The USFWC invites its members and community to provide comment on two important funding opportunities through the federal government: The Tech Hubs Program and the Recompetes Pilot Program.
Tech Hubs Program
Last year, cooperatives were named as an important part of the federal government’s Regional Technology and Innovation Hub (Tech Hubs) program, authorized through the Chips and Science Act (P.L. 117-167). The wheels for this program are now in motion, and the Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced a Request for Information to inform the planning and design of the Tech Hubs program.
The Tech Hubs program is an economic development initiative to drive technology- and innovation-centric growth that creates good jobs for American workers. Cooperative development centers and associations, and CDFIs are named as eligible partners to drive regional strategies to support this growth. The Tech Hubs program is an opportunity to develop and expand cooperatives, leveraging federal dollars specifically for technology and innovation cooperatives.
Grants or cooperative agreements will be awarded to regional hubs for the implementation of innovation strategies under four different categories: workforce development, business and entrepreneur development, technology development and maturation, and infrastructure-related activities.
The Distressed Area Recompete Pilot Program, also authorized through the Chips and Science Act, is an economic development initiative that will provide grant funding to distressed communities across the country to create, and connect workers to, good jobs and support long-term comprehensive economic development by helping to reduce the high, prime-age (25 to 54 years of age) employment gap.
Congress appropriated EDA $200 million for the program, allowing the EDA to target persistently economically distressed areas to support long-term, comprehensive and sustainable economic development and job creation/placement and award grants to support development or implementation of a Recompete Plan.
The EDA is requesting feedback on how to structure a program that most effectively builds capacity, creates jobs and addresses challenges in communities grappling with persistent economic distress and high prime-age unemployment;
- identifying metrics to assess the success of the Recompete Pilot Program;
- designing a competitive, inclusive and accessible grant funding selection process; and
- identifying best practices and evidence-based research that could inform how to most effectively support persistently economically distressed areas.
Here’s how you can get involved:
- Send a comment letter expressing your support for the cooperative community as a prominent part of the Tech Hubs Strategy. You can either send your own comments or look out for the USFWC’s template letter, which will be shared on Monday 3/13 (this page will be updated). Feedback for this RFI is due by 5 pm ET on March 16 and can be submitted via email to Eric Smith, Director, Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, at email@example.com.
- Send a comment letter expressing your support for the cooperative community as a prominent part of the Recompetes Pilot Program. You can either send your own comments or look out for the USFWC’s template letter, which will be shared on Monday 3/13 (this page will be updated). Responses are due by 5 p.m. Eastern Time on March 27, 2023, submitted via email to Recompete@eda.gov.
- Let us know that you submitted a letter for either or both requests. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org