City of Tucson Receives Better Reconstruction Phase 1 Challenge Grant from Economic Development Authority
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The city of Tucson has been named one of 60 finalists in the United States Economic Development Administration (EDA) Regional Build Back Better Challenge. Over 500 applicants from across the country competed for phase one funding of $ 500,000.
The prize is a mandatory first step in the competition for additional funding of up to $ 100 million in phase two. The city of Tucson is the primary caller for a regional collaboration of sub-coordinated industries to create the next growth pole serving our arid region: sustainable agriculture, water resources and clean energy. The Southern Arizona Coalition for Climate Adaptation and Resilience is the embodiment of Mayor Romero’s vision for a national epicenter of climate adaptability. âThe White House looks to Tucson and southern Arizona to lead on climate and equity. This grant funding can seed our future if we think regionally, âsaid Mayor Romero.
Congressman Raul Grijalva said, âThe city of Tucson is leading the way for a sustainable future. This project will create well-paying jobs for workers and help us tackle the growing threat of climate change. I am proud to support this coalition and its efforts to make our community more equitable, competitive and resilient.
EDA challenged applicants to create a strong regional partnership that would bring together a variety of organizations, both public and private, to identify a strategy to develop and sustain the growth of the industry sector unique to the region. Applicants were also required to demonstrate their commitment to equity and inclusion in their proposals. The City’s initial proposal included the support of 11 coalition members, 9 municipalities, tribal governments, 22 industry partners and countless other regional strengths, conclusively demonstrating that now is the time to leverage the ‘momentum, to bring together joint resources and to make a transformative’ moonshot ‘to propel our regional economy and the environment, in a new direction. The unique value proposition of the proposal lies in its existing collection of assets, its intentional framework based on equity, and the development of a replicable model for communities to organize around climate challenges on an international scale.
Barbra Coffee, the city’s director of economic initiatives, thinks that’s what made the Southern Arizona Coalition’s proposal stand out. âWe took the requirement of the fairness framework very seriously when reviewing our approach,â said Coffee. âRather than simply suggesting projects that a small coalition of partners felt could be beneficial for the entire region, we decided to create a process that allowed for broad community participation in the identification and selection. projects that will finally be described in phase two. funding proposal.
Phase two proposals will be due in March and should outline the implementation plans for 3-8 projects that support the industrial sector. The coalition’s proposal identified five streams in which projects would be supported that have the potential to create jobs, raise wages, reduce unemployment in vulnerable communities and attract high-growth industries. Each of the core coalition members will coordinate the review of community project proposals in the following areas:
- Research Innovation and Translational Technology: Led by the University of Arizona
- Workforce Resilience: Co-led by Pima Community College and Arizona Western College
- Entrepreneurship: led by the startup Tucson
- Sustainable Infrastructure: Co-led by the City of Tucson and the Greater Yuma Economic Development Partnership
- Seed funding: led by the Community Investment Corporation
Financial partners also include the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, the Santa Cruz Valley Heritage Alliance, and the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area.
âIt was really a regional collaboration,â said Liz Pocock, CEO of Startup Tucson. âIt was amazing to see partners in our region acting so quickly to come together around a common goal to start this conversation. As we move forward, we plan to expand the dialogue even further so that others currently working in these areas, or who wish to work in these areas, can join in the efforts and programs can have an impact on them. communities that have experienced the hardships of a pandemic and decades of divestment.
âThe University of Arizona is proud to partner with the City of Tucson and other members of the coalition to support use-inspired research, development and innovation in Southern Arizona. Arizona. And as a state-designated land grant university, we look forward to working within our community on such an opportune economic development award, âsaid Elizabethâ Betsy âCantwell, senior vice president of research and innovation at the University of Arizona. âTucson is the epitome of a resilient community, and we have tremendous assets we can harness to create quality jobs in Southern Arizona. “
For more information on the Southern Arizona Coalition for Climate Adaptation & Resilience, visit ConnectTucson.com and sign up to receive future notifications of important meetings and deadlines.
About the City of Tucson Office of Economic Initiatives
The City of Tucson’s Office of Economic Initiatives coordinates the city’s economic development programs with the goal of attracting jobs and investment to the City of Tucson. It also offers assistance to small businesses and local entrepreneurs and encourages workforce development to foster a long-term sustainable and diverse local economy. For more information or to contact the Office of Economic Initiatives, visit ConnectTucson.com.
About the Tucson startup
Startup Tucson is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit that works to transform our region’s economy through entrepreneurship and education. The Tucson startup carries out this mission by delivering educational and cultural programs and events to develop an entrepreneurial and innovative ecosystem with high impact. You can find information about the organization here www.startuptucson.com. For any questions or comments, please contact Liz Pocock directly at [email protected]
About the University of Arizona
The University of Arizona, a land granting university with two independently accredited medical schools, is one of the top 50 public universities in the country, according to US News & World Report. Founded in 1885, the university is widely recognized as a student-centered university and has been designated as an institution serving Hispanics by the United States Department of Education. The university ranked in the top 20 in 2019 for research spending among all public universities, according to the National Science Foundation, and is a leading research institution with $ 734 million in annual research spending. The university pushes the boundaries of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships as a member of the Association of American Universities, the top 66 public and private research universities in the United States. It benefits the state with an economic impact estimated at $ 4.1 billion per year. For the latest information on the University of Arizona’s response to the novel coronavirus, visit the university’s COVID-19 webpage.
About the EDA Build Back Better Regional Challenge:
The âBuild Back Better Regional Challengeâ is one of many EDA programs aimed at building strong regional economies and supporting community-led economic development. EDA received $ 3 billion in additional funding as part of the US bailout to help communities nationwide in their efforts to better rebuild by accelerating economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and building economies that will be resilient to future economic shocks. For more information on EDA’s American Rescue Plan programs, visit www.eda.gov/ARPA/.
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