U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela: “Investing in America’s Communities”

 Graphic: “Investing in America’s Communities”

A Special Message from Congressman Filemon Vela (TX-34) as of Friday, July 23rd, 2021:

This week, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced six programs that the Economic Development Administration (EDA) will implement to equitably invest the $3 billion it received from the American Rescue Plan I helped pass into law.

This investment marks the largest economic development initiative from the Department of Commerce in decades and will help communities across the country and in South Texas build back better.

The six programs include:

  1. Build Back Better Regional Challenge: $1 billion for up to 30 regions across the country seeking to revitalize their economies. The challenge is designed to focus on innovation and spur projects that grow new industries and scale existing ones.
  2. Good Jobs Challenge: $500 million for industry-led workforce training and apprenticeship programs with a particular focus on women, people of color, and underserved communities. Funds can also be used for support services like childcare and transportation to help those in training get to the finish line and land a job.
  3. Economic Adjustment Assistance: $500 million for grants to help hundreds of communities across the nation plan, build, innovate, and put people back to work through projects tailored to meet local needs.
  4. Indigenous Communities: $100 million for programs that will work hand-in-hand with Tribal Governments and Indigenous communities to develop and execute economic development projects. The program is deliberately designed to be flexible to meet the needs of the community.
  5. Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation: $750 million for programs that will focus on revitalizing the hard-hit travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation industries and accelerate the recovery of communities that rely on these sectors.
  6. Statewide Planning, Research and Networks: $90 million for grants including funding for state planning efforts as well as grants to build Communities of Practice to extend technical assistance to support EDA’s work with grantees.

As part of these six programs, EDA is also making a Coal Communities Commitment, allocating $300 million to ensure?support for communities seeking to create new jobs and opportunities through the formation or expansion of a new industry sector.

To learn more about the six programs or how to apply, please visit www.eda.gov/ARPA.