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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce



Cherry Blossoms in front on the Washington MonumentMarch kicks off conference season in Washington, DC. Among the organizations hosting meetings in DC are: National Association of Counties (NACo), National League of Cities (NLC), National Association of Development Organization (NADO), and International Economic Development Council (IEDC). See below for more information about the meetings and policy priorities for some of EDA’s partner organizations.

National Association of Counties LogoMore than 1,500 county officials will stress the importance of long-term funding for the nation’s federal surface transportation program and the important role transportation infrastructure can play in America’s economic competitiveness during the National Association of Counties’ (NACo) 2014 Legislative Conference, March 1-5, at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C.

For more information, visit:  http://www.naco.org/newsroom/latest/Documents/2014 Legislative Conference advisory - long_0220.pdf (PDF).

National League of Cities LogoThe National League of Cities’ (NLC) federal action agenda reflects the need for a new federal-local partnership to facilitate investment in our infrastructure and workforce. NLC is calling for investments in cities and their residents that encourage and take advantage of the innovation happening on the local level to drive economic growth. Other priorities for NLC include the passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act to place brick-and-mortar community businesses on a level playing field with online retailers and afford consumers more choice through fair competition as well as a new, long-term federal surface transportation program that recognizes the central role of transportation to metropolitan and regional economies and includes local voices in planning and project selection. NLC supports comprehensive immigration reform. NLC seeks to partner with the Department of Education to strengthen the education pipeline from early childhood opportunities through improved postsecondary success.

National Association of Development Organizations LogoEconomic, community, and rural development are always at the forefront of the NADO agenda. For 2014, NADO is focused on three key advocacy areas. The first issue NADO members are interested in is increased funding for planning. Solid planning provides the foundation for investments to foster economic growth in communities across the nation. Economic Development Districts continue to maximize the return on investment by creating innovative Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies to promote regional economic prosperity. NADO is also focused on more funding for public works projects, which enable communities to invest in the revitalization, expansion, and upgrade of critical infrastructure. The recruitment and retention of high-quality jobs in America depends on a strong physical assets such as water and sewer systems, industrial access roads, and broadband network improvements. The final key issue area is more emphasis on disaster preparedness and economic adjustment assistance to areas hit hard by natural disasters, because lending federal support to distressed communities helps boost recovery efforts in many regions across the nation. Other areas of focus for 2014 include workforce development, healthcare, transportation, and new opportunities for the coal industry.

International Economic Development Council LogoEach year, the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) hosts a gathering of economic development professionals from across the U.S. along with federal policy makers and program managers. The Federal Economic Development Forum is taking place March 23rd-24th in Alexandria, Virginia. The Forum is the only conference of its kind, convening dozens of federal agencies, Congressional staffers, think tanks, associations and universities all for the purpose of discussing how the federal government can be a partner in local in regional economic development. The Forum features the State of Federal Economic Development address from IEDC President and CEO Jeff Finkle and a panel discussion on the IEDC Federal Agenda (a document that highlights focus areas for the current Congress and administration) lead by the Public Policy Advisory Committee. These two sessions are fully unique to the Forum and will highlight a year in review of 2013, key economic development priorities found in the president’s most recent State of the Union Address, economic development-specific line items from the White House budget proposal for fiscal 2015, and a discussion on how Congress and the administration have done on the three items focused on in the Federal Agenda: workforce, infrastructure, and small business. IEDC also just-added a session on Phase 2 of the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) as a follow up to the recent IEDC/EDA webinar on the program.

Topics for this year’s forum and areas of focus for 2014 include workforce development, international themes, infrastructure investment, export promotion and strategy, manufacturing, disaster recovery & resiliency, capital access, entrepreneurship, rural development, energy, and research & innovation.