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Program # of Grants EDA Funds
Economic Adjustment Assistance 3 $1,376,320
Planning 6 $1,048,674
2 $178,592
Total 11 $2,603,586

In the last two years, north Alabama’s economy has been devastated by the loss of several large anchor industries and the divestment of coal-fired power plants.  The greatest impact has been experienced within an eight-county region that spans across the entire northern portion of the state. Plant closures and the idling of multiple power plant units have resulted in the loss of over 3,500 jobs and significant local tax revenues.

The three Economic Development Districts covering the eight-county region organized efforts led by the local communities and economic development organizations to address the long-term economic recovery of these neighboring communities. In FY 2014, EDA awarded $300,000 collectively to fund three separate, but jointly supported, planning initiatives within the three districts.  The Shoals Area Economic Adjustment Strategy, South Bank Economic Recovery Program and Northeast Alabama Economic Recovery Program are the results of the collaborative efforts of local, regional, state and federal stakeholders.

The three plans will work in conjunction to assess the long-term impacts of the job and revenue losses and recommend strategies that will focus on workforce training, asset and infrastructure development, business counseling, economic restructuring and entrepreneurial support. The investments will address the need for diversification and promote the development of “industry clusters” by looking beyond existing occupational characteristics for opportunities to support emerging, sustainable target industries.  The expected economic impact will include leveraging existing regional assets to support implementation of new and creative economic development strategies identified for long-term recovery and resiliency.

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