This site contains information that has been considered archived and will no longer be updated. Please click here to go to the CURRENT website.

U.S. Economic Development Administration - Innovate@EDA Monthly Update U.S. Department of Commerce homepage Innovate@EDA Monthly Newletter Archive U.S. Economic Development Administration homepage

July 2015

Success Story: A Training Center of Their Own

Caption below
Central Texas Technology Center

If you create a job and no one has the skills needed to fill it, did you really create a job? Workforce development must be a critical focus of all economic development organizations. It’s imperative that workers receive training that matches the needs of employers. In 2000, the town of New Braunfels, Texas, was faced with a problem. The town wanted to attract new industries, but their existing businesses were expressing concerns about the lack of skilled workers to meet their current and future needs.

Located between San Antonio and Austin, New Braunfels had no education or training facility. Residents looking to attain entry-level skills, increase technical skills or connect to jobs or higher education opportunities had to travel the 30-50 miles to San Antonio or Austin to do so. As a result, the Alamo Community College District joined with officials from the towns of Seguin and New Braunfels to create the Central Texas Technology Center (CTTC).

Click here to read more

Highlight: Guest Column - EDA partners with AspenWSI to Accelerate Industry-Driven Workforce and Economic Development Strategies

Cathy Katona

Caption below

Cathy Katona, AspenWSI

As America’s economic recovery gathers steam and labor markets tighten, economic development is increasingly driven by the availability of skilled workers. Businesses at all stages, whether they are start-ups, expanding, or relocating, depend on the availability of appropriately trained employees to fill open positions. Economic developers have long been listening to employers say that there is a shortage of skilled workforce. Yet, one also hears of unemployed and underemployed workers unable to find positions that allow them to contribute to the economy.

While businesses are seeking higher-skilled workers, greater productivity, increased competiveness in a global marketplace and higher profits, job seekers and workers are looking for educational opportunities, better wages and benefits, as well as career advancement opportunities. Meeting the needs of both is a regional imperative as we seek to reduce high unemployment and inequality of opportunity as well as create the types of communities that we aspire to live in and that provide opportunities for all.

The White House report, Ready to Work: Job Driven Training and American Opportunity (PDF), published in July 2014, highlights the success of bridging workforce development and economic development through job-driven, or industry-led strategies. In response, federal agencies are aligning their efforts to encourage job-driven workforce development initiatives.

Click here to read more

Spotlight: Commerce Signs Agreement with Germany to Coordinate Workforce Development and Apprenticeship Opportunities

Caption below
Assistant Secretary Williams (left) joins Secretary Pritzker (center) to sign an MOU with Germany

In this country, the word “apprentice” may conjure historical images of colonial times – or for some of Mickey Mouse being overrun by brooms in Fantasia. But apprenticeships are a valuable workforce development tool and an opportunity for skilled workers to teach those skills to the next generation. In many European countries, apprenticeships offer an alternative career path to college or university and more academic pursuits.

The Obama Administration recognizes the value of promoting apprenticeships, and on June 5, the U.S. Department of Commerce joined with the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Germany. The German vocational training system (dual system) is a proven apprenticeship model, and this MOU will help build partnerships with German employers to expand apprenticeships in their U.S. operations.

Click here to read more

Facebook Twitter Linked In

View EDA’s Fiscal Year 2014 Annual Report!


EDA and Federal Partners Designate 12 More Manufacturing Communities

On July 8, Secretary Pritzker was in Arkansas and Assistant Secretary Williams was in Los Angeles to announce the 12 new Manufacturing Communities designated under the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP). These additional communities represent a diverse group of industries ranging from agriculture to aerospace. For more information, check out the press release and Blog post about the announcement.


Getting Involved in Manufacturing Day – College Educators Edition Webinar

This webinar will help address questions on why and how community colleges, universities, and technical schools can get involved with MFG DAY. Led by MFG DAY Co-Producers, the webinar will also include presentations by MFG DAY educator champions: FLATE, Ogden-Weber Applied Technical College, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, each of which has had unique experiences participating in MFG DAY. Webinar Details: Tuesday, July 21, 2:00 – 3:00 PM EDT. Register.


Assistant Secretary Williams to Speak at IEDC in October

Assistant Secretary Jay Williams will be speaking at IEDC’s Annual Conference, October 4-7 in Anchorage, Alaska. He will be delivering keynote remarks during the lunch plenary session on Tuesday, October 6. Register today!


Assistant Secretary Williams to Speak at NADO Annual Training Conference in October

Assistant Secretary Jay Williams will be speaking at NADO's Annual Training Conference, October 24-27 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Register today!


Help EDA Celebrate its 50th Anniversary

August 26, 2015 marks EDA’s 50th anniversary. We are looking for stories, pictures, videos, and quotes from communities about how EDA’s investment had or is having an impact on your community. Send your stories and pictures to


EDA Invests $1 Million for City-Administered Redevelopment Grants in Las Vegas

On June 17, Assistant Secretary Jay Williams was in Las Vegas to announce the winners of Las Vegas’ Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Economic Visioning Challenge. The aim of the Challenge is to spark economic development in communities that have faced significant long-term challenges in developing and implementing their economic strategies.


EDA Releases New Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO)

EDA is seeking applications to develop and test measures, metrics, indicators, and methodologies to help the agency more effectively assess, evaluate, and report on the full impact of its economic development investments on regional economies across the Nation. The FFO is available on, and applications must be submitted by Friday, August 21, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. Proposals must discuss how robust indicators and metrics will be identified; establish appropriate program metrics for EDA investments and validate the statistical relationship between grant outputs and outcomes (capacity building) and realized (economic growth, competitiveness and sustainability) outcomes. EDA anticipates that the award made under this announcement will involve a fifteen (15) month project period and plans to allocate up to $300,000. image