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Overview:

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) encourages private capital investment in the most economically distressed areas of the country, both rural and urban. Through grants and cooperative agreements, the agency helps to create and maintain jobs that require higher skills and pay higher wages. The agency also helps communities with sudden economic distress including those affected by natural disasters, the closure of military installations or other federal facilities, changing trade patterns, and the depletion of natural resources. Some have questioned whether wealthy corporations that receive grants and tax breaks are benefitting more than workers and communities.

more
History:

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal programs were the first to focus on the depressed regions of the United States and economic development was also a focus of the government after the end of World War II, out of fears that regional economies would suffer from the end of war industry production. 

 

In the mid-1940s, Commerce Secretary Henry A. Wallace proposed developing a comprehensive federal strategy for depressed areas. On Wallace’s urging, Congress passed the Full Employment Act in 1946 and Hays-Bailey Bill that would give industrialization aid to underdeveloped areas. The Eisenhower administration also created a new Area Assistance Program to better assist communities that had experienced continual and substantial unemployment. 

 

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy, signed the Area Redevelopment Act (ARA), which established within the Department of Commerce direct loans to rural and urban depressed areas, as well as technical and retraining assistance grants. But the ARA failed in reducing unemployment in depressed areas. In 1965, Congress replaced the ARA with the Economic Development Administration (EDA) in the Public Works and Economic Development Act (PWEDA). The EDA did much of the same work as the ARA, supplying infrastructure development to high-unemployment areas, and working with communities to generate and retain jobs.

 

In 1971, President Richard Nixon gave additional authority to the EDA in creating the Publics Works Impact Program (PWIP), which was aimed at areas with short-term countercyclical employment. Nixon also extended eligibility to areas whose median family incomes were 50% of the national average. Later revisions to PWEDA in 1972 included delivering aid to areas hit by economic disaster, in addition to emergency assistance.

EDA and U.S. Economic Distress1965–2000 (by Robert W. Lake, Robin Leichenko, and Amy K. Glasmeier, Rutgers Center for Urban Policy Research) (pdf)

more
What it Does:

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) provides grants to economically distressed communities to create and maintain jobs and invest in infrastructure. The agency works in key investment areas including:

 

Public Works and Economic Development: To support the construction, expansion or upgrade of essential public infrastructure and facilities.

 

Economic Adjustment Assistance: Provides a wide range of technical, planning, and public works and infrastructure assistance in regions experiencing adverse economic changes that may occur suddenly or over time. Types of aid can include strategy development, infrastructure construction, and revolving loan fund capitalization.

 

Planning: Employees assist local and regional organizations with their short- and long-term planning efforts.

 

Technical Assistance: Administers aid that help public and nonprofit leaders in economic development decision-making. Grants can be for project planning, impact analyses, and feasibility studies. The EDA also gives grants through its University Center Economic Development Program, which makes the resources of universities available to the economic development community.

 

Research and Evaluation: Conducts research for cutting edge economic development practices, as well as sharing information to the public.

 

Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms: Eleven Trade Adjustment Assistance Centers across the country assists small and medium-sized businesses impacted by increased imports with developing business recovery and global competitiveness strategies to retain and create jobs.

 

Community Trade Adjustment Assistance: The EDA distributes grants for the planning and implementation of projects in communities that have experienced or are threatened by job loss resulting from international trade impacts.

 

Global Climate Change Mitigation Incentive Fund: Provides funding for projects that contribute to sustainable development.

EDA/ITA Trade & Investment Programs

 

From the Web Site of the Economic Development Administration

Contact Information

Investment Priorities

Press Releases

Recovery at EDA

more
Where Does the Money Go:

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) assistance helps communities, individuals, colleges and universities and companies that receive grants or corporate tax breaks. From 2002-2012, the EDA has distributed more than $3.7 billion in grants in more than 8,300 different transactions, according to a query of USAspending.gov. The top recipients, and their percentage of all grants, include:

 

1. City of Cedar Rapids                                  $37,463,600    (1%) 

2. Inland Valley Development Agency           $31,982,556    (1%) 

3. Iowa City                                                    $25,060,000    (1%) 

4. Bayonne LDA                                            $16,340,000    (0.4%) 

5. St. Louis Development                               $16,248,000    (0.4%) 

 

From 2002-2012, the EDA has also awarded more than $3.1 million to seven different contracts, according to USAspending.gov.

more
Controversies:

Disproportionate Aid Distribution

Some have argued that the agency has moved away from its original goal of helping the poor and economic distressed. Analysts at the libertarian Cato Institute have referred to the Commerce Department as the “Nerve center of the Corporate Welfare State.” The Institute estimates that in 1997, the government spent around $60 billion on more than 100 programs carried out by American businesses, arguing that the EDA is actually providing subsidies to large corporations. In another high-profile example, the EDA gave a $500,000 grant in 1995 to the National Football League to build a practice field for the Carolina Panthers.

Federal Aid to Dependent Corporations (by Stephen Moore and Dean Stansel, Cato Institute)

more
Former Directors:

Sandy K. Baruah, 2005-2008

Sandy Baruah Linkedin Profile

National Summit Bio

 

David A. Sampson, 2001-2005

OECD Speaker Bio

more

Comments

Ken Williams 5 years ago
watch for senator lindsey graham to replace holder if he is properly ousted. they will replace holder with someone just as crooked.

Leave a comment

Founded: 1965
Annual Budget: $219.7 million. (FY 2013 Estimate)
Employees: 206 (FY 2013 Estimate)
Official Website: http://www.eda.gov/
Economic Development Administration
Williams, Jay
Previous Assistant Secretary of Commerce

On September 10, 2013, President Barack Obama nominated Roy Kojo Jawara (Jay) Williams to be assistant secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. Williams was renominated on January 13, 2014, to head the Economic Development Administration (EDA), because the Senate failed to confirm the nomination before the end of the previous year. The EDA, with an annual budget of about $220 million, helps economically distressed communities, including those hit by natural disasters and closures of military bases, by providing grants for infrastructure projects.

 

Williams currently serves as executive director of the Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers, or “auto czar.”

 

Williams was born September 26, 1971, in Youngstown, Ohio, where he has spent most of his life. He attended Youngstown State University, while working part-time as a bank teller, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He started his career as an examiner with the Federal Reserve Bank in Cleveland, working there from 1995 to 1997. He then worked at an Ohio bank before becoming executive director of the Community Redevelopment Agency in Youngstown in 2000.

 

In 2005, he left the agency to campaign for mayor of Youngstown. Running as an independent, he won and became that city’s first African-American mayor in 2006. While mayor, he worked to transform Youngstown from a decaying rust-belt city to a tech hub. One of his programs urged the removal of abandoned buildings in the city, accepting the idea that Youngstown wouldn’t be as big as it once was. Williams won re-election in 2009 running unopposed.

 

President Obama tapped Williams in 2011 to be his auto czar. In that post, he worked to help communities and workers hurt by the contraction of the auto industry. In June 2012, he was named to serve as deputy director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, a post he held concurrently as director of the Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers. There he worked as a liaison with elected officials from other jurisdictions.

 

Williams and his wife, Sonja, have one son, Ethan.

-Steve Straehley

 

To Learn More:

Sen. Brown Introduces Jay Williams at Hearing, Urges Senate to Confirm him for Administration Post

more
Erskine, Matt
Former Acting Assistant Secretary

In September 2011, President Barack Obama appointed Matt S. Erskine as deputy assistant secretary for the Department of Commerce and chief operating officer of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). Since March 2012, Erskine has been acting assistant secretary of Commerce for economic development. The EDA’s mission is to promote capital investment in economically challenged areas of the country and to invest in infrastructure.

 

Erskine grew up in Fairfax County, Virginia, attending Lake Braddock Secondary School. He then went to the University of Virginia, graduating in 1992 with a B.A. as an Echols Scholar. While at Virginia, Erskine was the president of the Interfraternity Council. He also has an MBA from Harvard Business School.

 

Erskine started his career as a management consultant at Coopers & Lybrand in 1992. In 1998, he moved to the consulting firm of Korn Ferry, where he stayed until 2001.

 

When Mark Warner moved into the Virginia governor’s mansion in 2002, Erskine joined his administration, serving as deputy secretary of commerce and trade. He also served on the transition team for incoming Gov. Tim Kaine in late 2005 and early 2006. Erskine was also appointed by Kaine to the bi-partisan Virginia Research and Technology Advisory Commission.

 

 At that time, Erskine returned to the private sector. This time he was president of a business strategy consulting firm called Play. In 2008, he moved to the Greater Washington Initiative, a public-private regional economic development organization, as its senior vice president and executive director. He served there until 2011, when he joined the federal government.

 

Erskine has a wife and three children. For recreation, he competes in marathons, triathlons and other endurance races.

-Steve Straehley

 

To Learn More:

Official Biography

more
Bookmark and Share
Overview:

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) encourages private capital investment in the most economically distressed areas of the country, both rural and urban. Through grants and cooperative agreements, the agency helps to create and maintain jobs that require higher skills and pay higher wages. The agency also helps communities with sudden economic distress including those affected by natural disasters, the closure of military installations or other federal facilities, changing trade patterns, and the depletion of natural resources. Some have questioned whether wealthy corporations that receive grants and tax breaks are benefitting more than workers and communities.

more
History:

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal programs were the first to focus on the depressed regions of the United States and economic development was also a focus of the government after the end of World War II, out of fears that regional economies would suffer from the end of war industry production. 

 

In the mid-1940s, Commerce Secretary Henry A. Wallace proposed developing a comprehensive federal strategy for depressed areas. On Wallace’s urging, Congress passed the Full Employment Act in 1946 and Hays-Bailey Bill that would give industrialization aid to underdeveloped areas. The Eisenhower administration also created a new Area Assistance Program to better assist communities that had experienced continual and substantial unemployment. 

 

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy, signed the Area Redevelopment Act (ARA), which established within the Department of Commerce direct loans to rural and urban depressed areas, as well as technical and retraining assistance grants. But the ARA failed in reducing unemployment in depressed areas. In 1965, Congress replaced the ARA with the Economic Development Administration (EDA) in the Public Works and Economic Development Act (PWEDA). The EDA did much of the same work as the ARA, supplying infrastructure development to high-unemployment areas, and working with communities to generate and retain jobs.

 

In 1971, President Richard Nixon gave additional authority to the EDA in creating the Publics Works Impact Program (PWIP), which was aimed at areas with short-term countercyclical employment. Nixon also extended eligibility to areas whose median family incomes were 50% of the national average. Later revisions to PWEDA in 1972 included delivering aid to areas hit by economic disaster, in addition to emergency assistance.

EDA and U.S. Economic Distress1965–2000 (by Robert W. Lake, Robin Leichenko, and Amy K. Glasmeier, Rutgers Center for Urban Policy Research) (pdf)

more
What it Does:

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) provides grants to economically distressed communities to create and maintain jobs and invest in infrastructure. The agency works in key investment areas including:

 

Public Works and Economic Development: To support the construction, expansion or upgrade of essential public infrastructure and facilities.

 

Economic Adjustment Assistance: Provides a wide range of technical, planning, and public works and infrastructure assistance in regions experiencing adverse economic changes that may occur suddenly or over time. Types of aid can include strategy development, infrastructure construction, and revolving loan fund capitalization.

 

Planning: Employees assist local and regional organizations with their short- and long-term planning efforts.

 

Technical Assistance: Administers aid that help public and nonprofit leaders in economic development decision-making. Grants can be for project planning, impact analyses, and feasibility studies. The EDA also gives grants through its University Center Economic Development Program, which makes the resources of universities available to the economic development community.

 

Research and Evaluation: Conducts research for cutting edge economic development practices, as well as sharing information to the public.

 

Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms: Eleven Trade Adjustment Assistance Centers across the country assists small and medium-sized businesses impacted by increased imports with developing business recovery and global competitiveness strategies to retain and create jobs.

 

Community Trade Adjustment Assistance: The EDA distributes grants for the planning and implementation of projects in communities that have experienced or are threatened by job loss resulting from international trade impacts.

 

Global Climate Change Mitigation Incentive Fund: Provides funding for projects that contribute to sustainable development.

EDA/ITA Trade & Investment Programs

 

From the Web Site of the Economic Development Administration

Contact Information

Investment Priorities

Press Releases

Recovery at EDA

more
Where Does the Money Go:

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) assistance helps communities, individuals, colleges and universities and companies that receive grants or corporate tax breaks. From 2002-2012, the EDA has distributed more than $3.7 billion in grants in more than 8,300 different transactions, according to a query of USAspending.gov. The top recipients, and their percentage of all grants, include:

 

1. City of Cedar Rapids                                  $37,463,600    (1%) 

2. Inland Valley Development Agency           $31,982,556    (1%) 

3. Iowa City                                                    $25,060,000    (1%) 

4. Bayonne LDA                                            $16,340,000    (0.4%) 

5. St. Louis Development                               $16,248,000    (0.4%) 

 

From 2002-2012, the EDA has also awarded more than $3.1 million to seven different contracts, according to USAspending.gov.

more
Controversies:

Disproportionate Aid Distribution

Some have argued that the agency has moved away from its original goal of helping the poor and economic distressed. Analysts at the libertarian Cato Institute have referred to the Commerce Department as the “Nerve center of the Corporate Welfare State.” The Institute estimates that in 1997, the government spent around $60 billion on more than 100 programs carried out by American businesses, arguing that the EDA is actually providing subsidies to large corporations. In another high-profile example, the EDA gave a $500,000 grant in 1995 to the National Football League to build a practice field for the Carolina Panthers.

Federal Aid to Dependent Corporations (by Stephen Moore and Dean Stansel, Cato Institute)

more
Former Directors:

Sandy K. Baruah, 2005-2008

Sandy Baruah Linkedin Profile

National Summit Bio

 

David A. Sampson, 2001-2005

OECD Speaker Bio

more

Comments

Ken Williams 5 years ago
watch for senator lindsey graham to replace holder if he is properly ousted. they will replace holder with someone just as crooked.

Leave a comment

Founded: 1965
Annual Budget: $219.7 million. (FY 2013 Estimate)
Employees: 206 (FY 2013 Estimate)
Official Website: http://www.eda.gov/
Economic Development Administration
Williams, Jay
Previous Assistant Secretary of Commerce

On September 10, 2013, President Barack Obama nominated Roy Kojo Jawara (Jay) Williams to be assistant secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. Williams was renominated on January 13, 2014, to head the Economic Development Administration (EDA), because the Senate failed to confirm the nomination before the end of the previous year. The EDA, with an annual budget of about $220 million, helps economically distressed communities, including those hit by natural disasters and closures of military bases, by providing grants for infrastructure projects.

 

Williams currently serves as executive director of the Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers, or “auto czar.”

 

Williams was born September 26, 1971, in Youngstown, Ohio, where he has spent most of his life. He attended Youngstown State University, while working part-time as a bank teller, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He started his career as an examiner with the Federal Reserve Bank in Cleveland, working there from 1995 to 1997. He then worked at an Ohio bank before becoming executive director of the Community Redevelopment Agency in Youngstown in 2000.

 

In 2005, he left the agency to campaign for mayor of Youngstown. Running as an independent, he won and became that city’s first African-American mayor in 2006. While mayor, he worked to transform Youngstown from a decaying rust-belt city to a tech hub. One of his programs urged the removal of abandoned buildings in the city, accepting the idea that Youngstown wouldn’t be as big as it once was. Williams won re-election in 2009 running unopposed.

 

President Obama tapped Williams in 2011 to be his auto czar. In that post, he worked to help communities and workers hurt by the contraction of the auto industry. In June 2012, he was named to serve as deputy director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, a post he held concurrently as director of the Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers. There he worked as a liaison with elected officials from other jurisdictions.

 

Williams and his wife, Sonja, have one son, Ethan.

-Steve Straehley

 

To Learn More:

Sen. Brown Introduces Jay Williams at Hearing, Urges Senate to Confirm him for Administration Post

more
Erskine, Matt
Former Acting Assistant Secretary

In September 2011, President Barack Obama appointed Matt S. Erskine as deputy assistant secretary for the Department of Commerce and chief operating officer of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). Since March 2012, Erskine has been acting assistant secretary of Commerce for economic development. The EDA’s mission is to promote capital investment in economically challenged areas of the country and to invest in infrastructure.

 

Erskine grew up in Fairfax County, Virginia, attending Lake Braddock Secondary School. He then went to the University of Virginia, graduating in 1992 with a B.A. as an Echols Scholar. While at Virginia, Erskine was the president of the Interfraternity Council. He also has an MBA from Harvard Business School.

 

Erskine started his career as a management consultant at Coopers & Lybrand in 1992. In 1998, he moved to the consulting firm of Korn Ferry, where he stayed until 2001.

 

When Mark Warner moved into the Virginia governor’s mansion in 2002, Erskine joined his administration, serving as deputy secretary of commerce and trade. He also served on the transition team for incoming Gov. Tim Kaine in late 2005 and early 2006. Erskine was also appointed by Kaine to the bi-partisan Virginia Research and Technology Advisory Commission.

 

 At that time, Erskine returned to the private sector. This time he was president of a business strategy consulting firm called Play. In 2008, he moved to the Greater Washington Initiative, a public-private regional economic development organization, as its senior vice president and executive director. He served there until 2011, when he joined the federal government.

 

Erskine has a wife and three children. For recreation, he competes in marathons, triathlons and other endurance races.

-Steve Straehley

 

To Learn More:

Official Biography

more