• Granting Agency: Department of Commerce
  • Appropriation Amount: $31,000,000
  • Grant Amount: Award Ceiling $6,000,000, Award Floor $200,000, No match
  • Announcement Date: July 22, 2021
  • Closing Date: October 31, 2021

ARPA Statewide Planning Research and Networks NOFO

Purpose: Develop coordinated state-wide plans for economic development and data, tools, and institutional capacity to evaluate and scale evidence-based economic development efforts, including through communities of practice and provision of technical assistance among existing and new EDA grantees.

Eligible Expenditures: Developing economic development plans that identify new or existing industry clusters that would benefit from specific infrastructure, studies, and/or workforce investments to facilitate the rapid expansion of such industry clusters. These plans should facilitate the creation of new, or build upon existing, partnerships that have the potential to expand economic development assets such as Economic Development Districts (EDDs), regional workforce skills, and industry bases to create sustainable forward-looking economies designed to position regions to thrive in a prosperous future. These plans can be designed specifically to facilitate future applications to EDA’s ARPA Build Back Better Regional Challenge NOFO, which EDA anticipates releasing at approximately the same time as this NOFO, by at a minimum identifying projects that could promote the establishment or expansion of an industry clusters. For States negatively impacted by the downturn in the coal economy, EDA expects that the plans developed under this activity will specifically address the economic effects of the transition away from coal and expansion or creation of industry clusters to support affected communities. Pre-existing relevant plans that support this activity may be incorporated by reference.
• Bringing together potentially disparate existing local and regional plans, such as Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS), or state and local plans under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), into one holistic and inclusive state-wide plan or a plan that encompasses multiple regions within a state or across state lines including strengthening links between urban and rural areas. Any such plan should adhere to EDA’s CEDS guidelines, take into account the needs of all populations, including Tribal, other indigenous communities, or other underserved communities, including rural communities and persistent poverty communities, and consider positive responses to current and long-term market dynamics driving the state’s economic well-being and global competitiveness.
• Analyzing the needs of persistent poverty communities and formulating strategies to decrease disparities between these areas and more prosperous areas within a State.
• Facilitating coordination with Tribes or other indigenous communities regarding State, regional, or local planning efforts that intersect with the Tribes’ interests and are supported by impacted Tribal communities.
• Hiring disaster recovery coordinators, including possibly extending the terms of disaster recovery coordinators hired by local Economic Development Districts pursuant to EDA’s CARES Act funding.
• Supporting statewide broadband data collection and mapping efforts and developing statewide broadband deployment and technical assistance plans.
• Conducting a statewide skills assessment and analysis to help inform workforce development and training needs based on employers’ demand for skills, including coordination with the state labor market information agency and the state workforce development board.
• Cataloging state innovation and entrepreneurship assets including mechanisms to access capital and equity financing to support business development and expansion and gaps in access to capital for underserved rural and urban communities.
• Undertaking a statewide supply chain and logistics assessment to increase efficiencies.
• Identifying state assets and economic resources and developing action plans that will benefit the state’s economy in a regional and global marketplace.
• Other related activities as approved by EDA.

Eligible Applicants: Pursuant to section 3(4)(A) of PWEDA (42 U.S.C. § 3122(4)(A)) and 13 C.F.R. § 300.3 (Eligible Recipient), eligible applicants under the EAA program include a(n): (i) District Organization of an EDA-designated Economic Development District (EDD);
(ii) Indian Tribe or a consortium of Indian Tribes; (iii) State, county, city, or other political subdivision of a State, including a special purpose unit of a State or local government engaged in economic or infrastructure development activities, or a consortium of political subdivisions; (iv) institution of higher education or a consortium of institutions of higher education; or (v) public or private non-profit organization or association acting in cooperation with officials of a general-purpose political subdivision of a State unless EDA waives the cooperation requirement.
For Statewide Planning grants, eligible applicants are limited to the Governor’s Office, or equivalent, of a State, who may designate an eligible applicant type described above to apply for and administer the award.