seCTer Adds Program to Help Small Businesses in the Region
seCTer is excited to be participating in the recently announced Connecticut Small Business Boost Fund (ctsmallbusinessboostfund.org). Governor Lamont Announces New $150 Million Loan Program for Connecticut Small Businesses and Nonprofits.
Small businesses can search for a lender and be directed to a number of small business lending providers – one of those will be seCTer. seCTer has for years been providing capital to businesses who would have difficulty obtaining traditional financing. The CT Small Business Boost Fund continues that work.
“We’re thrilled to launch the Connecticut Small Business Boost Fund, a new collaboration with private sector partners and investors that will provide companies and nonprofits the working capital they need to grow and thrive,” Governor Lamont said. “This fund was established to support small business owners who may have previously experienced barriers to accessing financial support and works with and through community lenders that are dedicated to equitable lending practices.”
“We’re excited to add yet another tool to our toolbox to help businesses in the region start and grow,” Executive Director Paul Whitescarver. “Working with the State in a public / private partnership benefiting the people of CT and our region is why we’re here. This program compliments the work of CT Small Business Development Center which provides free, confidential, business advising, as well as PTAC which connects small businesses to government contracts, ” continued Whitescarver. For additional information please email email@example.com.
This was a fascinating panel discussion which was part of Economic Development Week. Paul Whitescarver, seCTer’s Executive Director participated to discuss the role of offshore wind in CT’s energy future.
A practical talk about renewable energy technologies, with real world examples. Our panel will discuss their projects, and examine the economic benefits and challenges to developing renewable energy projects for a town or region.
● Paul Whitescarver, Executive Director, SeCTer
● Paul Corey, BNE Energy
● Rick Mullins, Infinity Fuel Cell and Hydrogen, Inc.
Joel Rinebold, Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT)
Download or View the Narrative Document Below.
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seCTer is actively developing an offshore wind industry cluster (OWIC). In December, seCTer was awarded Phase I funding to develop an application for the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge (BBBRC) Phase II award which is due on March 15th. For the past two months seCTer and six regional coalitions have been developing their projects. Regardless of a Phase II award, which won’t be announced until September, 2022, seCTer is committed to bringing the OWIC to fruition.
Since the EDA’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge award announcements on on December 13th, more regional activity and coverage has been generated.
Two pieces in The Day:
- Welcome, Offshore Wind Industry Cluster – an editorial about the project; and,
- Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT President and CEO Tony Sheridan writes about the importance of the State Pier and Offshore Wind: Moving Connecticut’s Economy Forward.
More information about the State Pier in New London can be found here.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 13, 2021
Contact: Paul Whitescarver
Executive Director, seCTer
Southeastern Connecticut Enterprise Region (seCTer) chosen as finalist in Economic Development Administration (EDA)’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge! seCTer has been chosen as a finalist in EDA’s $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge, leading a coalition representing projects that will compete for up to $100 million to supercharge seCTer’s economy. The Offshore Wind Industry Cluster coalition members include: Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT), Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments (SCCOG), Norwich Community Development Corporation (NCDC), Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board (EWIB), and University of Connecticut (UConn). seCTer’s coalition has advanced to Phase 2 of the competition and will compete for American Rescue Plan funding to develop and scale the offshore wind industry cluster in the Southeastern CT Enterprise Region.
The challenge is assisting communities nationwide in their efforts to build back better by accelerating the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and building local economies that will be resilient to future economic shocks. The Build Back Better Regional Challenge is the largest economic development initiative from the U.S. Department of Commerce in decades.
Paul Whitescarver, seCTer’s Executive Director, knows the region is ready for the challenge, stating the coalition members are, “All ahead full,” referring to his experience as a Captain (Ret.) in the U.S. Navy as he put a submarine underway. “What a great path forward for Connecticut and the southeastern region to generate economic development on a regional basis. This will allow a diversification of our blue economy and its industry partners, and build equitable solutions to job growth.”
“This is big news for eastern Connecticut’s emerging wind energy manufacturing sector,” said Congressman Joe Courtney. “Congress voted to invest in America’s workforce and supply chain at a level we haven’t seen in generations, and Captain Paul Whitescarver (USN Ret.) and his team at seCTer are going right after it—today, their application for up to $100 million in grant funding to boost Connecticut’s wind energy industry and workforce
was selected by the Department of Commerce as one of sixty finalists, from a pool of over 500 in all fifty states. Captain Whitescarver and seCTer have positioned Connecticut among just ten percent of applicants who now have a shot at serious federal funding to help grow important and emerging industries, like offshore wind energy in our region. That’s a great achievement for seCTer, and it reflects all the inputs of collaboration we’ve seen in our region these past few years—the work we’re doing on undersea logistics, the investments we’ve made in offshore wind capability, and the regional partnerships we’ve entered into with states like Rhode Island to move forward on offshore wind. Secretary Raimondo and the Department are accounting for that sort of preparation when they’re deciding where to invest these industry development grants, and we’ve positioned ourselves well for the initiative. Congratulations to Captain Whitescarver, Melinda Wilson, and the entire team at seCTer on being named finalists—I will continue to do all I can to support their application.”
seCTer is part of a regional coalition of stakeholders from government, business, nonprofits, and academia. As a finalist, the coalition was awarded $500,000 to develop an Offshore Wind Industry Cluster (OWIC) to bolster the region’s wind ecosystem and industry. The coalition proposes six projects to support this cluster, including diversifying and expanding the supply chain, providing waterfront industrial sites for development, building a green business park, leveraging a replicable workforce development model, supporting blue tech research and development, and bringing innovative new products to production. The coalition’s hub and spoke approach to the projects will center in southeastern Connecticut, with a spoke for collaboration with workforce initiatives in Bridgeport.
“The Build Back Better Regional Challenge aims to supercharge local economies and increase American competitiveness around the globe,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo.
“We are thrilled to help communities work together—in coalitions of government, nonprofits, academia, the private sector, and others—to craft ambitious and regionally unique plans to rebuild their communities,” said Alejandra Y. Castillo, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “These projects will help revitalize local economies and tackle our biggest challenges related to climate change, manufacturing, supply chains and more. EDA is proud to ignite these plans and help communities nationwide build back better.
Phase 1 of the Build Back Better Regional Challenge invited coalitions to apply for funding to implement a collection of three to eight distinct but related projects in their region. Projects need to be in coordination with industry and community partners, and aligned around a holistic vision to build and scale a strategic industry sector.
EDA received 529 applications from regions in all 50 states and five territories, and the 60 finalists represent regions that formed extraordinary coalitions, demonstrated regional needs, and presented bold proposals to grow their target industry clusters. Ranging fromrural communities and coastal towns to major metros, the finalists make up a diverse cross-section of the United States.
In Phase 2, finalists will compete for significant implementation assistance. EDA will award 20- 30 coalitions each up to $100 million. These awards will assist communities in executing ambitious plans to supercharge their regional economies across a variety of strategic growth sectors. The deadline for Phase 2 applications is March 15, 2022.
Learn more at eda.gov/arpa/build-back-better.
Southeastern Connecticut Enterprise Region (seCTer) is designated as the Economic Development Organization for the Economic Development District of Southeastern Connecticut by federal, state and local authorities. seCTer is a private, non-profit providing a broad range of services and resources to stimulate and support economic resilience and diversification within the region. The region includes the 22 cities, towns and boroughs which align with the Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments.
About the American Rescue Plan Programs
The Build Back Better Regional Challenge is one of many EDA programs aimed at building strong regional economies and supporting community-led economic development. Under the American Rescue Plan, EDA was allocated $3 billion in supplemental funding to assist communities nationwide in their efforts to build back better by accelerating the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and building local economies that will be resilient to future economic shocks.
American Rescue Plan funding enables EDA to provide larger, more transformational investments across the nation while utilizing its greatest strengths, including flexible funding to support community-led economic development. With an emphasis on equity, EDA investments made under the American Rescue Plan will directly benefit previously underserved communities impacted by COVID-19. For more information about EDA’s American Rescue Plan programs, visit eda.gov/ARPA.
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) 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 U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth. For more information about EDA, visit eda.gov.
Paul Whitescarver will lead Southeastern Connecticut’s designated economic development organization.
GROTON, Conn. — The Southeastern Connecticut Enterprise Region (seCTer) Board of Directors has unanimously chosen retired Navy Capt. Paul Whitescarver as its next executive director.
Whitescarver brings decades of leadership experience to the region’s designated economic development organization. He will assume the executive director position on 10/4/21.
A widely respected Navy veteran, Whitescarver was commanding officer of the Naval Submarine Base in Groton from 2015 to 2019. During his SUBASE tenure, he oversaw numerous enhancements to the base’s infrastructure and facilities and was instrumental in promoting the SUB CENTURY celebration.
Whitescarver was also instrumental in establishing and nurturing positive relationships with the region’s municipalities, agencies and community groups, and worked closely with surrounding communities to address issues of mutual concern. These efforts were recognized by the Association of Defense Communities in 2018 when the region received the Great American Defense Community Award.
Most recently, Whitescarver was operations manager for King Industries, a specialty chemical additive company based in Norwalk.
“I am thrilled to be joining an already strong team at seCTer, and to be able to help maximize economic development opportunities in Southeastern Connecticut,” Whitescarver said. “I look forward to working with our clients, communities and partners as we continue to address the economic impacts of the pandemic and grow and diversify the region’s economy”.
Priorities for seCTer in 2021-22 will be to help the region recover from the economic fallout caused by the pandemic, complete the updating of the Region’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) and assist the region in securing available state and federal recovery dollars.
Whitescarver’s initial focus will be to lead those efforts. His leadership will be crucial in helping the regional economy become stronger and more resilient in the years ahead.
“The Board strongly feels that Paul possesses the qualities that align with seCTer’s most significant priorities and challenges,” said seCTer Board Chair Mark R. Oefinger. “His leadership and management skills; his knowledge and experience with all layers or government – federal, state and local; his ability to work with others; his love of the region; his professionalism, discipline and impeccable integrity; his ability to put forth a vision, to plan and think strategically; and his ability to connect the dots will serve seCTer and the region extraordinarily well.”
Whitescarver, originally from Roanoke, Va., retired from the Navy in 2019 after nearly four decades of service. He received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business and a master’s degree from the Naval Postgraduate School. He lives in Gales Ferry with his wife Katie.
Whitescarver currently serves as board president of the Thames River Heritage Park Foundation, is on the boards of the Submarine Force Library & Museum and the USS Groton Sail Foundation, and is a member of the Ledyard Planning and Zoning Commission.
The Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (APTAC) is pleased to announce that Frank Dixon, Program Manager of the Connecticut Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), has been elected Region 1 Director, with responsibility for communicating regional concerns the Board, as well as sharing Board actions and priorities with the members. He will serve in this position until March of 2023. APTAC’s Board and Committees are comprised entirely of volunteers who represent member PTACs.
Frank leads the program efforts for over five (5) PTAC offices across the state of Connecticut. Frank is a United States Army Veteran with 20 plus years of providing strategic leadership, operations management, domestic and international business development in multiple industries including automotive (Danaher), aerospace (Sikorsky Aircraft – United Technologies) non-profit and higher education where he assisted in the negotiations which led to several multi-million dollar DoD and international contract awards. Frank has a B.S. in Business Administration and a M.S. in Engineering and Operations Management. He also has numerous professional development certificates: Business Acquisition Management (BAM) University, Negotiating Solutions Course -The Mattford Group, ISO 9001 & 9002 Procedures and Processes Course – DAU Certifications and 20 plus Community and Military & Veteran Awards for Achievement & Meritorious Service.
APTAC is the professional organization of and for the 94 Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) sponsored by the Defense Department’s Defense Logistics Agency and local host organizations. PTACs, located across the United States, including Alaska and the District of Columbia as well as the territories of Puerto Rico and Guam, help local businesses become capable government contractors. PTACs support a broad base of small business suppliers providing the highest quality and best value to government agencies and creating a strong and vibrant economic base for our communities. They assist small businesses by offering training events, bid-matching services, one-on-one sessions with procurement counselors, notification of important contracting changes, help with understanding government contracting procedures and requirements, guidance in registering with the federal government, and much more. They assist government agencies by locating and educating contractors and potential contractors who can provide the products and services they need.
APTAC supports the PTACs by providing them critical updates on the ever-changing procurement processes across all federal agencies; comprehensive training opportunities and certification to ensure that PTAC staff can bring the highest level of capability to their work; networking forums so that PTAC professionals across the country can share best practices and draw upon their collective expertise; and a national presence to collaborate with federal agencies on small business contracting initiatives and otherwise provide a voice in national government contracting assistance and policy arenas. The work of
APTAC is carried out by a cadre of dedicated volunteers, all of whom are procurement professionals from member PTACs, and supported by a small administrative staff.