January 17, 2024

Kilmer and Deputy Secretary of Commerce Graves Lead Roundtable on Economic Development, Recent Federal Investments in Western Washington

Local Leaders Discuss President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda and Its Impact on Job Creation and Economic Development in Western Washington Communities

TACOMA, WA – On Tuesday, January 16, U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves spearheaded a pivotal roundtable, focusing on the significant federal investments boosting economic development and job creation in Western Washington. The event, which took place at Longshoreman Union Hall in Tacoma, focused on federal investments in Western Washington that create good-paying jobs and lower costs for hardworking families.

“Our focus needs to be on jobs and economic opportunity. That’s why I’m so grateful for the opportunity to discuss vital economic initiatives with Deputy Secretary Graves and the folks working to grow local economies throughout our region,” said Rep. Kilmer. “Tuesday’s roundtable underscored the Biden Administration’s commitment to fostering economic growth and resilience across Western Washington. The historic investments we’ve seen – and continue to see – from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS and Science Act, the Inflation Reduction Act, and more are crucial for creating jobs in communities. We need to do all we can to ensure folks throughout Western Washington can thrive no matter what zip code they live in.”

“Thanks to the leadership of President Biden and Vice President Harris, we at the Commerce Department are making historic investments in place-based economic development. This community-by-community approach to uplift and expand local economies will help build a stronger, more equitable future for everyone,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves. “I appreciate Congressman Kilmer inviting me to participate in this important discussion to underscore the local impact of these initiatives, and I thank him for his work in Congress that’s helped make these programs possible and successful. With initiatives like the Economic Development Administration’s Good Jobs Challenge and Recompete Pilot Program, communities across the country will be able to unleash their full economic potential.”

The roundtable, attended by representatives from more than 15 local and regional economic agencies, marks a significant step in advancing the region’s economic prosperity and demonstrates the ongoing collaboration between federal and local entities to create a thriving future for Western Washington.

A key topic of discussion was the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Recompete Pilot Program, established by Rep. Kilmer’s Rebuilding Economies and Creating Opportunities for More People Everywhere to Excel Act (RECOMPETE Act), which is a part of the larger CHIPS and Science Act signed by President Biden in July 2022. The Recompete Pilot Program aims to support local economic development, create quality jobs, invest in workers and businesses, and ensure sustainable success and economic growth nationwide.

On December 20, Rep. Kilmer announced $1 million in new federal funding through the Recompete Pilot Program for two economic development initiatives on the Olympic Peninsula.

About the Recompete Pilot Program:

Phase 1 of the Recompete Pilot Program will invest in persistently distressed communities to create and connect people to good jobs. This program will revitalize long-neglected communities with new economic opportunities. To do so, the program targets areas where prime-age (25-54 years) employment significantly trails the national average to close this gap through large, flexible investments. As part of the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s place-based economic development approach, the Recompete Pilot Program aims to meet communities where they are by offering grant opportunities that ensure sustainable and equitable economic growth across the U.S.

Recompete Finalists will compete in Phase 2, with 4-8 Recompete Plans ultimately receiving implementation funding averaging between $20 and $50 million.

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