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U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2.75 Million to Support Workforce Development Efforts in Coos Bay, Oregon

Sep 23, 2021
Press Release

Today, Congressman Peter DeFazio and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2.75 million grant to Southwestern Oregon Community College, Coos Bay, Oregon, to support the renovation and modernization of existing instructional space. This EDA project, to be matched with $2.75 million in local funds, is expected to create 127 jobs, retain 314 jobs, and generate $160,000 in private investment.

“I’m proud to have helped secure funding for the renovation of instructional space at Southwestern Oregon Community College,” said Congressman Peter DeFazio (OR-04). “This funding will bolster opportunities for Oregonians to secure good-paying jobs, advance their careers, and help them gain the skills to remain competitive for jobs in fast-growing, in-demand industries. I will always fight for federal investments that bolster the economy of southwestern Oregon, create jobs, and improve training for the workforce of the future.”

President Biden is committed to developing a skilled workforce that responds to the needs of business,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment in Southwestern Oregon Community College will create opportunities for Oregonians to pursue good-paying jobs in in-demand industries.”

“The Economic Development Administration supports communities across the nation as they implement strategies to upskill local workforces,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will renovate 18,240 square feet of instructional space in Southwestern Community College’s Coaledo and Sumner halls to provide a more modern infrastructure for the college’s fire science, forestry and natural resources, dental assistance, criminal justice, and cybersecurity programs.”

“I’d like to thank Secretary Raimondo and the Biden-Harris administration for making this critical investment in workforce development for Coos County,” said Governor Kate Brown. “Southwestern Oregon Community College is training Oregonians for the industries in their community, helping to create and sustain economic opportunity over the long-term. I’m also thankful to SWOCC, which continues to change and adapt their educational programs to address community needs – in relation to this grant, specifically, by expanding fire-fighting, forestry, and cyber-security training.”

“These federal resources, earned by Southwestern Oregon Community College, mark an important investment in a key community resource on the South Coast. The students, working hard in Coos Bay, will use this investment to learn valuable skills leading to good jobs,” said Senator Ron Wyden. “Community colleges play a crucial role in job training. I’m glad these funds are coming to support Southwestern Oregon and will keep working to secure similar investments in community colleges throughout Oregon.”

“Oregon’s students in every corner of our state deserve access to the educational opportunities they need to develop today’s in-demand skills and land good paying jobs,” said Senator Jeff Merkley. “I am pleased to see this grant allocated for Southwestern Oregon Community College to improve infrastructure needs that will better serve students and faculty, and I will continue to support any economic development opportunity that benefits our students and businesses.”

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)


The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.