Press Release
February 23, 2023

U.S. Department of Commerce Seeks Public Input on New Recompete Pilot Program That Supercharges Communities with High Unemployment

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is seeking public input on its new Recompete Pilot Program that will make focused investments in distressed communities across the country, creating and connecting workers to good jobs and supporting long-term comprehensive economic development by helping to reduce the high, prime-age (25 to 54 years of age) employment gap.

“The Recompete Pilot Program is a key part of the Biden-Harris economic plan to invest in places and people that have been forgotten for too long,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “As we continue building an economy that works for everyone, this new program will supercharge our mission by creating jobs and supporting long-term economic success in distressed communities.”

The Recompete Pilot Program was enacted as part of the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 (as the Distressed Area Recompete Pilot Program). Congress appropriated EDA $200 million – of the $1 billion authorized for the program – as part of the FY 2023 Omnibus Appropriations Bill.

“The Recompete Pilot Program will target areas that are among the most in need of economic resources, assets, and options to ensure that no one is left behind,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “We will work alongside economically distressed communities to build and implement place-based, long-term and sustainable strategies to tackle their unique challenges. We look forward to hearing from stakeholders on the ground in communities about how we can best design this program to maximize the taxpayers’ investment in our nation’s future.”

Today, the Recompete Pilot Program Request for Information (RFI) was published in the Federal Register to solicit public input about the program planning and design.

Through this RFI, EDA seeks input in several areas, including but not limited to information on:

  • structuring a program that most effectively builds capacity, creates jobs and addresses challenges in communities grappling with persistent economic distress and high prime-age unemployment;
  • identifying metrics to assess a successful Recompete Pilot Program;
  • designing a competitive, inclusive and accessible grant funding selection process; and
  • identifying best practices and evidence-based research that could inform how to most effectively support persistently economically distressed areas.

While this RFI specifically seeks input on these and other topics, EDA welcomes all responses that stakeholders believe will support the development of the Recompete Pilot Program.

Responses are due by 5 p.m. Eastern Time on March 27, 2023. Responses may be submitted via email to [email protected]. Full details on responding can be found in the Federal Register.

For more information, visit the Recompete Pilot Program website.

This is the second RFI recently issued by EDA to boost regional economic development. Last week, EDA published an RFI on the Tech Hubs program, soliciting public input on that program’s design, structure, and evaluation.

The Tech Hubs program will help U.S. regions build and evolve into centers of innovation and seeks to support key technologies and industries of the future, strengthen U.S. economic and national security, and ensure that industries of the future start, grow, and remain in the United States.

As part of the Recompete Pilot Program design, EDA will continue its regional and place-based focus, building on the examples set by EDA’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge and Good Jobs Challenge programs.

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.