Wisconsin's 1st District Congressman Paul Ryan joined the U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Agency (EDA) today to announce a generous grant to Rock County and Forward Janesville, Inc. to support their regional economic initiatives. The EDA grant will provide $450,000 to assist in the transition and retraining of regionally displaced workers, as well as to assist redevelopment initiatives proposed by local leaders.
"The local leaders in Janesville and Rock County have put together a forward-looking economic development plan for the region, and this grant will go a long way in supporting these efforts," said Ryan, a fifth-generation Janesville resident. "This has been a gut-wrenching summer for southern Wisconsin, and today's announcement provides our community with much-needed support. I remain firmly optimistic that Janesville's best days are ahead."
The EDA serves as a venture capital resource to meet the economic development needs of distressed communities throughout the United States. EDA's mission is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy.
"Communities that work together to create dynamic regional economies that foster innovation and competitiveness are the key to America's continued success as the leader of the 21st century global economy," said U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Benjamin Erulkar. "This EDA investment will help provide the critical staff needed to implement the Rock County 2020 Economic Development Plan."
Ryan and his congressional colleagues are continuing their efforts to advocate on behalf of state, local, and union leaders, who have offered a comprehensive incentives package to General Motors (GM). Following their announced intention to close the Janesville GM Assembly Plant, GM and local leaders have maintained an open dialogue and GM is currently considering the proposed incentives package. The EDA grant will help strengthen and diversify the regional economy, as described in the Rock County 2020 Economic Development Plan put forth by city and county leaders.
Ryan has remained in steadfast support of the Rock County and Janesville leaders, who submitted their grant application to the EDA in late August. Ryan has reached out to EDA officials to encourage the timely consideration of their application, and was pleased that their decision was prompt and positive.