Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Avondale Shipyard

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

News Media Contact:

Bill Triplett, Chief of Staff, 202-689-4134, btriplett@dra.gov


DRA Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill to Join U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Partners on Tour of Avondale Shipyard 

CLARKSDALE, MS -- Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill will tour the Avondale shipyard with U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and about 30 other partners, including representatives from other federal and state agencies, plus local economic developers and business leaders and Northrop Grumman officials. 

The purpose of the tour is for these officials to gain a better understanding of the shipyard and its potential. After the tour, Secretary Locke will host a roundtable discussion with the assembly.

Avondale shipyard is located near Westwego, LA, a "west bank" suburb of New Orleans, an area squarely in the DRA's region. On July 13, 2010, Northrop Grumman announced plans to leave the Avondale shipyard in 2013, which would put about 11,500 jobs in jeopardy (roughly 5,000 direct jobs, which support about 6,500 additional indirect jobs).

"I am pleased to be a part of Secretary Locke's team to help solve this problem. Given the severe shocks to this economy from Katrina and Rita, the BP oil spill, the remnants of the recession and now the potential closing of Avondale -- with Secretary Locke's leadership, we will work together proactively to get ahead of this problem. We will work toward solutions," Chairman Masingill said.

Chairman Masingill added, "Given the economic burdens this area carries, I sincerely appreciate the personal involvement of Secretary Locke and that of the Economic Development Administration, which has played huge roles in these recovery and restoration planning processes. With all of these resources at the table, I have great confidence with this process, and I know DRA can and will make contributions."

This will be Chairman Masingill's seventh trip to the Gulf-Coast area since taking office in July 2010. "As President Obama and Secretary Locke continually emphasize, I too will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with residents of the Gulf Coast and will be an active partner until restoration and recovery efforts are completed," Chairman Masingill added.


The Delta Regional Authority is a federal-state partnership that serves 252 counties and parishes in parts of Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Missouri. Chris Masingill, appointed by President Obama to be DRA's Federal Co-Chairman, and the governors of the eight states comprise the Authority's board.

The Delta Regional Authority operates a highly successful grant program in each of the eight states it serves. This program allows cities and counties to leverage money from other federal agencies. Additionally, the Authority has expanded its regional initiatives in the areas of health care, transportation, leadership training and information technology.




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Honorable James F. Valley
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