economic development for the 21st century. That is new, that is important, and I hope we can stay focused on that.”

Mr. Fernandez said federal agencies can play a powerful role in stimulating regional development. The way to move forward, he said in summary, is for agencies to align their resources, shine a light on meaningful and impactful initiatives, find smart ways to do their work, and customize the way they invest federal resources “to support this bottom-up growth of strong, organic clusters.”

In terms of EDA itself, Mr. Fernandez said the aim is to modernize the agency. “We are not trying to blow it up or re-invent it,” he said. “We are trying to fine-tune it.” He urged people to pay attention to the agency’s regional cluster initiatives to “make sure our programs are fine-tuned in a way to really support the 21st century infrastructure we need to grow our economy.”

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