Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Develop This: Economic and Community Development

May 24, 2023

Nathan Ohle – President and CEO of IEDC

Economic Recovery Corps - Program launched on May 11th

The Economic Recovery Corps Program (ERC) is a multi-year, $30 million collaborative initiative designed to accelerate recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in distressed communities and regions throughout the U.S. by connecting organizations with the talent and capacity needed to advance new ways of doing economic development that promote economic resilience and transformative change. 

The ERC is funded by the Economic Development Administration (EDA) under the CARES Act and led by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) in partnership with six leading national organizations: Center on Rural Innovation (CORI), International City/County Management Association (ICMA), National Association of Counties Research Foundation (NACo RF), National Association of Development Organizations Research Foundation (NADO RF), National League of Cities Institute (NLCI), and RAIN Catalysts.

Two Main Goals:

Build capacity in under resourced communities or regions to accelerate their economic development work and drive more equitable economic outcomes

To build a pipeline of the next generation of economic development leaders

Why This Initiative? Why Now? 

The Economic Recovery Corps was created to address long-standing economic issues in America that came into sharp focus during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly for historically underserved populations and communities, which led to vastly different outcomes that continue to impact recovery efforts. Economic development approaches have and will continue to pivot in the coming years, and to ensure that communities do not get left further behind, new approaches to building capacity are necessary.

About the Program

To meet this moment, IEDC and its partners are building a nationwide corps of diverse, cross-sector talent with the skills and expertise to help activate regional economic development strategies that promote connectivity, innovation, and knowledge-sharing between urban, rural, and tribal areas across the U.S. Over the course of the 2.5-year (30 month) fellowship, selected host organizations will receive technical assistance, planning, and capacity-building support from an ERC Fellow who will be based in their community or region. 

IEDC and its partners will place up to 65 Economic Recovery Corps (ERC) Fellows in economic development and related organizations in under resourced communities throughout the nation. Hosts will reflect the entire community and economic development field spectrum, from city and county government to regional coalitions, economic development organizations, economic development districts (EDDs), and entrepreneurial technical assistance providers. Fellows will be highly-trained early to mid-career professionals, equipped to help identify and advance innovative, locally-driven initiatives to build stronger, more resilient, and inclusive economies. 

This new initiative has the potential to shift the practice of economic development nationwide in an unprecedented manner — by centering the concerns of under-resourced regions while simultaneously investing in a cohort of diverse practitioners and leaders equipped with the skills necessary to usher in a new era of economic prosperity that is equitable and sustainable.