VICE PRESIDENT GORE LAUDS SUCCESS OF COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT INITIATIVE
Announces New Investments in Underserved Communities
Columbus, OH--Addressing the 6th Annual Community Empowerment
Conference today, Vice President Al Gore announced new investments to
help revitalize distressed communities and spur economic growth.
"Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities are based on a very
simple idea: Local communities know what works best for them, but they
need resources," Vice President Gore said. "The goal of empowerment
zones is not to strangle communities with tons of new red tape and
government bureaucracies. The goal is to provide tax breaks and
incentives to attract private investments and create jobs."
As evidence of the Administration's continued commitment to
revitalizing underserved communities, the Vice President announced the
following new investments:
The Department of Health and Human Services' Job Opportunities for
Low Income Individuals Program will award $500,000 to the Neighborhood
House, Inc. in Columbus, OH and $500,000 to the WSOC Community Action
Community Action Commission in Fremont, OH to create new employment
opportunities for low-income people.
The Department of Health and Human Services' Urban and Rural
Community Economic Development Program will award $500,000 to Shorebank
Enterprises, Inc. in Cleveland, OH and $300,000 to River East Economic
Revitalization Corporation in East Toledo, OH to support employment
skills as well as business and commercial development training for
The Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Community
Empowerment Fund (CEF) Pilot have partnered to hold and service Section
108 qualified business loans in approximately ten empowerment zone
The Department of Housing and Urban Development and PowerUP have
partnered to open 100 sites in Neighborhood Networks community
technology centers in Denver, CO; Jacksonville, FL; Macon, GA; Savannah,
GA; New Orleans, LA; Flint, MI; Princeville, NC; Akron, OH; Pittsburgh,
PA; Memphis, TN; Houston, TX; and a rural city in West Virginia. These
centers will provide top-of-the-line computers, free AOL accounts, and
trained staff from Americorps.
The Department of Labor's National Job Corps Program will award
$15.6 million in small business contract funds to the Cleveland Job
Corps Center to promote small and minority and women-owned businesses in
an empowerment zone.
The Department of Labor will award $7.2 million to a consortium of
local community-based organizations in the Southernmost Illinois Delta
Region to assist local coal workers displaced from their jobs.
The Department of Labor will award $1.6 million to the Greater
Portsmouth Ohio Region to assist local coal workers displaced from their
The Department of Labor awarded $71.5 million in grants to the
Annie E. Casey Foundation to help youth living in Baltimore, MD; Boston,
MA; Denver, CO; Detroit, MI; Hartford, CT; Louisville, KY; Oakland, CA;
Philadelphia, PA; San Antonio, CA; San Diego, CA; Seattle, WA; and
Washington, DC to attack unemployment among out-of-school youth.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) will open One Stop Capital
Shops in Chicago, IL; El Paso, TX; the Southern Illinois Delta,
Griggs/Steele, ND; and Santa Ana, CA that offer small businesses access
to the Internet, business development software and reference libraries.
Additionally, the shops will offer access to business training,
counseling and financial assistance, including microloans.
The private sector grants awarded today include:
The North Point Community Connectivity Project will donate $2
million worth of Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) to eight hundred computer
centers across the United States. Each donation will consist of three
years of free service.
The US Department of Education's Teacher Quality Institute, the
Great Cities' Universities Coalition (GCU) and a coalition of seventeen
urban public research universities will launch a new comprehensive
teacher preparation program called the Urban Educators Corps Partnership
Initiative. The Initiative will establish working partnerships between
GCU universities and their neighboring school districts, creating a
"pipeline" of new, fully qualified educators in urban schools with the
Bigchalk.com will launch its Community-Building Grant program,
which seeks to help education-based communities develop and grow online
by providing easy-to-use web-based tools and resources for growing
communities. Through these communities, all children will have the
opportunity to fully participate in the technological age.
HiFusion has committed $330,000 to launch an Internet University
in twenty-one urban empowerment zones over the next three years that
will train 23,000 parents, teachers, community leaders and students.