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Spanning the Region

Wednesday, January 1, 1997

British Visit St. Louis to Learn about Jobs Program

A delegation of high-ranking British government officials visited St. Louis in September to learn more about innovative approaches to labor market development. The delegation was sent to the United States by British Prime Minister Tony Blair after an aide viewed the televised kickoff to the national Welfare to Work Partnership by President Clinton in St. Louis.

The delegation included officials from the British Departments of the Treasury, Education and Employment, Economic Development, Government Employment Service and the British Embassy. The St. Louis visit included extensive debriefings and site visits of the Bridges To Work, Regional Jobs Initiative, and YouthBuild programs. Knowledge obtained during the visit will be used to assist in the design of similar programs in Great Britain, including how banks and business leaders can participate in labor market development.

Texarkana Profile Available

The Federal Reserve Banks of Dallas and St. Louis have released a community profile of the Texarkana, Texas-Arkansas, metropolitan statistical area.

The profile, Texarkana Community Partnership Opportunities, is a resource guide that contains information on organizations and programs working to meet the community and economic development needs of the area. For copies of the profile, call Kim Bowlin (501) 324-8251.

New Program for Delta Businesses

Enterprise Corporation of the Delta (ECD) recently announced a new partnership to bring investment capital to the Delta region. The limited liability company--ECD Investments--will create a partnership between the entrepreneurial nurturers at the nonprofit corporation and at least nine Mid-South banks.

The banks have invested $5 million in the new enterprise and promise to increase that to $15 million by March 1998--more than doubling ECD's existing $12-million revolving loan fund. The partnership will provide loan money and training for Delta businesses that would not qualify for conventional financing.

For more information, contact Elgin Clemons at 1-800-332-5405.

START Program Expanded

The Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) announced that effective Oct. 1, 1997, its Special Targeted Affordable Rate for Tennesseans (START) Program was expanded to families earning up to $18,500. The 5.5 percent, 30-year fixed interest rate remains the same.

THDA also raised the acquisition limit for the homes being purchased with START financing. Now, families can choose homes which cost up to $47,500 in any county in Tennessee. The program is targeted to families who are first-time homebuyers.

To assist families in preparing for their home purchase, THDA has printed a brochure series for first-time homebuyers. They are available upon request by calling (615) 741-2400 or 1-800-228-THDA.