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:
- $14,500,000 in 2018 Disaster Supplemental funds, matched by $1,500,000 in local investment, to the University of the Virgin Islands, Charlotte Amalie/Saint Thomas County, Virgin Islands, to fund infrastructure construction needed to increase resiliency at the University of the Virgin Islands on Saint Thomas Island, a designated Opportunity Zone. By expanding a medical facility by 33,000 square feet, the project will advance scientific research, education, and practice in an area hit hard by recent natural disasters. Once completed, the project will support technological innovation in an emerging industry cluster, train healthcare professionals for the workforce, promote medical tourism, and retain businesses throughout the region.
- $2,100,000 in 2019 Disaster Supplemental funds, matched by $560,000 in local investment, to the Fletcher Falcon Enterprise Corporation and the L.E. Fletcher Technical Community College, Schriever/Terrebonne County, Louisiana, to support the Fletcher Technical Community College with constructing a new state-of-the-art facility dedicated to workforce development in Schriever, Louisiana. The new facility will provide classrooms and training laboratories for Allied Health, Nursing Programs, and a Workforce Center that offers advanced, customized, and relevant training, to meet the needs of local employers in the area. Once completed, the project will help bolster job creation, attract private investment, and support economic resiliency throughout the region.
- $2,530,000, matched by $2,070,000 in local investment, to the St. Cloud Technical and Community College/Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, St. Cloud/Stearns County, Minnesota, to support the St. Cloud Technical & Community College with constructing a new advance manufacturing training lab in Stearns County. The project will expand the capacity of the college’s manufacturing technology program by providing cutting-edge equipment and offering flexible space to serve the region’s workforce training needs. Once completed, the project will help upskill the region’s workforce by providing a pipeline of skilled workers in high demand fields, which will bolster workforce development, create jobs, attract private investment, and strengthen the regional economy.
- $5,117,030 in 2019 Disaster Supplemental funds, matched by $360,000 in local investment, to Lincoln County and the Lincoln County R-III School District, Troy/Lincoln County, Missouri, to fund construction of a workforce development training center to provide curriculum for advanced manufacturing, agriculture technology, and building and industry trades in Troy, Missouri. The project will also provide space for an aquaponics laboratory and educate, train, and prepare individuals for immediate entry into the workforce. Once completed, the project will help upskill the region’s workforce by providing a pipeline of skilled workers in high demand fields, which will bolster workforce development, create jobs, attract private investment, and strengthen the regional economy.
- $3,000,000 in Assistance to Coal Communities, matched by $2,256,000 in local investment, to the KCEOC Community Action Partnership, Inc. and the Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, Gray/Knox County, Kentucky, to fund the renovations of and re-equip an abandoned nursing home to transform it into a work-ready training facility in downtown Barbourville in Knox County, a designated Opportunity Zone. The project will provide training in manufacturing, health care, logistics, business technologies, and IT/agri-foods/hospitality industries. Once completed, this project will support workforce development opportunities in areas significantly impacted by the coal industry.
- $1,558,000, matched by $389,504 in local investment, to the Oklahoma Panhandle State University, Goodwell/Texas County, Oklahoma, to support the Oklahoma Panhandle State University with establishing the Workforce Building Construction and Equipment project through the construction of the High Plains Technology Center, which will offer a Welding Technology Program in the Panhandle region of Oklahoma. Located in Guymon Industrial Park, the project will address the critical need for access to workforce training in the welding, auto/diesel technology, and construction trades by producing qualified, skilled workers with a State of Oklahoma pipe certification.
- $1,527,239, matched by $1,658,256 in local investment, to the Axiom Education and Training Center, Machias/Washington County, Maine, to fund the expansion of digital literacy services through the Axiom Education and Training Center in the town of Machias, a designated Opportunity Zone. The project will finalize information systems development, establish curriculum, and train staff on how to digitally connect unemployed/underemployed workers, which will fill the critical need for a computer-literate workforce.
- $1,400,000, matched by $8,538,427 in local investment, to the Special School District of Fort Smith, Fort Smith/Sebastian County, Arkansas, to fund the renovation of a warehouse facility to accommodate the Career Technology Center for Fort Smith Public Schools in Sebastian County. Once completed, the project will assist in workforce training and development, build community resiliency near an Opportunity Zone, and strengthen the regional economy.
- $980,753, matched by $1,000,000 in local investment, to the Stanislaus Business Alliance and Modesto Junior College, Modesto/Stanislaus County, California, to fund the purchase of training equipment to support students of Modesto Junior College and the VOLT Institute in Stanislaus County, a designated Opportunity Zone. With this new equipment, the college will provide advanced workforce development training in machining and manufacturing industries, which will provide sustainable jobs and spur business growth throughout the region.
- $880,000, matched by $3,000,000 in local investment, to Rose State College, Midwest City/Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, to exterior and interior facility improvements to help build the Rose State College’s Oklahoma Center for Cybersecurity. This project paves the way for expanded educational programs to train workers for cybersecurity careers.
- $835,592, matched by $835,582 in local investment, to the Wisconsin Energy Research Consortium, Milwaukee/Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, to support the Wisconsin Energy Research Consortium (WERC) with the purchase and installation of equipment at the WERC training facility in Milwaukee County. The project will help establish an innovative instructional program in the energy, power, and control sector and provide a pipeline of trained workers for existing and future businesses.
- $627,237, matched by $627,238 in local investment, to the City of Indianola, Indianola/Warren County, Iowa, to fund construction of an access road along Iowa Avenue industrial park to serve the Missouri Valley Joint Apprentice Training Center (JATC) facility in the city of Indianola. The project will help address the region’s need for a skilled workforce, specifically electrical lineman by providing apprentices with accessibility to the JATC training facility.
- $633,408, matched by $158,352 in local investment, to Cape Fear Community College and New Hanover County, Wilmington/New Hanover County, North Carolina, to fund the construction of a new facility to train electrical powerline workers at the Cape Fear Community College North Campus in Castle Hayne. With indoor/outdoor lab space for overhead and underground hands-on training, the community college will be able to issue professional certifications to graduating powerline technicians.
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.