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New Priorities Set by U.S. Economic Development Administration Place Emphasis on Equity, Climate

  • U.S. Economic Development Administration gives equity the top spot in its updated priorities list
  • Technological and environmentally sustainable development also gain importance
  • Priorities help determine evaluation of grant applications

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

The U.S. Economic Development Administration has updated its investment priorities, placing more emphasis on pursuing economic equity as well as technology-based and environmentally sustainable development. The priorities provide overarching guidance on how grant applications will be evaluated.

The EDA, a bureau of the Commerce Department supporting regional economic development initiatives, announced that equity has taken the top spot in its priority list. This priority states that the EDA is “is committed to working with populations and underserved communities that have been denied a full opportunity to participate in aspects of economic prosperity in the past,” including women, minorities, tribal communities, under-serviced rural areas, and counties with persistent poverty.

The EDA has also added the priorities of technology-based and environmentally sustainable development, including assistance with the development and implementation of projects designed to address climate change. Under its “recovery and resiliency” priority, which is dedicated to helping communities recover from or prepare for economic shocks such as natural disasters or the decline of a traditional industry, the EDA now specifically addresses communities relying on coal or power plants to support the local economy.

Other priorities include workforce education and skills training; efforts to develop and expand manufacturing, including the growth of domestic production and suppliers; and support for the growth of U.S. exports and increased foreign direct investment.

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