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U.S. Economic Development Administration
Agency overview
JurisdictionFederal government of the United States
HeadquartersHerbert C. Hoover Building
Washington, D.C.
Agency executive
  • Alejandra Y. Castillo, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development
Parent agencyDepartment of Commerce

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is an agency in the United States Department of Commerce that provides grants and technical assistance to economically distressed communities in order to generate new employment, help retain existing jobs and stimulate industrial and commercial growth through a variety of investment programs. EDA works with boards and communities across the country on economic development strategies.[1]


In 1965, Congress passed the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 (PWEDA) (42 U.S.C. ch. 38), which authorized the creation of the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to generate jobs, help retain existing jobs, and stimulate industrial and commercial growth in economically troubled areas of the United States. EDA assistance is available to rural and urban areas of the United States experiencing high unemployment, low income, or other severe economic distress.

Mission and investment priorities

The EDA's 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."[2]

The EDA's investment policy is designed to establish a foundation for sustainable job growth and the building of durable regional economies throughout the United States. This foundation builds upon two key economic drivers - innovation and regional collaboration. Innovation is the key to global competitiveness, new and better jobs, a resilient economy, and the attainment of national economic goals. Regional collaboration is essential for economic recovery because regions are the centers of competition in the new global economy and those that work together to leverage resources and use strengths to overcome weaknesses will fare better than those that do not. EDA encourages its partners around the country to develop initiatives that advance new ideas and creative approaches to address rapidly evolving economic conditions.[2]

EDA's investment priorities are:[3]

  1. Equity: Economic development planning or implementation projects that advance equity across America through investments that directly benefit 1) one or more traditionally underserved populations (PDF), including but not limited to women, Black, Latino, and Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders or 2) underserved communities within geographies that have been systemically and/or systematically denied a full opportunity to participate in aspects of economic prosperity such as Tribal Lands, Persistent Poverty Counties, and rural areas with demonstrated, historical underservice.
  2. Recovery & Resilience: Economic development planning or implementation projects that build economic resilience to and long-term recovery from economic shocks, like those experienced by coal and power plant communities, or other communities impacted by the decline of an important industry or a natural disaster, that may benefit from economic diversification-focused resilience.
  3. Workforce Development: Economic development planning or implementation projects that support workforce education and skills training activities directly connected to the hiring and skills needs of the business community and that result in well-paying, quality jobs
  4. Manufacturing: Economic development planning or implementation projects that encourage job creation, business expansion, technology and capital upgrades, and productivity growth in manufacturing, including efforts that contribute to the competitiveness and growth of domestic suppliers or to the domestic production of innovative, high-value products and production technologies.
  5. Technology-Based Economic Development: Economic development planning or implementation projects that foster regional knowledge ecosystems that support entrepreneurs and startups, including the commercialization of new technologies, that are creating technology-driven businesses and high-skilled, well-paying jobs of the future.
  6. Environmentally-Sustainable Development: Economic development planning or implementation projects that help address the climate crisis including through the development and implementation of green products, green processes, including green infrastructure, green buildings, and green places including an emphasis on density in the vicinity of the development.
  7. .Exports & FDI: Economic development planning or implementation projects that enhance or build community assets to support growth in US exports or increased foreign direct investment.


The EDA is the only federal government agency solely focused on economic development. EDA works with communities and boards across the country on regional economic development strategies to attract private investment and create jobs in economically distressed areas of the United States.

EDA's economic footprint is wide and its tool box is extensive—including technical assistance, post-disaster recovery assistance, trade adjustment support, strategic planning and research and evaluation capacity, thereby allowing the agency to offer the most effective investment to help communities succeed in the global economy.[2]

EDA's primary programs and national initiatives are:[4]

Multi-agency initiatives

EDA leads a host of multi-agency initiatives to advance intergovernmental and public-private partnerships across the nation. These initiatives include:[5]

Senior leadership

See also


  1. ^ "Investment Programs". Economic Development Administration.
  2. ^ a b c "Mission". Economic Development Administration.
  3. ^ "Investment Priorities". U.S. Economic Development Administration. Retrieved 2024-02-15.Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  4. ^ "EDA Program List". U.S. Economic Development Administration. Retrieved 2024-02-15.Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  5. ^ "Multi-agency initiatives". Economic Development Administration.
  6. ^ "Assistance to Coal Communities". Economic Development Administration.
  7. ^ "EDA Vista Corps". Economic Development Administration.
  8. ^ "Americas Competitiveness Exchange". Economic Development Administration.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g (seen 4 April 2020)