job opportunities

Better job opportunities to distressed communities through EDA's $200 million

The US Economic Development Administration (EDA) has announced $200 million in the Distressed Area Recompete Pilot Program (Recompete Pilot Program) which will invest in persistently distressed communities to create and connect people to better job opportunities. This program will create renewed economic opportunity in communities that have for too long, been forgotten. To do so, the program targets areas where prime-age (25-54 years) employment significantly trails the national average, with the goal to close this gap through large, flexible investments. As part of EDA’s place-based economic development approach, the Recompete Pilot Program aims to meet communities where they are by offering grant opportunities that ensure sustainable and equitable economic growth across the United States.

The Recompete Pilot Program (the Program) is being administered in two phases. Phase 1 of the Program funds nonconstruction Strategy Development Grants to define strategy for economic development growth and facilitate a region in becoming more competitive for future approval of a Recompete Plan. Applicants receiving approval of a Recompete Plan can apply for an Implementation Grant in Phase 2. An Implementation Grant can fund both nonconstruction and construction activities that aim to increase regional capacity across the following four broad categories: workforce development; business and entrepreneurship development; infrastructure; and additional planning, predevelopment or technical assistance.

All entities listed below are considered eligible applicants if they are located within an area where prime-age (25-54 years) employment significantly trails the national average. To find out if an area is eligible, access the Recompete Eligibility Mapping tool.

  • Unit of local government
  • The District of Columbia
  • A territory of the United States
  • A tribal government
  • Political subdivisions of a state or other entity, including a special-purpose entity engaged in economic development activities
  • A public entity or not-for-profit organization, acting in cooperation with the officials of a political subdivision of a state or other entity
  • An economic development district
  • A coalition of any of the above entities that serve or are contained within an eligible geographic area

Phase 1

Strategy Development Grants designed to define the strategy for economic development growth, including:

  • Coordination and execution of an inclusive, locally defined planning process, across jurisdictions and agencies, to develop a comprehensive regional strategy to address high prime-age employment gaps (PAEG) in the regions
  • Identification and fostering of regional partnerships for developing and implementing a comprehensive regional PAEG strategy
  • Implementation or updating of assessments to determine regional needs and capabilities
  • Development or updating of goals and strategies to implement an existing comprehensive regional PAEG strategy
  • Identification or implementation of planning, local zoning, and other changes to code, law, or policy necessary to implement a comprehensive regional PAEG strategy
  • Development of plans for promoting broad-based economic growth in a region
  • Hiring of the coalition’s Recompete Plan Coordinator (RPC) to lead the overall effort and other necessary staff
  • Formation of a workforce development strategy, according to the need for a skilled and diverse technical workforce aligned with the region’s strengths
  • Activities necessary to prepare for strategy implementation, which may include workforce development strategies, environmental, and engineering documentation, if applicable; and
  • For tribal entities and Pacific Ocean Territories, collection of data on the population of individuals ages 25 through 54 to determine PAEG. For tribal entities this includes collection of data related to such individuals residing on and off tribal land consistent with the information requested in 15 U.S.C. § 3722b(j)(9).

Recompete Plan Approval signifies that the eligible entity has a multiyear plan for reducing the PAEG strategy of the eligible area with a strong probability of success. The Recompete Plan must be submitted if an applicant would like to complete for implementation funding under the upcoming Phase 2 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). Grant funding is not available for Recompete Plan completion. The EDA expects to approve at least 20 Recompete Plans in the first phase.

A competitive Recompete Plan will demonstrate the following six elements:

1. Understanding of regional conditions and needs
2. Strength of strategy and quality of potential investments
3. Equity, inclusivity, accessibility and diversity
4. Regional assets
5. Targeted geographic approach
6. Partnership and potential commitments

Phase 2

Implementation Grants

  • EDA will award Implementation Grants competitively under the forthcoming Recompete Pilot Phase 2 NOFO to a subset of eligible entities with Recompete Plans approved under this Recompete Pilot Phase 1 NOFO.
  • Implementation Grants can fund a wide range of activities that aim to increase regional capacity across the following four broad categories: workforce development; business and entrepreneur development; infrastructure; and additional planning, predevelopment, or technical assistance.
  • In each region selected for Implementation Grants, EDA expects to fund approximately 3-8 Implementation Grant projects that aim to collectively address the region’s key inhibitors of prime-age employment participation and low wages at a total funding level that depends on the area of eligibility.
  • Project type examples include:
    ·  Critical enabling infrastructure (e.g., brownfield redevelopment, workforce training centers near workers)
    ·  Anchor institution partnerships (e.g., anchor firms, ports, community colleges, universities, hospitals, etc.)
    ·  Economic development capacity and leadership (e.g., governance, etc.)
    ·  Sector-specific support and training for high-demand local sectors and jobs (e.g., a sectoral partnership, funding intermediaries to support employers with inclusive workforce development, etc.)
    ·  Remote worker training and connection programs (e.g., with employers outside a labor market)
    ·  Wraparound or supportive services (e.g., child/long-term care, onsite health services, transportation assistance, as appropriate)
    ·  Sector-specific workforce training that reflects the existing employment conditions with employer commitments that bring together employers and workers and create economies of scale for high-demand jobs
    ·  Consistent and reliable transportation, usually providing access to existing transportation but potentially investing in infrastructure, bus lines, etc.
    ·  Wraparound or supportive services (e.g., child/long-term care, onsite health services, transportation assistance, as appropriate)
    ·  Other active labor market support (e.g., community mentorship programs, job search assistance, post-placement success coaching, neighborhood employment hubs)
    ·  Economic development capacity and leadership (e.g., governance, etc.)


Phase 1
Strategy Development applications and Recompete Plans are due on Oct. 5, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. ET

Phase 2
Only applicants with approved Recompete Plans from Phase 1 will be invited to apply for Phase 2. It is anticipated the NOFO for Phase 2 will be made available in winter 2023.

Period of performance

  • The period of performance for a given Phase 1 Strategy Development project may vary depending on the scope of work. EDA expects that most projects will range from 18 to 36 months. EDA expects that all projects will proceed efficiently and expeditiously.
  • The period of performance for Phase 2 is anticipated to be established in the Phase 2 NOFO which will be made available in winter 2023.
  • EDA has allocated $200 million to the Recompete Pilot Program.
  • In Phase 1, approximately $6 million to $12 million in total awards is anticipated. Each award is anticipated to be between $250,000 and $500,000 each, and up to $750,000 only in rare circumstances.
  • In Phase 2, EDA anticipates finding 4-8 Implementation Grants to Local Labor Markets averaging approximately $50 million and grants to Local Communities averaging approximately $20 million.
    Local Labor Markets (LLM) are considered to be a Metropolitan Statistical Area, a Micropolitan Statistical Area, a commuting zone, tribal lands or Pacific Ocean Territories.

    Local Communities are areas served by a general-purpose unit of local government, that is located within, but does not cover the entire area of a LLM and meets the following criteria:

    The entire area served by the unit of local government on average has a PAEG of at least 5% and a median annual household income of no more than $75,000; or

    The area served by the unit of local government has five or more contiguous Census tracts that each individually have a PAEG of at least 5% and median annual household income of no more than $75,000. In this instance, the applicant’s service area must be contained within the identified Census tracts.

Getting started

If you are interested in pursuing a Recompete Pilot Program grant, the first step is to schedule an initial consultation with the Baker Tilly economic development team. This meeting will include a review of your community’s eligibility and an evaluation of potential projects to determine if your projects are competitive.

Engagement and application development

Once the initial consultation is complete and a project has been identified, Baker Tilly can begin work immediately with developing a highly competitive grant application. Our team will work with your team to develop a submission timeline, collect required documentation and will utilize a range of data sources to craft a compelling grant narrative to highlight the benefits of your project. For more information on how to take the first step, please contact us.

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