(Twin Cities, Mn) — April 12, 2022 — U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo toured the University of Minnesota and conducted a roundtable discussion about the Greater MSP region’s efforts to promote inclusive economic growth.
Tuesday Morning, Assistant Secretary Castillo conducted a tour of the University of Minnesota, led by University President Joan Gabel. The tour will include visits to labs that are central to the region’s growing bio-innovation cluster.
Assistant Secretary Castillo will then moderate a ‘Coalition Conversation’ with elected officials and leaders of public, nonprofit and civic organizations, including:
- Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan
- Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter
- Christophe Beck, CEO of Ecolab
- Tawanna Black, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Economic Inclusion
- Dr. Paul Campbell, Managing Partner of Brown Venture Group
- Roberta Antoine Dressen, President & CEO of Medical Alley Association
- Peter Frosch, President and CEO of GREATER MSP
- Alfredo Martel, President, CEO of Meda
- Adair Mosley, President & CEO of Pillsbury United Communities
- Laysha Ward, Executive Vice President and Chief External Engagement Officer at Target
- Miriam Williams, Chief Administrative Officer of Summit Academy OIC
The conversation is a learning opportunity for EDA to understand how the finalists built their coalition and created a collective vision for their region.
“We are delighted to host Assistant Secretary Castillo for a conversation with leaders who are working to transform our region with a new model of inclusive economic growth,” said GREATER MSP President and CEO Peter Frosch. “The Assistant Secretary is interested to learn about the bold actions we are taking in the Greater MSP region to accelerate our economy through innovation and inclusion.”
The Greater MSP region was selected for the Assistant Secretary’s visit because it is one of the 60 finalist regions in the EDA’s $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge, an American Rescue Plan program that invests in projects to catalyze a region’s high-growth economic sectors.
The Greater MSP region submitted its application to the EDA competition on March 15, 2022. The application describes plans for the “Bold North BioInnovation Cluster,” a detailed plan for investing in Minnesota’s next globally leading economic sector. Bio-innovation builds on two existing sectors of strength in human health and food and agriculture. New opportunities for growth exist in adjacent domains, including sustainability, data and computing, and advanced manufacturing.
The application submitted by the GREATER MSP Partnership is focused on creating a vibrant economic sector that addresses historic inequities and racial disparities, with a stated vision to build America’s most inclusive bio-innovation cluster. The project has the potential to accelerate growth of the state’s bio-innovation sector generating up to 27,000 additional jobs and $30 billion in new economic output over ten years.
About GREATER MSP
GREATER MSP is the economic development partnership for the 15-county Minneapolis Saint Paul region. Over 300 leading businesses, universities, cities, counties, philanthropies, and others are working together to accelerate the competitiveness of the regional economy and drive inclusive economic growth through job creation, capital investment and the execution of strategic initiatives. For more information go to greatermsp.org.
About the American Rescue Plan Programs
The Build Back Better Regional Challenge is one of many EDA programs aimed at building strong regional economies and supporting community-led economic development. Under the American Rescue Plan, EDA was allocated $3 billion in supplemental funding to assist communities nationwide in their efforts to build back better by accelerating the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and building local economies that will be resilient to future economic shocks.
American Rescue Plan funding enables EDA to provide larger, more transformational investments across the nation while utilizing its greatest strengths, including flexible funding to support community-led economic development. With an emphasis on equity, EDA investments made under the American Rescue Plan will directly benefit previously underserved communities impacted by COVID-19. For more information about EDA’s American Rescue Plan programs, visit eda.gov/ARPA.
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration
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. For more information about EDA, visit eda.gov.