Press Release
September 2, 2022

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests Approximately $52.2 Million to Catalyze the Mobility Sector in Michigan Through American Rescue Plan Regional Challenge

WASHINGTON – Today, President Biden will announce the Global Epicenter of Mobility Coalition as one of 21 winners of the $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge, the most impactful regional economic development competition in decades. Funded by President Biden’s American Rescue Plan and administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), the Regional Challenge is awarding approximately $52.2 million in grants to the Global Epicenter of Mobility Coalition, led by the Detroit Regional Partnership Foundation, to transform the Detroit area’s legacy automotive industry into a highly competitive advanced mobility cluster.

With $52.2 million in funding from EDA, Global Epicenter of Mobility Coalition projects include workforce training, direct assistance to legacy manufacturers and entrepreneurial support for start-ups in the mobility space, which includes electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles and other mobility technology. The coalition will work with businesses across the supply chain to recruit, train and re-skill workers to meet talent needs. The coalition, which includes the Big Three automakers; United Auto Workers; universities; and state, local, and community leadership, aims to build a more collaborative and equitable regional economy.

“The Regional Challenge provides bold investments in local economies that will transform local industries, spur innovation, and support workers,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “The Global Epicenter of Mobility coalition will boost a critical sector that will help the U.S. electric vehicle and autonomous vehicle industry compete globally and provide recruitment and training programs to ensure workers benefit from this growing industry.” 

“EDA is proud to support the vision of the Detroit Regional Partnership Foundation and its coalition partners,” said Alejandra Y. Castillo, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This EDA investment in the Detroit area’s economy will spur innovation, create jobs and build resiliency. These projects will bring together employers, unions, higher education, and economic development organizations to help transform the region, which has a deep history in legacy automotive manufacturing, into a highly competitive advanced mobility cluster.”

“Michigan put the world on wheels, and we are building on our legendary auto manufacturing heritage by working together to bring investment and jobs to every region of our state,” said Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “For a century, we have led the way when it comes to cutting-edge manufacturing, and today’s investment will capitalize on our core strengths by supporting key six projects to improve site readiness, bolster workforce development, and support innovative startups. Together, we are building on our bipartisan economic development efforts, unique mobility and electrification initiatives, and continued, strong auto investments. This collaboration between the state and several local stakeholders led by the Detroit Regional Partnership will help us keep growing Michigan’s economy, creating good-paying jobs, and investing in every region of our state.”

“Michigan has an opportunity to continue leading the way in innovation and the future of mobility” said Michigan Senator Gary Peters. “I was proud to pass the American Rescue Plan that made this funding possible and advocate for Detroit Regional Partnership to receive these critical federal resources. It will go a long way toward strengthening Michigan’s leadership in developing and building electric and autonomous vehicles and the transportation systems of tomorrow in bold new innovative ways. This investment is a big deal — it will not only support good-paying jobs but invest in our communities by creating new economic opportunities in Metro Detroit and beyond and help bolster our supply chains.”

“I’m proud to help announce this critical new funding for the Detroit Regional Partnership. This investment represents an opportunity to create new, good-paying manufacturing jobs and boost innovation throughout Michigan’s economy. It was communities like my hometown of Flint that first put the world on wheels. These investments will build on that legacy by expanding and advancing Michigan automotive manufacturing,” said Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05).

“Michigan is the indisputable heartland of the automotive industry in the United States,” said Congresswoman Haley Stevens (MI-11). “In March, I joined the Michigan Delegation in sending a letter of support to Secretary Raimondo for the Detroit Regional Partnership’s application for the EDA’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge, and I am thrilled that the DRP-led coalition was selected among 60 finalists nationwide for this $52.2 million grant. Michigan is known for our unparalleled leadership in automotive engineering and manufacturing technology, and this grant will help maintain and strengthen the innovation economy in our state by boosting site readiness, creating good-paying jobs, and helping small- to medium-size manufacturers transition to the ever-changing needs of the advanced mobility industry.”

“Michigan’s mobility industry strengthens domestic manufacturing, advances research, and creates jobs across this entire country,” said Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12). “Our state’s auto leadership has developed a roadmap to a diverse and resilient mobility economy for other states to replicate. The same strengths that have driven the growth of the automotive sector for decades will now transform our area’s economy into a robust and growing industrial mobility hub, and the Detroit Regional Partnership will be at the forefront of that transformation. Southeast Michigan has a vision for a strong, equitable economic future, and with the immense capabilities of a century’s old auto industry, this EDA grant will support the transition into a smart, sustainable, and inclusive mobility epicenter.”

“As the Representative of Michigan’s 14th Congressional District, I understand the impact that this grant will have on our local communities,” said Congresswoman Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14). “The Global Epicenter of Mobility Coalition will promote sustainable living; create good-paying jobs; improve public safety by enhancing public-private partnerships with research universities; empower startups specializing in auto manufacturing; and so much more. As the hub of America’s automotive industry, the EDA's investment in Detroit will help America drive the future of mobility on a global scale.”

The Global Epicenter of Mobility Coalition is one of 21 winners – each a regional coalition of partnering entities – that will receive awards between $25 million and $65 million to implement an average of six integrative projects that will enable each region's economic transformation and competitiveness.

The Build Back Better Regional Challenge (BBBRC) is an unprecedented competitive federal grant program that provides each regional coalition with significant investments to tackle a wide variety of projects – including entrepreneurial support, workforce development, infrastructure, and innovation – to drive inclusive economic growth. Each coalition’s collection of projects aims to develop and strengthen regional industry clusters – all while embracing economic equity, creating good-paying jobs, and enhancing U.S. competitiveness globally. Projects span 24 states and include $87 million to two primarily Tribal coalitions and over $150 million for projects serving communities impacted by the declining use of coal. 

The 21 BBBRC awardees were chosen from 60 EDA-designated finalists that each received approximately $500,000 in funding and technical assistance to continue developing their cluster strategies. The funding for each coalition is approximate, with awards to be signed later in September. Those 60 finalists were chosen from a Phase 1 applicant pool of 529 applications, which exemplifies the tremendous demand for transformational economic development approaches. EDA will continue to support all 60 finalists with the creation of a Community of Practice that will provide technical support, foster connectedness with peer regions and build capacity.

The Build Back Better Regional Challenge is one of EDA’s many programs aimed at building strong regional economies and supporting community-led economic development. EDA was allocated $3 billion in supplemental funding under the American Rescue Plan to assist communities nationwide in their efforts to build back better by accelerating economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and building local economies that will be resilient to future economic shocks. As a part of this funding, EDA allocated $300 million through a Coal Communities Commitment to support coal communities in pandemic recovery and help them create new jobs and opportunities, including through the creation or expansion of a new industry sector. Specifically, EDA has dedicated $100 million of its Build Back Better Regional Challenge funds and $200 million of its Economic Adjustment Assistance funds to directly support coal communities. Grantees for EDA’s full suite of American Rescue Plan programs will be awarded on a rolling basis through September 30, 2022. For more information, visit

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.


  • American Rescue Plan