Economic Development Administration

Economic Development Administration

Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Programs

The Public Works and Economic Adjust Assistance (PWEAA) programs are EDA’s flagship programs funded with an annual allocation. PWEAA is an excellent opportunity for clients to receive a 50% or greater federal match for both construction and nonconstruction projects that support long-term economic development efforts.

PWEAA programs provide communities that meet certain measures of economic distress with resources to address a wide variety of economic needs. Projects funded by these programs will support advancing innovation, enhancing the manufacturing and export capacities of regions, providing workforce development opportunities and growing ecosystems that attract foreign direct investment.

Baker Tilly’s economic development team is highly experienced with federal grant programs and has supported numerous clients with EDA grant applications. Our team can guide you through the process and help make your application competitive to secure this vital funding. Over $200 million is available through the PWEAA program for the current funding cycle.”

Eligible applicants

All the following entities are considered eligible applicants. Individuals and for-profit entities are not eligible.

  • District Organization of an EDA-designated Economic Development District
  • Native American Tribe or a consortium of Native American Tribes
  • 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
  • Institution of higher education or a consortium of institutions of higher education
  • Public or private non-profit organization or association acting in cooperation with officials of a political subdivision of a state

Distressed communities

In order to be eligible for funding, applicants must meet EDA’s requirements for economic distress.
These include at least one of the following:

  • An unemployment rate that is for the most recent 24-month period at least 1% greater than the national unemployment rate
  • Per capita income that is 80% or less of the national average per capita income
  • A “special need,” such as the loss of a major employer or recent economic disturbance

Example projects

Catalytic investments to help distressed communities build, design or engineer critical infrastructure and facilities that will help implement regional development strategies and advance bottom-up economic development goals to promote regional prosperity. Projects must be aligned with a current CEDS or equivalent EDA-accepted regional economic development strategy and clearly lead to the creation or retention of long-term high-quality jobs.

 Examples of projects include:

  • Acquisition and development of land and improvements for use in public works or other types of development facilities
  • Design and engineering, construction, rehabilitation, alteration, expansion, or improvement of public works, public service or related development facilities, including related machinery and equipment
  • Water and sewer system improvements
  • Creation or expansion of industrial parks
  • Creation or expansion of business incubator and accelerator facilities
  • Expansion of port and harbor facilities
  • Construction or expansion of facilities for workforce development
  • Redevelopment of brownfield sites
  • Capitalization or recapitalization of revolving loan funds (RLFs)
  • Development and implementation of long-term disaster recovery and resiliency plans
  • Enhancement of infrastructure to make it more resilient to natural disasters
  • Implementation of military base realignments and closures (BRAC) responses
  • Market or industry research and analysis for larger hard or soft economic projects

Funding allocation

For federal fiscal year 2023, EDA was appropriated $121.5 million for the Public Works (PW) program and $39.5 million for the Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program with additional set asides under the EAA program of $48 million for Assistance to Coal Communities, $16.5 million for Nuclear Closure Communities, and $4.5 million for Biomass Closure Communities.

Size of awards

In the past, the average size of awards for the Public Works program has been $1.4 million while the average size of awards for Economic Adjustment Assistance program has been $650,000. The number of awards varies considerably based on the size and impact of different projects and programs. In FY23, PW awards are expected to range from $600,000 up to $5 million while EAA awards are expected to range from $150,000 to $2.5 million.

Cost sharing and local match

A 50% local match is typically required for all projects. Certain communities may qualify for higher levels of federal funding, up to 80%, if they meet the required measures of economic distress. To obtain the maximum 80% federal funding match, a community must have a 24-month unemployment rate of at least 225% of the national average or a per capita income that is not more than 50% of the national average.

In-kind contributions may be considered as part of the local match requirement.


There is no deadline for applications. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis until a new Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFO) is published or until all funds have been expended.

Project timing

It typically takes six to eight months from the date an application is submitted to the date a notice of award is issued. Because of the application review process, award and contract process and additional requirements related to procurement, the start date of implementation projects can be delayed. It is recommended that applicants plan for two years from the date of application before a project would be able to start implementation. Planning projects typically have a significantly reduced timeline.

Period of performance

The period of performance for projects will depend on the nature of the projects. Strategy and non-construction projects may range in duration from 12 to 24 months. Construction projects are expected to range from 12 to 48 months and are expected to be completed within 5 years from the award date.

Investment priorities

Projects should align with at least one of EDA’s Investment Priorities in order to be competitive.

  • Equity
  • Recovery and resilience
  • Workforce development
  • Manufacturing
  • Technology-based economic development
  • Environmentally-sustainable development
  • Exports and foreign direct investment

Getting started

Initial consultation
If you are interested in pursuing an Economic Development Administration 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.

Meeting with EDA representative

Once a project has been identified, the Baker Tilly economic development team will schedule a meeting with the EDA state representative and the client to discuss the project to determine if it is eligible and competitive. Baker Tilly will guide you through the meeting with the EDA representative and ensure that you are equipped with the information you need to make your project competitive.

Engagement and application development

Once the EDA state representative has given the green light to proceed, 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 economic benefits of your project. For more information on how to take the first step, please contact us today!

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