WHAT IS Economic Development Integration?
EDA’s vision for Economic Development Integration (or EDI) is to improve the Federal government’s ability to serve as a constructive partner to local and regional economic development stakeholders. The core components of this vision include:
- Silo-Busting: Removal of the bureaucratic and administrative barriers, and facilitating direct, ongoing communication and collaboration across Federal agencies and program offices.
- Enhanced, Responsive Service Delivery: Responsive to locally-identified economic development needs and objectives, and providing the necessary level of project support and related guidance.
- Strategic, Integrated Investments: Investing a combination of resources from multiple agency programs in support of high-impact economic development strategies and projects.
One of the primary objectives of EDI is to facilitate interagency relationships and communication in service to enhanced support for economically distressed and challenged communities and regions. EDI will work with agencies and program offices across the Federal government to remove the bureaucratic and administrative barriers (“silos”) that can prevent effective interagency collaboration and establish the networks and practices through which Federal partners can regularly:
- Share information about local and regional economic development needs and initiatives; and
- Identify and pursue opportunities for interagency collaboration and integrated support for high-impact projects benefitting economically distressed and challenged communities and regions.
EDI is carried out through EDA personnel in Washington, DC, as well by each Integrator position staffed to EDA’s six regional offices (one apiece). Each regional Integrator serves as an internal resource to EDA regional staff who work with the agency’s clients on a regular basis.
EDI collaboration and support is provided to EDA regional staff in a variety of different ways, including:
- Partnerships/Relationships: Regional EDI staff will help establish and maintain collaborative working relationships between EDA staff and local and regional stakeholders, from both the public and private sectors, Federal and non-federal.
- In-House Consultancy: Regional EDIs will provide their colleagues with additional technical expertise regarding the use of Federal and non-Federal economic development tools and resources to support and enhance local and regional projects.
- Communication: Regional EDIs will establish standard communications practices to amplify successful project investment strategies and to highlight effective interagency and inter-jurisdictional relationships and collaboration.
Through the enhanced support that is now available through EDA regional staff, communities, regions, and other potential applicants can increase their capacity to rapidly identify, access and invest the resources necessary for sustainable economic growth and diversification.
EDI seeks to coordinate the investment of Federal and other resources in projects related to local and regional economic development plans that were collaboratively produced by a variety of stakeholders, including:
- Economic development organizations,
- Local governments,
- Native American Indian tribal entities,
- Local and regional planning organizations,
- Labor unions,
- State and local workforce agencies and other job training providers,
- Institutions of higher education and other adult education providers, and
- Supportive services and human services providers.
EDI prioritizes targeting Federal resources to projects and activities that can produce:
- Local and regional economic growth and diversification,
- New job creation,
- Workforce training and skills development for employment opportunities in high-demand industries that offer family-supporting wages, and
- The successful alignment of capital investments from a variety of stakeholders, both Federal and non-federal, public as well as private.
Through EDI, EDA is now positioned to effectively and consistently optimize the combined investment of federal, state and local economic development resources in support of high-impact projects that generate diverse, innovative economies, sustained growth and broad-based prosperity for communities across America.