Brown and colleagues introduce legislation to expand Eda University Center program
WASHINGTON DC – U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown joined U.S. Senators Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) last week to present the University Centers for Growth, Development and Prosperity (GDP) Act. The legislation would codify the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) University Centers Economic Development Program, increase the number of University Centers, and strengthen funding for each Center. University Centers are federal partnerships that leverage the strengths of higher education institutions to strengthen regional economic growth by fostering innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation. Ohio currently has two academic centers, the Consortium of Rural Universities at Bowling Green State University and Ohio University, and the Center for Economic Development at Cleveland State University. A companion bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA-31).
“Ohio’s University Centers help connect colleges and universities to our communities and grow local economies. By increasing their numbers, we will help create jobs, promote local investment, and prepare Ohio workers for the future,” Brown said. “This investment also has the potential to expand these centers to historically black colleges and universities in Ohio, Central State University and Wilberforce University, creating opportunities in historically underserved communities.”
Despite the important work of the EDA, many communities across the country have yet to benefit from the agency’s programs, including small communities, communities of color, and rural areas experiencing higher rates of poverty. .
The legislation would ensure that academic centers would prioritize the participation of minority-serving institutions such as historically black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, institutions serving Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. , and tribal colleges and universities. The expansion will encourage economic development in economically challenged areas that are currently underserved by existing academic centers.
For a page of the bill, click here.
For the full text of the bill, click here.