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

December 2016

Working Together: The Driving Force for Economic Success

U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams When President Lyndon Johnson spoke about creating a “Great Society” – laying the groundwork for the creation of EDA – he called on our country to “create new concepts of cooperation, a creative federalism, between the National Capital and the leaders of local communities.”

No agency within the federal government better embodies this notion than EDA.

At EDA, we have been supporting economically distressed communities for more than 50 years. While EDA does not invest directly in businesses, the agency works closely with local economic development officials to support competitive, bottom up, regionally-owned development strategies focused on stimulating private investment and creating new jobs.

At EDA, we understand that some communities need help developing a plan and figuring out where to start their efforts. Others need critical infrastructure that will allow businesses to locate or expand operations. It’s a continuum, and EDA helps communities at every point along the way.

We believe economic development is a more inclusive, comprehensive and sustainable approach that often results in economic growth, and is much more valuable and impactful.

It’s like the old Chinese Proverb: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

Today, businesses have added 15.5 million jobs since early 2010 and the unemployment rate has ticked down to 4.9 percent.

We are proud of the work we have done – and the work that our community partners are doing - to move the economy forward across the country. We are particularly pleased with the improvements we have made to increase federal collaboration to better serve communities.

President Obama believes that to continue to make progress, we must continue to work together.

I joined the Obama administration in 2012 and have served as Assistant Secretary since 2014. It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve our great nation!


Highlight: A Year in Review for Economic Development

Caption below
EDA Assistant Secretary Jay Williams delivering remarks at
EDA's National Conference in April 2016.

Every year, we reflect on the work we've accomplished in fostering economic development in communities across the country

In 2016, EDA has invested close to $75.9 million in 102 Economic Adjustment Assistance projects and nearly $ 113.9 million in 75 Public Works projects. In total, EDA has invested an estimated $ 277.1 million in approximately 687 projects.

To spotlight economic development efforts across the country, in April, EDA was pleased to host our first National Conference since 2008. The conference brought together more than 800 regional and local economic development professionals, nonprofit and private partners, and federal, state, tribal and local officials to explore issues related to improving competitiveness, job growth, innovation and overall quality of life in communities.

Take a look at some of EDA's 2016 accomplishments:

Facebook Twitter Linked In

Communities that Work Partnerships: New Approaches and Strategies for Economic and Workforce Development

Caption below
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and President and CEO of the Aspen Institute Walter Isaacson at the launch of the Communities that Work Partnership in April 2015.

As the economy becomes increasingly dependent on complex technology, automation and reorganization, the nation will face new workforce and economic development challenges. One prominent challenge is the need to provide the skills for tomorrow's workforce.

Read more about the Communities that Work Partnership


Guest Blog Series: The Communities that Work Partnership - Celebrating Collaboration in U.S. Communities

Establishing Domestic Work as a Respected Profession through Workforce Development

Caption below
Mariana Viturro, Deputy Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance.

San Antonio’s Economic Competitiveness Enhanced by Job Training, Education Efforts

Caption below
On November 2, 2016, the city of San Antonio, Texas community leaders and elected officials celebrated the grand opening of the 56,000-square-foot Eastside Education & Training Center (EETC).

UpSkill Houston: Strengthening our Residents, Key Industry Sectors and the Regional Economy

Caption below
Peter Beard, Senior Vice President of Regional Workforce Development of Greater Houston Partnership.

Putting Knowledge into Action: ‘Communities That Work’ Enhances Arizona’s IT Workforce Initiatives

Caption below
Sandra Watson, President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority.

Buffalo Niagara Region Looks to National Best Practices to Inform Workforce Development Strategies

Caption below
Liz Callahan, Workforce Development Manager at the Buffalo Niagara Partnership.

Training Workers to Build Green Infrastructure in the District of Columbia and Maryland

Caption below
Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) Graphic on Clean Water Infrastructure. image