Economic Development Administration

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) was established under the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965, as amended, to generate jobs, help retain existing jobs, and stimulate industrial and commercial growth in economically depressed areas of the United States.  EDA’s assistance is available to rural and urban areas experiencing high unemployment, low income or other severe economic distress.

In fulfilling its mission, EDA is guided by the basic principle that distressed communities must be empowered to develop and implement their own economic development and revitalization strategies.  Based on these locally and regionally developed priorities, EDA works in partnership with state and local governments, regional economic development districts, public and private nonprofit organizations, and Indian tribes.  EDA helps distressed communities address problems associated with long-term economic distress, as well as sudden and severe economic dislocations including recovering from economic impacts of natural disasters, the closure of military installations and other Federal facilities, changing trade patterns and the depletion of natural resources.

Click here for the 2011-2015 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDs)  (.pdf)

EDA currently has seven investment programs to assist urban and rural localities experiencing economic distress, sudden and severe dislocations, impacts from natural disasters and the other criteria listed above.

Public Works

The program empowers distressed communities to revitalize, expand and upgrade their physical infrastructure to attract new industry, encourage business expansion, diversify local economies and generate or retain long-term, private sector jobs and investments.

Economic Adjustment Assistance Program

The program assists states and local interests to design and implement strategies to adjust or bring about change to an economy.  The program focuses on areas that have experienced or are under threat of serious structural damage to the underlying economic base.

Research and National Technical Assistance

The program supports research of leading edge, world class economic development practices as well as funds information dissemination efforts.

Local Technical Assistance

It helps fill the knowledge and information gaps that may prevent leaders in the public and nonprofit sectors in distressed areas from making optimal decisions on local economic development issues.

Partnership Planning

EDA helps support local organizations (Economic Development Districts, Indian Tribes, and other eligible areas) with their long-term planning efforts and their outreach to the economic development community on EDA’s programs and policies.

University Centers

The University Center Program is a partnership of federal government and academia that makes the varied and vast resources of universities available to the economic development community.

Trade Adjustment Assistance

EDA uses a national network of twelve Trade Adjustment Assistance Centers to help manufacturers and producers affected by increased imports prepare and implement strategies to guide their economic recovery.

EDA will consider projects for funding on competitive evaluation criteria that requires proposed projects to be (1) market-based and results driven, (2) have strong organizational leadership, (3) advance productivity, innovation and entrepreneurship, (4) look beyond the immediate economic horizon, anticipate economic changes, and diversify the local and regional economy, and (5) demonstrate a high degree of local government and private commitment.