July 7, 2022

Communities of Practice Provide Long-Term Support for EDA Grantees

craig buerstatte

For 56 years, EDA has dedicated its efforts to provide resources and support that advance economic development across the country. Our mission is to establish a foundation for sustainable job growth and build resilient regional economies across all corners of the nation.

To achieve that goal, EDA recognizes that innovation and collaboration are key drivers of successful economic development. The best outcomes occur when organizations and leaders across communities work as one team to align resources and capacity from academia, industry, and philanthropy to drive a region forward. This same spirit of regional collaboration is one reason why our agency invests in long-term support for grantees through national Communities of Practice that strengthen America’s economic development infrastructure by capturing, organizing, and scaling practices at the national level.

In the last year, EDA has launched several Communities of Practice and more will be announced in the coming months. $31 million of EDA’s $3 billion American Rescue Plan allocation is designated for Research Grants and Communities of Practice. Previous Communities of Practice have been funded through EDA’s Research and National Technical Assistance Program (RNTA).

Communities of Practice, run by coalitions of nonprofits, associations, and/or academic institutions, are EDA's organized efforts to bring together grantees, provide them with specialized assistance, and connect them with other stakeholders to maximize the effectiveness of EDA's investments.

Communities of Practice leverage the power of networks to accelerate economic development and reach the places that need it the most. Each cohort consists of EDA grantees that share a similar programmatic, function, or organizational focus and they benefit from peer-to-peer learning and collaboration, issue-specific trainings, and targeted coaching. Connecting and learning from other grantees and communities is critical to deepening our grantmaking impacts and improving our grantees’ effectiveness.

EDA funds Communities of Practice focused on a range of issues, regions, and stakeholders. In the coming months, EDA will strategically expand our work in this area, current efforts are focused on:

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