NASHVILLE, Tenn. – United South and Eastern Tribes, Inc. (USET) announced on Thursday, Sept. 24 that the organization is beginning a new era of service to its members. With support and investment from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration – Philadelphia Regional Office (EDA), through its Technical Assistance program, USET will begin its work to create an Economic Development Department. EDA and USET formally agreed to the investment grant to begin economic development initiatives that include work to create a community development financial institution (CDFI), increase participation and outcomes in economic development initiatives with EDA and USET, data collection, and technical assistance to Tribes.
USET is actively seeking an economic development director for this new core organizational competency. A formal presentation of details on the new economic development program will be made at the 2015 USET Annual Meeting, which will be hosted by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians on Oct. 26-28.
“Today the abilities of our organization and our service mission grows with continued collaboration between the members and leadership of USET and EDA,” said USET President Brian Patterson. “As we take this new step toward rebuilding Tribal nations, this economic development program will provide resources to Indian leadership in a new arena that will help promote sovereignty and healthy communities.
The EDA award will also be complemented by other grant awards from the U.S. Treasury NACA-CDFI program, unrestricted financial support from USET member tribes, and with support from USET strategic alliance partnerships.