June 20, 2007

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FUNDING COMING TO IDAHO

Crapo, Craig announce $5 million in federal development funding

Washington, DC - Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Larry Craig confirmed today that Idaho will receive $5 million in new federal economic development funding under a U.S. Department of Labor workforce innovation initiative. The Department's Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development program, or WIRED, targets funding for economic development in various regions. The funding announced today will target economic development in an eight county area of Southern Idaho, including the Magic Valley, over a three-year period.U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao notified Senators Crapo and Craig by telephone earlier today that Idaho would be included in the latest round of WIRED funding. South Central Idaho is being included as part of the Generation III funding effort that totals $65 million nationwide. According to the Department of Labor, the WIRED program encourages innovation and entrepreneurial economies, and efforts to prepare workers with the education and skills necessary to succeed in the global marketplace. "Workforce training is a key component in global competitiveness and an ongoing challenge for Idaho," said Crapo. "This grant will encourage innovative partnerships in entrepreneurial development and worker training." Craig said, "Idahoans are an entrepreneurial, educated, and hard working group who can compete in our global marketplace. The presence of Dell's customer service center in Twin Falls is a testament to that. The WIRED program will help us plan and execute a strategy to capitalize on our strengths and opportunities and minimize the weaknesses and threats." # # #