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CUOMO DELIVERS $317,861 TO BURLINGTON ENTERPRISE COMMUNITY AND PRAISES JOB CREATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT EFFORTS
BURLINGTON, VT - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo visited Burlington today to present Mayor Peter Clavelle with the final $317,861 installment of funding for Burlington's Enterprise Community and to join Senator Patrick Leahy, Congressman Bernard Sanders and the Mayor in praising the success of the city's revitalization efforts.
Cuomo said the $317,861 for job creation, economic development and social services that he delivered to Burlington today comes on top of the nearly $2.7 million in federal funds that the city's Enterprise Community received earlier. Federal assistance to the Enterprise Community has already helped attract more than $7.7 million in private business investment.
Burlington would qualify for more assistance if its application to be designated as an Empowerment Zone is approved. Burlington and neighboring Plattsburgh, NY are working together to have the two cities made part of a single Empowerment Zone.
President Clinton has proposed creating 15 new urban Empowerment Zones, which receive greater assistance than Enterprise Communities. Senator Leahy and Senator James Jeffords are also sponsoring legislation to create new Empowerment Zones.
"Burlington's Enterprise Community is a national model for successful job creation and economic development," Cuomo said. "Senator Leahy, Senator Jeffords, Governor Dean and Congressman Sanders have worked as a team with Mayor Clavelle to help make our high hopes for this Enterprise Community a reality. I'm here to tell you that the Clinton Administration is proud to be part of this winning team. We will continue working to help you create new opportunity and bring a new prosperity to Burlington and its people. Together, we are sending a message to America that the best days of Burlington are not in its past, but in its future."
Senator Leahy said: "The success of Burlington's Enterprise Community is a result of the strong working partnership uniting the city and the federal government. Secretary Cuomo's visit here today shows he wants to strengthen that partnership so we can do even more to create jobs, improve housing, and give more people in Vermont the opportunity to improve their lives."
Congressman Sanders said: "I am very pleased that Secretary Cuomo has made time to visit Vermont. Over the years, HUD support has been essential in assisting our efforts to address Vermont's pressing community development needs. As the former Mayor of Burlington, and having served seven years on the Housing Subcommittee in Congress, I can speak to the vital importance of HUD funding that has been successfully utilized to build much needed affordable housing, create decent paying jobs, and to generally create a more livable community - not just here in Burlington, but across Vermont."
Mayor Clavelle said: "I'm delighted that HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo is able to visit Burlington's Enterprise Community. With HUD as our partner, our EC has made significant strides. I look forward to building on our partnership to embrace the opportunities and confront the challenges facing our community."
Cuomo, Leahy, Sanders and Clavelle all took part in a walking tour of Burlington's Enterprise Community, which covers 1.1 square miles and is home to more than 11,000 people. They then participated in a roundtable discussion with members of Burlington's business community and residents of the Enterprise Community to discuss ways HUD and Burlington can work together to spur additional economic development, job growth and housing construction.
The elected officials then visited the Families in Transition Center, a homeless assistance facility operated by the Central Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS). Cuomo presented COTS with a plaque honoring the group on its 15th anniversary and congratulating COTS for winning a HUD Best Practices Award recently for its well-run programs. He also presented the group with 250 children's books, which will be distributed to homeless youngsters. The books were donated by Disney Publishing Co. as part of its ongoing commitment to building children's literacy.
HUD is providing $1.5 million in Continuum of Care Homeless Assistance Grants to communities in Vermont this year and is also providing $371,000 in Emergency Shelter Grants. In addition to providing homeless people with transitional and permanent housing, the Continuum of Care grants are funding programs such as job training, child care, substance abuse treatment and mental health services to enable homeless people to get jobs and build independent lives.
Accomplishments in Burlington's Enterprise Community include:
Burlington'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 Burlington $3 million in federal grants to act as a catalyst to spark an economic rebirth of the area.
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 for programs to train high school dropouts for jobs.
Content Archived: January 20, 2009