What is the EDA?
The Economic Development Administration (EDA) is a federal agency providing grants to economically-distressed communities to generate new employment, retain existing jobs and stimulate industrial and commercial growth. EDA assistance is available to rural and urban areas experiencing high unemployment, low income, or other severe economic distress. The stated mission is to “lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy.”
What is an EDD?
An Economic Development District (EDD), is a federally designated organization charged with the maintenance and implementation of the CEDS plan. Similarly-sized EDD’s procure around $1.5 million annually in grant funding for their district from the EDA alone. The EDD of the Rockford Region is a bi-county non-profit organization. Serving as a bridge between the private and public sectors, the EDD networks area leaders in readying economic development projects potentially eligible for grant funding. Staff also assists in identifying matching local dollars to state and federal dollars for these projects working to bring more wealth and jobs to the region. This extends the economic development capabilities of Boone and Winnebago Counties.
The EDD serves as the point of contact for federal EDA staff. When local economic development projects arise aligning with EDA funding priorities and the goals of the local CEDS document staff assist local government and non-profit organizations to submit a grant application to the appropriate funding opportunity by ensuring all necessary preparations are taken before submittal.
Finally, EDD staff assists the EDD Governing Board and it’s CEDS Strategy Committee. Both groups are comprised of local private and public sector leaders charged with the annual oversight of the CEDS plan. This includes the plan’s annual update of data and projects.