What IS Economic Development Integration?
EDA’s vision for EDI is working in partnership with other federal agencies to implement policies and procedures that:
- Increase Access: Ensuring that local and regional applicants can easily identify and apply for the federal economic development resources that are best-suited for the specific needs of their projects.
- Reduce Administrative Burdens: Consolidating different administrative requirements that applicants are responsible to manage with each individual award of federal assistance (e.g., strategic planning, reporting).
- Increase Alignment for Optimized Investments: Consolidating certain program requirements to increase opportunities for local and regional applicants to layer multiple federal investments in support of multi-faceted economic development projects.
Through EDI, EDA seeks to promote ALL of the federal government’s various economic development resources, and to facilitate the capacity of local and regional stakeholders to invest these in dynamic, innovative projects that can produce new employment opportunities, business expansion, and regional prosperity.
EDA implements this vision through:
- Cross-Agency Coordination (“Silo-Busting”)
- Responsive Partnerships
- Collaborative Investments, Optimized Outcomes
One of the primary objectives of EDI is to facilitate interagency coordination in order to enhance support for economically distressed communities and regions. To meet this objective, EDI will work with various Federal agencies to identify, modify and remove bureaucratic barriers (“silos”) in order to effectively facilitate:
- COMMUNICATION: Creating interagency networks and standard practices for consistent, ongoing dialogue and information-sharing about how various federal resources can be used to support local and regional economic development priorities.
- COLLABORATION: Identifying and pursuing opportunities for combined interagency investments in local and regional projects.
- OPIMIZATION: Aligning strategic investments in multi-faceted economic development projects in order to maximize the number and overall impact of beneficial outcomes.
Instead of a “Washington-knows-best” approach, EDA assistance is consistently awarded in support of locally-identified economic development strategies and priorities. Through EDI, EDA takes this same approach in partnership with other federal programs. EDI “crowdsources” cross-agency expertise and other critical resources to help communities implement effective, innovative solutions to locally-identified economic development needs. EDI policies, guidance materials and other tools can help potential applicants, as well as federal program staff, rapidly identify the economic development partners and resources (both federal and non-federal) that are best suited to a community’s specific economic development needs and priorities.
In addition to integrating federal resource investments, EDI seeks to promote and facilitate federal collaboration with a variety of local and regional stakeholders, including:
- Economic development organizations (including Economic Development Districts, or EDDS)
- Units of government
- Native American Indian tribal entities
- Planning organizations
- Labor unions
- State and local workforce agencies and other job training providers
- Institutions of higher education and other adult education providers
- Supportive services and human services providers
EDI prioritizes targeting Federal and other resources to projects and activities that can produce multiple beneficial outcomes, including:
- Job Creation: The creation of new employment opportunities
- Marketable Skills: The creation of workforce development opportunities that are directly relevant to employment in high-demand industries that offer family-supporting wages
- Capital Investment: In addition to federal and other public sector investments, infusions of capital from private sector stakeholders who prioritize a monetary return on investment
- Regional Economic Resilience: The establishment of a healthy economic ecosystem that can generate sustainable economic growth, diversification, and prosperity
Through EDI, EDA is now positioned to effectivity optimize the investment of multiple federal economic development resources (along with those from state and local sources), supporting multifaceted projects and generating diverse, innovative economies, sustained economic growth, and broad prosperity for communities across America.