investments like this one in Washington state’s workers and businesses.”
“This $1 million grant will help spur innovation and support small businesses in South Puget Sound. The Lacey MakerSpace aims to build a diverse entrepreneurial ecosystem that provides local artists and small businesses access to highly technical fabrication tools and educational resources,” said Senator Maria Cantwell. “This grant will allow the Lacey MakerSpace to purchase state-of-the art equipment to continue providing workforce training to help workers and small business owners gain the skills they need to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“We want to build back better and do it inclusively. It’s why we must invest in workers and families right here in Washington State,” said Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland (WA-10). “Thanks to the work of the US Department of Commerce and the Thurston Economic Development Council, this injection of federal dollars for Lacey MakerSpace will have a meaningful impact on our growing and diverse community to create jobs, support innovation, and expand the base of our economy.”
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.