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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce

Annual Report

Economic Development Administration Overview


To lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy.

The U.S. Economic Development Administration's (EDA) investment policy is designed to establish a foundation for sustainable job growth and the building of durable regional economies throughout the United States. This foundation builds upon two key economic drivers - innovation and regional collaboration. Innovation is key to global competitiveness, new and better jobs, a resilient economy, and the attainment of national economic goals. Regional collaboration is essential for economic recovery and prosperity because regions that work together to leverage resources and use their strengths to overcome weaknesses will fare better in a global economy than those that do not. EDA encourages its partners around the country to develop new ideas and creative approaches to address rapidly evolving economic conditions.

EDA's Role

As the only federal government agency focused exclusively on economic development, EDA plays a critical role in fostering regional economic development efforts in communities across the nation. Our strategic investments foster job creation and attract private investment, through development of infrastructure and human capital, particularly in economically distressed areas of the United States.

Guided by the basic principle that communities must be empowered to develop and implement their own economic development and revitalization strategies, EDA works directly with local economic development officials to make grant investments that are well-defined, timely, and linked to a long-term, sustainable economic development strategy.

EDA’s flexible programs and structure enable innovation and nimble responsiveness to changing economic needs and conditions faced by its local and state government partners. Grants made under these programs are designed to leverage existing regional assets to support the implementation of economic development strategies that advance new ideas and creative approaches to achieve economic prosperity particularly in distressed communities.

EDA’s economic footprint is wide and its tool box is extensive – including technical assistance, post-disaster recovery assistance, trade adjustment support, strategic planning and research and evaluation capacity – thereby allowing the agency to offer the most effective investment to help communities succeed in the global economy.