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Groundbreaking to be held for Delta Center for Economic Development building

May 20, 2008 -- Arkansas State University will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the Delta Center for Economic Development. The new center will house outreach activitiesView from the northwest entrance of the Delta Center for Economic Development. Architectural rendering provided by Brackett-Krennerich and Associates Architects. for the College of Business. The ceremony will be held on Tuesday, May 27, at 6 p.m. Update: Due to the threat of inclement weather, the groundbreaking will be held in the parking garage, southeast corner, lower level. The time for the groundbreaking is unchanged.

The Delta Center for Economic Development offers assistance in the areas of regional and community economic development, professional and workforce training, and small business assistance programs. Small business assistance programs are offered in conjunction with the College of Business Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and other outreach activities of the College of Business. The new building will help the College of Business, the Delta Center for Economic Development, and the SBDC coordinate the economic development outreach services of the university and provide a coordinated and comprehensive approach to serving the businesses, governments, and citizens of Arkansas.

The new center is being funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) in the amount of $ 3.3 million. Additional funding for the facility is provided by ASU with college bond funds, bringing the total project amount to $6.6 million.

Pedro Garza, regional director of the EDA’s Southwestern Region since 1996, will be an honored guest at the groundbreaking ceremony.  As southwestern regional director, Garza oversees infrastructure development, capacity building, and economic adjustment in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

The EDA selects a limited number of universities within each EDA region to designate as EDA University Centers. ASU’s Delta Center for Economic Development serves as one of only two such university centers in Arkansas and has been in operation since 1989. The EDA University Center within the Delta Center addresses the economic revitalization goals of the EDA by leveraging the resources of the university, and its allies and partners, with particular focus on the community development process and local capacity building.

The Delta Center for Economic Development coordinates community and business development outreach activity on behalf of the university. The new facility is dedicated toward enhancing economic growth in the region. By bringing aspects of the College of Business, the SBDC, and the staff of the Delta Center for Economic Development together in one location, response to the challenges of the region will be expedited. In today’s globally competitive economic climate, “survival of the quickest” is of great importance, providing constant and rapid response with innovative practices. The Delta Center for Economic Development’s professional development programs offer individuals and companies customized training in all aspects of today’s business environment.

In addition, the Delta Center for Economic Development also coordinates economic studies on various issues. Regional and local economic impact analyses are available, as well as expertise in providing forecast data for targeted areas. Distinguished faculty within the College of Business work closely with the center’s staff to prepare such data and analyses.

Communities across the eastern Arkansas Delta must closely examine their economic strategies to compete in today's global economy. Economic development approaches that have worked for the past thirty years are being replaced by more comprehensive approaches that address all aspects of community preparedness. In the current business climate, a well-educated and prepared workforce is as important as the minimum requirements of land and infrastructure, as today’s businesses compete for new investment and jobs. Communities that understand today's holistic approach to development will be better positioned to support existing business and attract new investment.

For more information on the Delta Center for Economic Development, call Alan McVey, director, Delta Center for Economic Development, at (870) 972-3000, or e-mail For information on the groundbreaking ceremony, call the Office of University Development at (870) 972-3940, or e-mail



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