Louisburg, N.C. – U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-Lillington) joined business and community leaders in Franklin County today (Oct. 12), to celebrate a $1.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration to build an access road linking Triangle North Franklin business park and Triangle North Executive Airport directly to U.S. Highway 401.

The federal grant to Franklin County and the Kerr-Tar Regional Economic Development Corp. (KTREDC) leverages $900,000 in N.C. Department of Transportation funding to complete the roadway. The 1.3 mile section of road will make the park and its adjacent airport more accessible and attractive for business investment.

“Creating jobs is my number one priority,” Etheridge said. “These funds will move Triangle North forward towards becoming a state-of-the-art business park that is a center for economic development and job creation for working North Carolinians.”

The federal grant is funded under the EDA’s Community Trade Adjustment Assistance initiative, which aims to help communities adjust to increasing competition in the global marketplace and create jobs to bolster the local economy.

“The access road will create jobs now and in the future – people will be put to work constructing the road, and when the access road is completed it will open up the Triangle North Franklin business park to high-tech, globally competitive companies,” Etheridge said.

“On behalf of the Triangle North board of directors, I would like to commend Congressman Etheridge for his assistance in obtaining this grant,” said Danny W. Wright, chairman of the KTREDC, which owns and develops the Triangle North network of business parks on behalf of the four participating counties of Franklin, Granville, Vance and Warren.

“This is huge for us given the economic conditions that we are faced with in our region,” Wright said. “Thank you for your role in helping our region become more competitive in a global economy.” (Read Wright's complete remarks)

Other speakers were N.C. Sen. Doug Berger, N.C. Rep. John May, Franklin County Commission Chair Penny McGhee, Kerr-Tar Regional Economic Development Corp vice chair and Franklin County Commissioner Don Lancaster, and KTREDC board member and Franklin County Commissioner Shane Mitchell.

The Economic Development Administration serves as a venture capital resource to meet the economic development needs of communities throughout the United States. EDA's mission is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy.

Triangle North is an award-winning rural economic development initiative recognized as a national model for its unique multi-county tax-base-sharing arrangement developed by the four county governments to attract new businesses and create jobs in globally competitive industries. For more information, visit www.trianglenorthnc.org or call (252) 436-6098.

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