WOODWARD, OK - U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe, Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, today presented a check to the city of Woodward, Oklahoma, for a $1 million grant, which he worked to secure from the Economic Development Administration (EDA). According to EDA, the grant announced today will lead to 192 jobs in Woodward and generate $1.6 million in private investment.
"I am pleased to be in Woodward today to present a $1 million dollar grant from EDA that will help build the Woodward Community Campus," Senator Inhofe said. "The campus will be located next to and work jointly with the new facility constructed by Northwest Oklahoma State University, to offer academic and economic development programs and assistance for the area. Woodward and surrounding communities in Northwest Oklahoma and the Panhandle stand to benefit greatly from this economic development grant.
"In Oklahoma over the past five and a half years, EDA grants have resulted in almost 12,000 jobs being created or saved. Investments of about $22.7 million have leveraged another $ 24 million in state and local dollars and more than $437 million in private sector dollars. This local experience is confirmed by studies that show that EDA uses federal dollars efficiently and effectively, creating and retaining long-term jobs at an average cost that is among the lowest in government."
Bill Fanning, Mayor of Woodward, welcomed today's news and praised Senator Inhofe for his efforts, saying: "Today is truly a great day to be in Woodward. This EDA grant is a great addition to the 5th fastest growing city in Oklahoma. I would particularly like to thank Senator Inhofe for all of his tremendous work in securing federal assistance not only today, but for his previous efforts including assistance for downtown enhancements, improvements at our airport, and buildings at southern plains range research center. Woodward is certainly grateful for Senator Inhofe's continued leadership."
Patty Sheetz, Director of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs for EDA, also spoke at today's event and said: "No one is more thankful for Senator Inhofe's leadership than EDA. This new workforce training center is a great example of Senator Inhofe's leadership to Woodward County. The fact is our national economy cannot be strong without strong regional economies."
As Chairman of the EPW Committee in 2004, Senator Inhofe sponsored the last reauthorization of EDA. In July 2008, Senator Inhofe introduced legislation to reauthorize the EDA. EDA works with partners in local communities to create wealth and minimize poverty by promoting favorable business environments to attract private investment and encourage long-term economic growth.
Other Oklahoma communities that have benefited from EDA grants include Durant, Clinton, Oklahoma City, Hobart, Seminole, Miami, and Elgin.