Guest Post by Patrick Burke
Economic Development Administration FY 2016 Budget Request Summary
EDA Budget Overview
The 2016 budget for the Department of Commerce is requesting $273 million for the Economic Development Administration (EDA) for development planning, regional capacity building, and capital projects. This amount is broken down into the following categories:
- Regional Innovation Strategies ($25 million)
- Public Works ($85 million)
- Partnership Planning ($39.5 million)
- Economic Adjustment Assistance ($53 million)
- Staffing and Support ($8.5 million)
This new budget is meant to position the EDA as the government’s main resource for communities participating in regional planning. The EDA will take a main role in coordinating the Partnerships for Workforce and Economic Revitalization Plus (POWER+) Plan, which is an initiative to target support through grants to partnerships positioned in communities that are impacted by the power sector and coal industry. Support is designed to diversify economies, create jobs in existing or new industries, and attract new jobs.
The budget for Regional Innovation Strategies is meant to promote entrepreneurship and innovation at a regional level. This will help struggling communities to create foundational investments and more affluent communities to leverage their strengths to develop broader regional economic goals.
Public Works will assist in developing public assets and infrastructure; this will help distressed communities more easily meet basic requirements to develop and foster economic growth. Such infrastructure includes, but is not limited to: water and sewer, expansion of harbors, manufacturing facilities, and fiber optic cables.
The new budget for Partnership Planning is for community outreach initiatives. This program will help local (eligible) organizations with long-term planning and outreach programs. These organizations will communicate the policies of EDA and provide technical assistance to communities.
Economic Adjustment Assistance is aimed at critical investments for economic diversification planning, implementation, assistance, and access to facilities and equipment. Initiatives are prioritized based on infrastructure aid to communities, especially/specifically those affected by job losses in coal mining or coal generated power plants, and critical investments in diversification planning and implementation. The EAA is also able to fund planning activities that support post-disaster recovery.
Staffing and Support received an additional $8.5 million to its previous budget in order to grow its staff. This is so that the EDA can better carry out its responsibilities and provide technical assistance. This will result in an additional 19 full-time staff in six regional offices and headquarters in D.C.
The EDA has requested an overall increase of $23 million from its previous year’s budget in 2015 in order to grow some of its programs and staff base. The Economic Adjustment Assistance program is of considerable interest seeing as how it deals specifically with communities affected by the coal and mining industry.
US Department of Commerce. Fact Sheet: FY 2016 U.S. Department of Commerce Budget. Commerce.Gov. 2015. <http://www.commerce.gov/news/fact-sheets/2015/02/02/fact-sheet-fy-2016-us-department-commerce-budget>
Newsroom. EDA Update: EDA Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Request At-A-Glance. US Economic Development Administration, 2015. <http://www.eda.gov/news/press-releases/2015/02/03/fy16-budget.htm>