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Integration Tools and Other Resources

Federal agencies and their research partners issue a wealth of data and tools to help assess economic development opportunities and develop plans that capitalize on local assets. In addition, EDA and our partners offer guidance and other resources for coordinating regional plans and programs, especially in cases where communities are collaborating with multiple federal agencies in their efforts to create resilient, prosperous regional economies. Open the following links to see federal resources that can assist your community in the following ways:

Guidance for Streamlined Planning

Several federal agencies require communities to engage in collaborative, data driven assessment and strategic planning to develop consensus on priorities and projects that will improve their regional economies. Communities choosing to coordinate their federal planning processes can save time and resources, introduce and incorporate new perspectives and methods, and increase their collective capacity to address complex challenges. EDA and our partners recognize the benefits of streamlined planning and have developed the following resources to help communities avoid duplication of effort and position themselves to realize benefits of coordinated planning:

Aligning Complimentary Federal Economic Development Resources

Below are webinars and presentations that describe programs and provide examples of federal resources than can be effectively coordinated to leverage investment and enhance regional economic development projects:

Federal Economic Development Data Tools and Maps

EDA, the Department of Commerce and our federal partners have developed several tools and data sets that are useful to assess, plan and prioritize local strategies and investments that can produce strong, resilient local economies. Click on the links below to access these resources:

Available through the US Department of Commerce:

  • EDA Tools for Economic Development (PDF) includes a summary and link to several datasets that can help your community to identify, assess and select strategies and projects that make the most of the region’s inherent assets and comparative advantages, maximize investments, and generate sustained benefits for regional communities, businesses and stakeholders.
  • The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) Regional Economic Accounts contains data describing the current geographic distribution of U.S. economic activity and growth. The estimates of gross domestic product by state and state and local area personal income, and the accompanying detail, provide a consistent framework for analyzing and comparing individual state and local area economies.
  • The BEA Industry Accounts provide a detailed view of the interrelationships between U.S. producers and users and the contribution to production across industries. These accounts are used extensively by policymakers and businesses to understand industry interactions, productivity trends, and the changing structure of the U.S. economy.
  • The Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) releases 12 monthly and quarterly Principal Federal Economic Indicators collected by its constituent bureaus: the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). These data provide planners with key measures of economic health, such as Gross Domestic Product, personal income, corporate profits, trade, housing starts, retail sales and other important metrics. Similarly, the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistic issues additional economic indicators relating to inflation, prices and jobs, available at https://www.bls.gov/data/#employment.
  • The Census Business Builder (CBB) is a suite of services that provide selected demographic and economic data from the Census Bureau tailored to specific types of users in a simple to use format. Economic developers can use the Regional Analyst edition to support their planning, while entrepreneurs and businesses may find the small business edition most relevant.
  • The Cluster Mapping Tool was developed through a partnership between EDA and the Harvard University Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness. The online tool provides users with interactive, robust data and tools to identify existing and emerging clusters and regional business environments across the country.

Featured Data/Tools for Economic Development Available through EDA’s federal partners:

Many tools exist outside of EDA and the Department of Commerce that can help localities identify their region’s competitive advances and make strategic investments that leverage existing resources and advance local priorities. The following data tools provide background and context that can help guide these important decisions:

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. This site offers Location Quotient data to help planners determine comparative regional strengths by industry sector.
  • Environmental Review Data Tool. EPA’s NEPAssist is a tool that facilitates the environmental review process and project planning in relation to environmental considerations. The web-based application draws environmental data dynamically from EPA's GIS databases and web services and provides immediate screening of environmental assessment indicators for a user-defined area of interest. These features contribute to a streamlined review process that potentially raises important environmental issues at the earliest stages of project development.
  • FHWA EconWorks Economic Analysis Tools. Now bundled with a guidebook and set of transportation impact case studies, EconWorks is a set of web-based tools that can help planners make better decisions and more prudent investments in regional transportation systems and related projects, based on the potential impact of anticipated jobs, wage income and economic outputs.
  • HUD Tools to Identify Economic Development Investments and Opportunities – HUD’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG Program) funds can be used by state and local recipients to support various community and economic development related projects. To help states and localities prepare their consolidated plans for housing and community development, HUD has compiled dozens of useful data points into an online mapping portal. Stakeholders can use these data for priority setting and targeting limited resources to local community development goals. Users can also view past investments geographically when considering various strategies for future funding. HUD also posts quarterly Dashboard/Matrix reports showing the total amount of Community Planning and Development program funds that have been allocated to each state and local recipient. Open the links below to explore these tools:
  • Peer City Identification Tool. The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago created the Peer City Identification Tool (PCIT), a data comparison and visualization instrument that can help policymakers and practitioners understand a municipality in the context of peer cities. Drawing on city-level indicators from the American Community Survey and historical Decennial Census records, the PCIT performs a cluster analysis to identify groups of similar cities along economic, demographic, social, and housing dimensions.
  • USASpending.gov is the publicly accessible, searchable website mandated by the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 to give the American public access to information on how their tax dollars are spent.

How Can We Improve This Page? Let Us Know!

The EDI team is always looking for opportunities to update and improve the federal economic development resources featured on this page. Please help us make sure that the information we post is consistently useful to your organizations, communities and regions. If you have ideas or updated content you would like us to include here, please contact us at edi@eda.gov.

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