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News About the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Yesterday, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced 35 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act investments to help bridge the technological divide, boost economic growth, create jobs, and improve education and healthcare across the country.

“In a globalized 21st century economy, when you don't have regular access to high-speed Internet, you don't have access to all the educational, business and employment opportunities it provides,” Locke said. “These critical Recovery Act investments will create jobs and lay the groundwork for long-term sustainable economic growth in communities across America.” [Department of Commerce, 9/13/10]

Bangor Daily News (Maine) - $1.4 million broadband grant to boost Washington County economy

[MEMBER MENTIONED: Mike Michaud (ME-2)]

“We're just thrilled here,” Axiom Technologies founder Susan Corbett said Monday after it was announced by the U.S. Department of Commerce that the Machias-based company has been awarded $1.4 million for the expansion of broadband services in Washington County.

…U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud announced the investment early Monday. The funding comes from the DOC's National Telecommunications & Information Administration and totals $1,429,596 as part of the Recovery Act.

Broadband represents a key part of the economic infrastructure that our state's economy needs to grow and create jobs,” Michaud said in his announcement. “This project will help increase broadband adoption, provide valuable career training for Maine workers and help expand technology usage in our traditional industries like blueberry farming and commercial fishing.” [9/13/10]

KRWG 90.7-FM (New Mexico) - Federal Stimulus For High Speed Internet

[MEMBERS MENTIONED: Harry Teague (NM-2) and Ben Ray Luján (NM-3)]

U.S. Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall and U.S. Representatives Harry Teague and Ben Ray Luján today announced that more than $18.65 million has been awarded to three New Mexico Internet providers to expand access to high-speed broadband services to underserved communities across the state.

The awards, provided by the Department of Agriculture through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will benefit approximately 45,000 people, more than 600 businesses, and 98 community institutions. The projects will also create hundreds of new jobs and provide a foundation for economic growth and job creation for decades to come.

'As we continue to invest in New Mexico, it is critical to spur jobs and opportunities not just in the big cities, but in rural communities too,' Teague said. 'Expanding broadband to rural communities brings essential services to communities where reliable Internet access is still a luxury and creates a platform for economic growth and future investment. This Recovery Act funding will create jobs now - through the construction process - and well in to the future by providing local businesses the tools and resources to compete on larger scales and expand their operations.

'From small business owners to local students, access to broadband improves prospects for New Mexicans and means real jobs in our rural communities. These awards will fund infrastructure that will increase the availability and speed of broadband in rural areas. Funding will support high-tech upgrades to New Mexico's broadband network and improve Internet service for our homes, businesses, and communities. I am proud to see these funds serving New Mexicans,' Luján said. [9/13/10]

Norwich Bulletin (Connecticut) - $93 million improving Internet across Connecticut

Schools, libraries and emergency centers across the region will soon benefit from increased bandwidth and steadier Internet connections for users, after state officials announced on Monday that Connecticut is in line to receive $93 million in federal funds to bolster its online infrastructure.

The money, part of a $7 billion stimulus package, will enable 100 schools and 15 libraries in the state to link to the Connecticut Education Network, an all-optical network that connects public schools, higher education campuses and libraries.

The grant, distributed through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, will be paid out over a three-year period and is expected to create or maintain 1,200 jobs and extend 675 miles of new fiber optics.  [9/13/10]

Arizona Daily Star - Stimulus funds put solar power to work at Tucson VA hospital

[DISTRICT MENTIONED: Raúl Grijalva (AZ-7)]

Tucson's veterans hospital is going solar fast, thanks to federal economic stimulus funding.

A 302-kilowatt, sun-tracking photovoltaic array was recently completed at the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System.

And the VA hospital has announced plans to build a 2.9-megawatt, carport-mounted system that is called the largest of its kind in the U.S.

The VA solar systems are part of a renewable-energy push by the agency. The Tucson projects are being paid for from $200 million in funds earmarked for renewable-energy projects through the federal Recovery Act.

The projects also help drive economic development, [Angiolo] Laviziano [CEO of REC Solar] said, citing industry figures that say photovoltaic systems typically create 33 jobs per megawatt of capacity during installation as well as 10 jobs per megawatt during production. [9/14/10]

The News-Gazette (Illinois) - Head Start uses grants to expand early-childhood program

[DISTRICT MENTIONED: R- Timothy Johnson (IL-15): Voted NO on Recovery Act]

Champaign County Head Start has expanded its Early Head Start program to provide services to 56 more infants and toddlers.

The program received $810,000, from federal stimulus money, to expand its Early Head Start services.

Champaign County Head Start applied for a competitive federal grant that was awarding money for expansion of Head Start programs.

The money went to hiring 23 additional staff members, including teachers, teacher aides, a family advocate and two staff members who do home visits. [9/13/10]

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