On the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) launched the Distressed Area Recompete Pilot Program (Recompete) competition.
The announcement also comes on the heels on President Biden delivering a major economic address on “Bidenomics” – his vision for growing the economy from the middle-out and bottom-up, including by investing in America and communities left behind, empowering workers, and increasing competition to lower costs.
The Recompete Pilot Program will invest $200 million toward projects that spur economic activity in geographically diverse and persistently distressed communities across the country. Specifically, this program targets areas where prime-age (25-54 years) employment significantly trails the national average.
The program aims to close this gap through by utilizing EDA’s place-based approach and delivering large, highly flexible grants based on community-driven strategies to address unique workforce and economic development needs of individual communities or regions.
“A core part of President Biden’s economic agenda, Bidenomics, is the promise that every worker and every community, no matter who they are or where they are, should have a fair shot. Recompete is all about making good on that promise,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This new program makes long overdue investments in communities that have been overlooked or counted out, helping them to create jobs, develop long-term economic growth, and realize their full potential.”
The Recompete program will be run through two phases. The first phase, a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), which invites applicants to apply for (1) Strategy Development Grants, (2) approval of a Recompete Plan, or (3) both. In Phase 2, regions with approved Recompete Plans will be invited to apply for significant implementation funding.
Eligible applicants include local and state governments, Tribal governments, political subdivisions of a State or other entity, non-profits, Economic Development Districts, and coalitions of any of these entities that serve or are contained within an eligible geographic area.
“The Recompete Pilot Program will target some of the areas of our country most in need of economic resources, assets, and options to ensure they get the investments they deserve,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “We will work alongside economically distressed communities to build and implement place-based, long-term and sustainable strategies to tackle their unique challenges. We look forward to hearing from communities across the country who are looking to reinvigorate their economies and, in turn, strengthen our nation’s future.”
Recompete was authorized by the CHIPS and Science Act and is a part of President Joe Biden’s Investing in America agenda, stimulating private sector investment, creating good-paying jobs, revitalizing American manufacturing, and ensuring no community is left behind.
Announcement of Phase 1 winners and the release of the Phase 2 NOFO is expected in winter 2023, and applicants with approved Recompete Plans will be invited to submit a Phase 2 application.
“Growing up on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state, I saw firsthand how economic challenges impact communities. That early experience fueled a mission to ensure nobody gets left behind in our economy,” said Congressman Derek Kilmer (WA-06). “The launch of the Recompete Pilot Program this week is more than just another policy initiative. It’s a beacon of hope for communities that have been overlooked. It’s a step forward in making sure people have economic opportunity – no matter what zip code they live in. And it’s a bipartisan commitment not only to address immediate economic disparities, but also to lay a strong foundation for sustained economic growth and opportunity in rural America.”
EDA concluded a Request for Information (RFI) and Tribal Consultation in March 2023.
To support applicants in determining if they are in an Eligible Area, EDA, in partnership with Argonne National Laboratory, has released the Recompete Eligibility Mapping Tool (Mapping Tool). Click here to access the Tool, which includes a user-friendly map and instructional video.