Says region is well suited to pursue funding through ‘place-based’ economic development
Scott Andes, Program Lead for Build Back Better Regional Challenge at the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce was the keynote speaker during the annual meeting in Winter at the Norwich Inn and Spa.
Andes said the region is well positioned to pursue place-based economic development, an emerging trend in federal economic policy. He explained the concept as “a series of investments that together catalyze all elements of a local economy.”
“You are so much further along than so many other places in this country in a direction we may be going, so double down, focus on it,” Andes told the crowd.
He offered additional encouragement by adding that the Build Back Better Regional Challenge was “not a one and done” situation, but instead will serve as a model for federal investment in communities. His optimism was based on his belief that place-based investing is nonpartisan and can be successful in all areas of the country.
The Offshore Wind Industry Cluster was one of 60 finalists selected in 2022 from 529 applicants awarded $500,000 in Phase I funding of the Build Back Better Regional Challenge. The Offshore Wind Industry Cluster was not selected for Phase II funding, though work continues to develop a skilled workforce and manufacturing and services supply chain to support the industry.
The $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge grant competition was the largest national economic development competition in American history.