Locke says government ready to help business and auto communities hit by recession

East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI - (WKAR) U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke says the federal government is making $27 million in grants available to communities struggling due to the decline of American automakers.

Locke was in Holt Wednesday as part of a tour of Midwest states hit hard by the recession. Locke says the federal money is for communities to improve public-private partnerships that help encourage economic growth: "But it's up to every region to decide what it is their economic future and economic destiny is going to be. It's not set by Washington DC, but it's really to support the local planning and vision efforts and to provide dollars so that you can actually accomplish that."

Locke also says the government would work on developing programs to help manufacturers diversify their products and help them become more globally competitive.