U.S. Department of Commerce Launches First of its Kind Economic Recovery Corps with $30 Million CARES Act Investment

WASHINGTON - Nov. 3, 2022 - PRLog -- WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department's Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $30 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance cooperative agreement with a coalition of organizations to establish and operate a nationwide Economic Recovery Corps program.

This EDA funded program will recruit and place at least 65 Fellows in economic development organizations in underserved communities throughout the nation. As communities and organizations face depleted institutional resources, many are unable to develop and grow their staff to the level needed to fully execute their economic development plans and goals, particularly those established as part of a regional economic development planning process. The Economic Recovery Corps program will address the resource gap between planning and implementation by embedding Fellows into organizations to develop and execute regional economic development strategies in the communities they serve.

Fellows — who will be early- to mid-career economic development practitioners — will provide technical assistance, enabling underserved communities to better access funding and participate in economic development initiatives through preparation, training, and implementation support. They will also have access to a wealth of resources from the partner organizations, including ongoing professional development opportunities and the ability to connect and learn from one another across the three-year fellowship.

The coalition awarded funding for recruitment and management of the Economic Recovery Corps is led by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). Partnering with the IEDC on this project are the following organizations:
  • Center on Rural Innovation (CORI)
  • International City/County Management Association (ICMA),
  • National Association of Counties Research Foundation (NACo RF)
  • National Association of Development Organizations Research Foundation (NADO RF)
  • National League of Cities Institute (NLCI)
  • Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network (RAIN)

"President Biden is committed to unleashing the full power of the federal government to ensure our nation not only recovers from the pandemic but builds back stronger," said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. "The Economic Recovery Corps will strengthen the connectivity and capacity of regional economic development ecosystems, resulting in a stronger national economic development recovery framework."

"The Economic Development Administration is dedicated to working with communities to support their locally-driven strategies to recover and rebuild from the pandemic," said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. "The development and deployment of the Economic Recovery Corps marks a unique, first-of-its-kind initiative in locally-led capacity-building that will accelerate the adoption of equitable economic development practices."

"The lessons learned over the past several years have clearly shown a great and growing need in distressed communities for resources that lead to more equitable economic outcomes," offered IEDC President & CEO Nathan Ohle. "The Economic Recovery Corps program will build capacity and drive resources directly into the host organizations so that these communities might develop and deliver effective regional strategies to create sustainable and equitable opportunities for all. IEDC is proud to partner with the Department of Commerce and EDA, along with the partners assembled to coordinate this project, to lead this new and innovative program."

For more information on the Economic Recovery Corps visit eda.gov/programs/economic-recovery-corps. A virtual event introducing the program will be held at 3:30 p.m. ET on November 9, 2022. Registration for this event is open at https://www.iedconline.org/index.php?src=events&srctype=detail&refno=278.

This project is funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Public Law 116-136), which provided EDA with $1.5 billion for economic assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau's flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program, provides a wide range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
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.

Matthew Mullin
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