US Commerce Department Re-Launches Center for Faith-Based Partnerships

U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker announced Friday the re-launch of its Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships for promotion of partnerships between businesses and community- and faith-based organizations aimed at job creation and economic growth.

The Center, one of 13 federal agency offices under the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, is housed within the Office of the Secretary, the Department of Commerce said in a statement.

Pritzker said she is "excited" to announce the new strategic direction the Center, which "plays an important role in connecting Commerce to local communities and ensuring the Department's "Open for Business Agenda" expands opportunity for all Americans."

The Center will help the Department of Commerce to achieve its mission of "promoting job creation, economic growth, sustainable development and improved standards of living for all Americans by working in partnership with businesses, universities, communities and our nation's workers," Pritzker added.

On March 30, the Center co-hosted Business Sunday at the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. to provide business leaders from congregations and communities around the country with the federal resources they need to start and grow their companies.

Business Sunday is a collaboration between the Minority Business Development Agency and the Small Business Administration to help connect people to valuable technical assistance, grant information and other resources.

The Center has created Commerce's first-ever "Community Development Resource Toolkit," to help community-based organizations to utilize Department programs aimed at local-level economic development.

The Center now plans to start a "Commerce in the Community" blog series highlighting "the many ways in which local business, nonprofit and religious leaders are partnering with Commerce to make a positive impact at the local level."

The Center will also begin a series of events in various places this summer to connect communities with Department programs and resources, as well as promote local partnerships around skills and workforce development.

"Commerce's Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships plays an important role in our community development efforts by helping businesses and nonprofits work together to grow the economy and create jobs," Melissa Rogers, executive director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, said in the statement. "We are looking forward to collaborating with our colleagues at Commerce to build ladders of opportunity for all Americans."

The White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships works to form partnerships between government at all levels and nonprofit organizations, both secular and faith-based, to more effectively serve Americans in need.