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CUOMO DELIVERS $1.3 MILLION TO PORTLAND ENTERPRISE COMMUNITY AND PRAISES JOB CREATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT EFFORT
PORTLAND, OR - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today presented Portland Mayor Vera Katz and Multnomah County Chair Bev Stein with $1.3 million for the Portland/Multnomah County Enterprise Community, and said the Enterprise Community "can serve as a national model for successful job creation and economic development."
Cuomo, who was also in Portland to speak to the National Association of Counties convention, said the $1.3 million in assistance for economic development and social services comes on top of the $1.7 million that the Enterprise Community has received since 1995.
Portland would qualify for additional assistance if its application to be designated as an Empowerment Zone is approved. President Clinton has proposed creating 15 new urban Empowerment Zones, which receive greater assistance than Enterprise Communities. Congress would have to approve the President's request for new Zones to allow Portland's application to be considered.
Cuomo discussed Empowerment Zones with Katz, Stein and other local officials and members of the Portland community.
"Portland's Enterprise Community is a success story," Cuomo said. "It has used federal assistance to attract another $7.7 million in job-producing investments. Local government, the business community and non-profit groups have joined with residents to work as a united team to revitalize an inner city neighborhood and bring new opportunity to its residents."
"HUD is proud to be a partner in this important effort, " Cuomo said. "Our role in Washington is not to tell the people of Portland what is best for this community. Our role is to help local people implement programs they decide will deliver the greatest benefits."
Katz and Stein joined Cuomo today in a tour of the Enterprise Community, which includes these economic development projects: the Albina Community Bank, the Knott Street Townhomes, the Franciscan housing development, the McCoy and Wygant housing developments, and the Martin Luther King Corridor redevelopment area.
"I am honored to welcome Secretary Cuomo to Portland," Katz said . "Our Enterprise Community projects are examples of the success that can be achieved by building a bridge between government, business and community residents."
Portland's Enterprise Community was designated by President Clinton in 1994 - one of 72 Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities created around the nation. The designation won Portland $3 million in federal grants over 10 years to act as a catalyst to spark an economic rebirth of the area. Cuomo delivered the final installment of the assistance today.
Cuomo said the President's budget would jump-start the economies of America's communities, particularly cities, where job growth has trailed other parts of the country. Just 13 percent of the 14 million jobs created around the nation in the past five years are in central cities.
In addition to the new Empowerment Zones, nationwide programs targeted for expansion and improvement in the President's proposed budget involving jobs and economic opportunity include: $400 million in grants for a Community Empowerment Fund to create and retain an estimated 280,000 jobs; expanded Community Development Block Grants to local communities; and increased funding for programs to redevelop contaminated industrial sites and to train high school dropouts for jobs.
Content Archived: January 20, 2009