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Dedication of Delta Center for Economic
Development facility set for Oct. 15
October 14, 2009 --
The Delta Center
for Economic Development (DCED) facility, the new home for the outreach
activities of Arkansas State University’s College of Business, will be
dedicated at a ceremony Thursday, Oct. 15, at 10 a.m. The ceremony will
be at the new facility at 319 University Loop West on the ASU campus.
Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe will join Pedro Garza, the regional
director of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development
Administration (EDA), for the dedication.
The new facility will aid the College of Business, the Delta Center for
Economic Development (DCED), and the Small Business and Technology
Development Center in their quest to provide programs for economic
development along with training and assistance to further the success of
small businesses in the region.
“We are excited about the opening of the new Delta Center for Economic
Development Building,” said Dr. Len Frey, dean of the College of
Business. “Bringing the activities of the Delta Center together with the
other outreach activities of the College of business will allow a unique
synergy to be created by combining the expertise of College of Business
faculty and students with that our economic development specialists.
“The partnering of these groups will form the catalyst for
entrepreneurial activities that will permeate the entire campus and
facilitate future economic development for the entire region.”
The 22,000-square foot structure includes a 90-seat auditorium-style
space, seminar rooms, classrooms, and training rooms. One of the key
features is a 45-seat tiered conference room which was designed to match
the look and feel of a corporate environment. These features can be used
for training sessions as well as development meetings. Arkansas State
University offers training capabilities to businesses in Jonesboro and
the surrounding region through scheduled seminars and workshops designed
to support economic development.
“The new Delta Center facility brings together critical services for
economic development,” added Mark Young, president and CEO of the
Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce. “This enhances economic
development opportunities throughout the entire region.”
“Until now, our College of Business outreach components have been
located across town,” said Alan McVey, executive director of the DCED.
“With this generous support, they have been brought together under one
roof in a new facility with leading edge technology to better serve our
clients. We are fortunate to have outstanding faculty and staff who are
committed not only to teaching but also understanding and assisting
business and industry. This new facility will greatly enhance our
ability to respond to the needs of businesses and communities across the
Previously, the Delta Center and its training program center was located
off-campus in southeast Jonesboro. ASU officials learned in 2007 that
the U.S. Department of Commerce had awarded grant funding for the
construction of a new structure.
“ASU’s academic community is excited that a state-of-the-art facility
has been constructed in the central core of the campus for academic
purposes with a primary interest in economic development,” said Dr. Dan
Howard, executive vice chancellor and provost at ASU. “This facility
will create an excellent environment that will help address important
academic and research needs and interests of ASU faculty, students, and
the business community. The university is deeply appreciative of the
investment made by others in this facility and is committed to using it
Construction of the new facility was made possible through grants
totaling $3.3 million from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic
Development Administration (EDA). Additional funding for the facility is
provided by ASU with college bond funds, bringing the total project
amount to $6.6 million.
“We appreciate the efforts of Congressman Marion Berry and Senators
Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor and their staffs in obtaining this
important grant for our campus,” said ASU Chancellor Robert L. Potts.
“The completion of this center, which the grant made possible, heralds a
new era in economic development efforts on our campus. Increasingly, we
are cognizant of the close relationship between higher education and
economic development. This grant recognizes that fact, and is much
“The college of Business and Delta Center for Economic Development are
indebted to Senators Lincoln, Pryor and Congressman Berry for their
assistance in securing the funding for this project,” added Dr. Frey.
“We are also indebted to Mr. Pedro Garza for his enthusiastic support of
Garza, who was a special guest at the groundbreaking in May, 2008,
oversees infrastructure development, capacity building, and economic
adjustment in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. The
EDA has provided support for rural communities throughout Arkansas
through the DCED, including the current ‘Powering Rural Development’
initiative to promote strategic planning throughout the region.