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EDA Awards $3M to Three Cities for Economic Development Planning

September 26, 2012

The Department of Commerce announced the winners of the Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Challenge, the Economic Development Administration-led competition seeking to help cities and regions develop a comprehensive economic development strategy. Greensboro, North Carolina, Hartford, Connecticut, and Las Vegas, Nevada each were awarded $1 million to assist in the refinement and implementation of their respective plans. This year's competition follows on the success of a 2011 pilot program, which made awards to six cities, and a Presidential Executive Order signed in March establishing the White House Council on Strong Cites, Strong Communities.

Through a competitive process, applicant cities submitted proposals to receive the $1 million, which they will use to support a two-step program. The cities will first announce a call for a submission of multi-disciplinary economic development plans, including business, transportation, engineering, and community development. Selecting finalists from this initial submission group, the cities will then utilize a panel of administrations, academics, and a variety of public and private parties to select the team with the strongest plan.

The Greensboro plan focuses on leveraging five industry clusters in the city — aviation, advanced manufacturing and materials, transportation and logistics, financial and business services, and life sciences — to help drive the economy of the city and region for the next 50 years. The city will leverage $250,000 to receive the $1 million award.

Hartford will work to attract serial entrepreneurs and expand advanced manufacturing companies with an eye towards creating greater competitiveness in the global marketplace. The Las Vegas plan centers on workforce training skills commensurate with local business needs and business operations.

Connecticut, Nevada, North Carolinadept of commerce, metros, clusters