Commerce Department partners with UIC to promote green economic development

voorheesJay Williams, U.S. assistant secretary of commerce for economic development, will join University of Illinois at Chicago officials to announce a federal grant to UIC’s Nathalie P. Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement to promote green economic development in the Chicago region with a focus on manufacturing and workforce development.


Dec. 14
10:30 – 11:30 a.m.


University Hall, Room 2850
601 S. Morgan St.


UIC is one of 24 colleges and universities across the country to receive funding through the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s 2016 University Center Economic Development Competition. UIC will match the funds, allowing the Voorhees Center to conduct research and provide technical assistance to businesses and entrepreneurs to help them grow as they improve resilience, sustainability and global competitiveness.

Joining Williams to announce the investment will be Susan Poser, UIC provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs; Michael Pagano, dean of the UIC College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs; Yittayih Zelalem and Janet Smith, co-directors of the Voorhees Center; and Haley Stevens, UI LABS director of workforce development and manufacturing engagement. Smith is lead researcher on the project.

The Voorhees Center, part of the UIC College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, works collaboratively with a diverse set of partners to provide technical assistance, conduct research, and generate new knowledge in comprehensive community development and neighborhood quality-of-life issues. Since 1978, the center has engaged residents, leaders and policymakers seeking effective strategies for advancing community livability and vitality.

The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration 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 Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

The event is by invitation only, but is open to press. Media interested in attending should RSVP to Brian Flood at

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