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Federal grant announced for Delta
Center for Economic Development

Sept. 21, 2007 -
-  Arkansas State University received word Friday afternoon that the U.S. Department of Commerce has awarded a $1.5 million grant toward construction of the Delta Center for Economic Development.  The center will be constructed on the south side of the College of Business building.

Dr. Robert L. Potts, chancellor, issued the following response:

"We are delighted to receive notice of the $1.5 million of funding from the Department of Commerce for Phase II of the Delta Center for Economic Development.  We are especially appreciative of all the efforts of Congressman Berry and Senators Lincoln and Pryor and their staffs in obtaining this important grant for our campus.  The completion of this Center, which this grant makes possible, will herald 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 appreciated."

Dr. Len Frey, dean of the College of Business, also issued a response:

"The College of Business is extremely grateful to our entire congressional delegation for supporting our efforts to further economic development in this region. Congressman Berry and Senators Lincoln and Pryor were instrumental in making this dream that began almost six years ago a reality. We are especially appreciative of Pedro Garza, Regional Director, Austin Regional Office, U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration. Mr. Garza and his staff recognize the important role that the College of Business faculty and students play in economic development. This building will allow business students, faculty, and economic developers immediate access to one another and further solidify the on-going partnerships between business students and faculty, the Arkansas Biosciences Institute and other entities of the university contributing to economic development activities. The work that Alan McVey and his staff coordinate from this new Delta Center and College of Business Outreach building will have a significant impact on the economic future of this entire region."

Alan McVey, executive director of the Center, also commented:

"Currently our College of Business outreach components are located across town.  EDA’s generous support will bring those components across the hall in a new facility with leading edge technology to better serve our clients.  The location on campus will bring together our nationally recognized Small Business Development Center, the community and business services of the Delta Center for Economic Development and other College of Business outreach services under one roof. ASU College of Business is fortunate to have outstanding faculty and staff who are committed to not only teaching but also to understanding and serving the needs of business and industry.  This new facility will greatly enhance our ability to respond to the needs of businesses and communities across the state."

Here is the news release issued by members of the Congressional delegation:

Pryor, Lincoln, Berry Announce Grant to Complete
ASU College of Business Center for Economic Development

WASHINGTON, DC - Senators Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln, along with Congressman Marion Berry (AR-01) today announced that Arkansas State University has been awarded a $1.5 million grant to complete construction of a facility to house the ASU College of Business’ Delta Center for Economic Development (Delta Center).

The members of the delegation said the Delta Center promotes community development, professional development, workforce training and small business assistance throughout the Arkansas Delta region.  ASU’s effort to house all of these services in a single building will enhance their services and maximize coordination with university assets.

Pryor, Lincoln and Berry added the $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) will fund Phase II of the construction for the building. It follows a $1.5 million grant awarded for Phase I of construction last year.

"ASU’s long-standing commitment to spur economic development in the Delta will be greatly enhanced by this Center," Pryor said.  "I commend ASU for their unyielding dedication to the community, and am pleased to work with Senator Lincoln and Congressman Berry to help provide the federal dollars necessary to support this project."

"Arkansas State University plays a tremendous role in the economic development of Northeast Arkansas and the entire Delta region," said Lincoln. "These federal dollars will assist the Delta Center as it continues creating new employment opportunities and encouraging  private investment in Delta communities."

"One of the Delta region's biggest untapped resource is a skilled workforce," said Berry.  "With infrastructure like the Delta Center, which can provide education and training for jobseekers, Arkansas is truly a place where businesses can thrive.  I am always working to find innovative ways to advance economic development in the region and this grant is one that I'm proud to have helped secure for the district."

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