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Thank you, Assistant Secretary Castillo, for that introduction.

I am thrilled to join you this afternoon to see the extraordinary collaboration that you have undertaken to deliver transformative economic opportunity across the country.

The Build Back Better Regional Challenge is the marquee of EDA’s American Rescue Plan programs and represents the Biden Administration’s commitment to rebuilding American communities, especially those that have historically been underserved.

These are big, holistic investments designed to really make an impact in areas that have been left behind.

To the finalists, your work is truly impressive, and the Commerce Department could not be more pleased to be working with you.

I want to congratulate you and your coalitions on completing your Phase 2 applications. Thank you for your commitment to inclusive and sustainable economic development.

This showcase provides an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas, learn from one another, and explore funding and other partnerships that can help strengthen our communities, regions, and our nation overall.

Thank you to the philanthropies, companies, federal agencies, and civic partner organizations who have joined us this afternoon. Each of you does vitally important work in communities across the country, and I am glad that you are taking this opportunity to learn more about the finalists in the Build Back Better Regional Challenge.

Today is just the beginning of the conversation. We’re looking forward to continuing to work together on promoting transformative economic opportunity across the country.

I’m excited to see how your partnerships will transform communities.

Thank you again for your participation and your strong, collaborative efforts. Your work will serve as inspiration to others.

I hope you enjoy today’s showcase.

With that, let me turn it back over to Deputy Assistant Secretary Chang.

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