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Build Back Better Regional Challenge Plays Catalytic Role in Accelerating Economic Development Strategies Across the Nation

EDA American Rescue Plan The Build Back Better Regional Challenge (BBBRC) – the marquee program of EDA’s American Rescue Plan programs – is a $1 billion investment towards competitiveness and prosperity of regional economies across the United States. It represents a bold belief that with the right resources , bottom-up and middle out economic participation of key stakeholders and an inclusive strategy all regions can successfully participate in the global economy and create good jobs for workers at all skill levels. For too many Americans, the pandemic represents just the latest economic shock that has battered their communities, reduced wages, and eliminated entire local industries. Yet all U.S. regions have existing assets that, with the right investments and stakeholder participation, can be built upon to ensure these places not only survive, but thrive in the modern, global economy.

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All EDA American Rescue Plan Programs Now Closed to Applications, Tremendous Demand for Full Spectrum of EDA Program Assistance Indicates Critical Local Need

EDA American Rescue Plan As the United States continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, the $3 billion allocated to the Economic Development Administration (EDA) under President Biden’s American Recue Plan is allowing the bureau to make once-in-a-generation investments to dramatically transform America’s communities during this critical moment in our history.

Since launching its six American Rescue Plan programs in July 2021, EDA has been working expeditiously to equitably move this critical funding into our communities. Today, EDA is celebrating the more than 2,500 communities that designed economic development strategies and submitted projects for this special funding.

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Supporting Technology-Based Economic Development is Key to EDA’s Mission

EDA American Rescue Plan For more than 55 years, EDA has practiced a place-based, bottom-up approach to economic development by investing in three critical elements: infrastructure, workforce, and business support that regional economies need to build globally competitive, future-focused industries.

As technology changes every aspect of the global economy, each community must pivot their strategies in ways that best serve them. EDA’s approach to support these locally driven strategies remains paramount. In fact, EDA’s investment priorities include technology-based economic development — meaning we encourage projects that foster entrepreneurship and startups, commercialization of new technologies, and workforce development for high-skilled, good-paying jobs of the future.

Modern infrastructure, including transportation hubs and research facilities, is an important ingredient for tech-based economic development. Beyond the traditional definition of infrastructure, the Biden Administration understands that broadband connectivity is a critical need for communities to build businesses of the future and is making strategic investments to reflect that, including $65 billion in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help deliver affordable, reliable, high-speed internet to every American.

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On Earth Day 2022, EDA Continues Its Commitment to Sustainable Development

EDA American Rescue Plan The Economic Development Administration (EDA) was founded on the eve of the modern environmental movement when, five years before the first observance of Earth Day, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965.

Climate Resilience & Sustainability at Our Core

Today’s EDA is at the forefront of sustainable economic development. We recognize that economic vitality, climate resilience, and quality of life are closely linked through the global ecosystem, and that the promotion of innovation and competitiveness, and the creation of good-paying jobs, is inseparably entangled with respect for people and planet.

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Americas Competitive Exchange (ACE) brings high-level global delegation to Louisiana

EDA American Rescue Plan Louisiana hosted the 14th America’s Competitiveness Exchange (ACE) between March 26 – April 1, bringing together more than 60 global leaders representing 21 countries and multiple international organizations to share economic development best practices and explore opportunities for partnerships.

ACE is the premier economic development, innovation, and entrepreneurial network of the Americas and is one of the leading high-level events of the Organization of American States (OAS). The ACE program is one of the core initiatives of the Inter-American Competitiveness Network (RIAC) and organized in partnership with EDA, the International Trade Administration, and the U.S. Department of State.

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EDA's American Rescue Plan Status Update

EDA American Rescue Plan Due to the continued high volume of applications and interest EDA has received for its programs funded through the American Rescue Plan, EDA is providing the following status update on its Economic Adjustment Assistance and Indigenous Communities programs.

Economic Adjustment Assistance Program

March 31, 2022 marked the suggested deadline for EDA’s Economic Adjustment Assistance program and EDA closed the program at that time. EDA received application submissions well in excess of available appropriations, totaling over $2 billion in demand across the country, or over 4 times the $500 million available through this program.

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EDA Focused on Equity

Photo of Ellen Heinz The pandemic has affected communities across the country, but widely reported statistics show how it is disproportionately impacting communities of color and those of lower income. It is critical that as local economies across our country continue to recover from the pandemic, it is done in an inclusive, equitable way.

We at the Economic Development Administration (EDA) take our responsibility seriously in creating that inclusive, equitable recovery. That is why, last spring, we revised our Investment Priorities, which are the principles that guide our grant giving, putting Equity at the top of the list.

We want to ensure that communities across country, particularly those that are underserved, get the resources, technical assistance and funding they need to spur economic development and create good paying jobs and that workers get the skills they need to land those good jobs.

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Female Mentors Helped Ohio EDR Navigate Career in Economic Development

Photo of Ellen Heinz When Ellen Heinz started her career in economic development 15 years ago, it was a male dominated field. Over the years, she credits a handful of female mentors and role models with teaching her to stand up for herself and make sure her voice was heard.

“They taught me to be courageous and strong, and to always do what was best for my community; to never give up,” said Heinz, who is now EDA’s Economic Development Representative (EDR) in Ohio.

Those lessons also emphasized the critical need for women’s voices in economic development, especially strategic planning. It’s something important to remember during Women’s History Month, she said.

“Women need to be at the table when a community is creating an economic strategy or developing a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS),” she said. “A CEDS is a roadmap for success that can only be built effectively with widespread input and everyone’s perspective.”

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EDA Invests in Coal Communities: Assistant Secretary Castillo Visits Ohio and West Virginia to Spotlight Projects throughout Appalachian Region

Photo of Deputy Assistant Secretary Michele Chang Alejandra Y. Castillo, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, visited Youngstown, Ohio, and Charleston, West Virginia, last week. She toured EDA grant projects and participated in two events led by the Biden Administration’s Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Coal and Power Plant Communities & Economic Revitalization.

The visit started March 17 at the Youngstown Business Incubator in Youngstown, Ohio, where the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) announced nearly $21 million in grants to 21 projects through its POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) initiative. POWER targets federal resources to communities affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries.

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EDA Seattle Regional Office Director Sheba Person-Whitley’s Love of Public Service Inspired by Women

Photo of Deputy Assistant Secretary Michele Chang For Sheba Person-Whitley, Women’s History Month is not just about recognizing notable women. It’s also about removing the veil that sometimes masks the role all women have played in building American prosperity.

“Historically, women were discouraged from working or entering into the workforce,” says Person-Whitley. “But in times of great need, women have had to step-up and step outside the home to support their families and support the nation’s economy.”

Person-Whitley’s interest in the commercial dimension of the contributions of women is particularly salient given her background in economic development. Recently appointed director of EDA’s Seattle Regional Office (SRO), the North Carolina native comes to federal service after a distinguished career in community and economic development in California and the southeastern United States.

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