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Investing in Workforce Development & Manufacturing

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) works directly with communities and regions to help them build the capacity for economic development based on local business conditions and needs. EDA awards competitive grants for planning, technical assistance, and infrastructure construction, which are designed to leverage existing regional assets to support strategies that make it easier for businesses to start and grow. A set of investment priorities connects EDA local investments with national economic development priorities.

EDA underscores its interest in:

Projects that support the planning and implementation of infrastructure for skills-training centers and related facilities that address the hiring needs of the business community -- particularly in the manufacturing sector -- with a specific emphasis on the expansion of apprenticeships and work-and-learn training models. It also includes projects that encourage job creation and business expansion in manufacturing, including infrastructure-related efforts that focus on advanced manufacturing of innovative, high-value products and enhancing manufacturing supply chains.

$134.5 million in Workforce-oriented Grant Investments since January 2017

Since FY 2017, EDA invested close to $134.5 million of Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance funds in 88 projects to help communities and regions build the capacity for economic development through workforce development strategies.  These included over $123.5 million in 73 projects that are, according to recipient estimates, expected to attract over $1.1 billion in private investment. 

EDA also invested close to $11 million in 15 projects to support planning, research, technical assistance, access to capital, or other activities that are essential for successful economic development and job creation in the future.

The Public Works program provides resources to meet the construction and/or infrastructure design needs of distressed communities. Through the Economic Adjustment Assistance program, EDA provides investments that support a range of construction and non-construction activities in regions experiencing severe economic dislocations, including workforce development, manufacturing, as well as export and foreign direct investment. Recent workforce-related projects include:

New Call for Research Proposals

The Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion underscored in several of its recommendations the need for new research and case studies to evaluate the effectiveness and broaden awareness of apprenticeships and work-based learning programs.  In recognition of the Task Force recommendations, EDA is currently seeking proposals under its Economic Development Research and National Technical Assistance (RNTA) Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to support work on conceiving and researching the most effective ways to harness the power of work-based learning and apprenticeship programs.

Under the RNTA NOFO, EDA accepts proposals on a rolling cycle for a wide variety of economic development topics. For more information regarding the RNTA program, eligibility requirements, and average grants size, interested parties are encouraged to review the RNTA NOFO found here:  https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=305782.

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