March 28, 2023

EDA: U.S. Department of Commerce Funds Eight Communities of Practice to Bolster Economic Competitiveness and Resiliency

Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) had completed awarding $27.9 million in cooperative agreements to establish eight economic development Communities of Practice. Communities of practice are designed to connect participants to capture and disseminate practical knowledge. Each Community of Practice supported through these EDA awards will bring together thematically related groups of economic development practitioners who are working to develop economic ecosystems conducive to the creation of quality jobs for American workers. 

A new approach that expands EDA’s channels for supporting economic development practitioners, the Communities of Practice build on the Commerce Department and EDA’s decades of experience working directly with communities and regions to help them build the capacity for economic development. These investments are central to the Biden-Harris Administration’s industrial strategy to drive U.S. competitiveness, innovation, equity, and resilience through economic development activities to bolster local economies. 

Slated activities include tailored technical assistance, strategic networking, and topical programming opportunities to help identify, amplify and scale best practices in economic development. These efforts will enable EDA to meet the needs of economic development organizations with a responsiveness and scale not yet seen to date.

“Local economic development practitioners are critical to making sure workers and entrepreneurs have the tools and skills they need to succeed in every community, especially those that have too often been left out and left behind,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “As part of President Biden’s commitment to investing in workers, these awards will support our nation’s economic development practitioners, helping to grow local economies and bolster communities across the country.”

The success of these programs lays a strong foundation for the innovative approaches and community collaborations needed to fulfil the promise of EDA’s newest initiatives to drive technological growth and the creation of many new, good jobs: Tech Hubs and the Recompete Pilot Program. Both initiatives will be powered by the types of place-based, community focused thinking that these Communities of Practice are designed to foster. 

“The Economic Development Administration is excited to make these groundbreaking investments in the future of economic development as a practice,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “These EDA grants represent a bold, new approach to the development of formal structures that facilitate the creation, dissemination, and preservation of critical place-based economic expertise and best-practices.” 

 The eight Communities of Practice (CoPs) are focused on: 

These projects are funded under EDA’s $100 million American Rescue Plan Statewide Planning, Research and Networks program, which was part of EDA’s multi-phase effort to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. 

For more information on EDA’s new Communities of Practice portfolio, visit

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (

The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

This post was originally published here.