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Commerce Department Award To Help Architects Increase U.S. Exports and Create Jobs

Contact: John Schneidawind

For immediate release:
Washington, D.C. – October 23, 2012
– The American Institute of Architects (AIA) today announced that it had accepted an award from the U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration’s Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) to promote the export of American architectural services to India and Sri Lanka.

This is the first time the Commerce Department has awarded the AIA funds under the MDCP program. The award will be matched by a significant investment by the AIA, which pledges to sustain the project after the initial MDCP award period ends. Last week, leaders from the AIA and the Commerce Department completed the first architectural services trade mission to India to kick-off of this program.  The AIA promoted this program and is proud that members participated in what was the first of three scheduled missions to India and Sri Lanka.

According to AIA estimates, the funds awarded will help jumpstart almost $50 million in exports of architectural services and other related products over the next three years. Among other things, the funds will allow the AIA to help U.S. architects secure projects abroad, with a focus on large buildings, infrastructure, and campus-type developments in India and Sri Lanka. India is expected to invest $1.2 trillion on infrastructure projects during the next five years. The AIA will also prepare U.S. architects for trade missions with market and cultural information to help architectural firms develop long-term business-development strategies.

“This award demonstrates that architectural profession as a whole represents a major economic tool for boosting U.S. exports and creating jobs here in the United States,” said AIA President Jeff Potter, FAIA. “I am quite proud of the AIA’s continued efforts to create opportunities for our members worldwide and wish to thank the Commerce Department for its collaborative spirit and steadfast support."

“The awards given by the Commerce Department’s Market Development Cooperator Program will help us continue to make progress toward achieving the President’s goal of doubling exports by the end of 2014,” said Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank. “Higher exports lead to more jobs: in 2011, jobs supported by exports increased by 1.2 million over 2009,” Blank said. “This investment in the American Institute of Architects will help boost exports, which means more jobs.”

The MDCP awards include financial and technical assistance from the U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration (ITA) to support well-defined business plans aimed at increasing exports and U.S. competitiveness within certain industries. An MDCP award establishes a partnership between ITA and nonprofit industry groups to help strengthen global competitiveness and create jobs through exports. Since MDCP's inception in 1993, the program has issued 121 awards. In an average year, MDCP projects generate $372 million in U.S. exports.

For more information about the Market Development Cooperator Program, please visit


About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct to ensure the highest standards in professional practice. Embracing their responsibility to serve society, AIA members engage civic and government leaders and the public in helping find needed solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit




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