Economic Development Administration Funds to Support Development of DMV Regional Equity and Growth Playbook to be Developed by Connected DMV in partnership with Federal City Council, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area
October 19, 2021) WASHINGTON — On Monday, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced a $1,143,000 Economic Development Administration (EDA) award to Connected DMV, in partnership with Federal City Council, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, to support the development of the DMV Regional Equity and Growth Playbook to establish a unified regional structure and collaboration model across regional organizations and the public, private, academic, and community sectors in Greater Washington. The Playbook initiative is the first of its kind to bring together all sectors in our region to co-equally define and adopt a unified approach for delivering sustainable economic growth and social equity that benefits all communities in our region.
“For many decades, our region’s development has been held back by jurisdictional fragmentation, limited cross-sector coordination, and socioeconomic inequities. The COVID-19 pandemic has only highlighted the regional nature of our economy as well as the persistent socioeconomic divisions,” said Stu Solomon, President and CEO, Connected DMV. “It’s time for a new approach to deliver sustainable economic growth and social equity. These funds from the Economic Development Administration will enable game-changing solutions so that everyone in Greater Washington can live, dream and thrive, regardless of zip code.”
“This award will help our region to operate more strategically, and compete at scale with the likes of Boston, Austin, and Silicon Valley,” said Anthony A. Williams, CEO and Executive Director, Federal City Council. “Further, it will help us cultivate opportunities that will most benefit this city and secure its future.”
“For years, we have diligently focused on creating a more prosperous, accessible, livable, and sustainable region and this award will provide the necessary resources to advance these efforts to another level, while weaving in a focus on equity,” said Chuck Bean, Executive Director, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. “With our partner organizations, we are now in a position to bolster job creation, spur private investment, and diversify the regional economy in more comprehensive and equitable ways.”
“This award marks a significant step forward in creating access to equitable economic and workforce development for our region. The work complements our efforts to enhance private/public partnerships that leverage the reputation and talent of our diverse institutions and our location in the world’s greatest college town,” said Andrew Flagel, PhD, President and CEO, Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area.
The playbook will consist of strategies, methods, and toolkits that will be used to enable our region to operate at its full potential, filling the ravine that separates our marginalized communities and vulnerable populations from full, equitable economic access and participation. The Core Team to develop the playbook will be led by Connected DMV and the Federal City Council with support from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area. The effort will identify pathways for tackling regional inequity, improving resilience, increasing innovation, and growing entrepreneurial capacity. The Playbook will evaluate economic diversification strategies for our region that will leverage our strategic asset of human capital to reduce our region’s vulnerability to economic seasonality and structural shocks to reduce the impact of adverse events like the pandemic and make our communities and citizens more resilient and adaptive for recovery.
The three co-chairs of Connected DMV’s Regional Economic Development Strategy initiative applaud this EDA funding as they actively collaborate to represent the DMV’s various economic development interests:
“Mayor Bowser has intentionally focused on ensuring Washington, D.C.’s economic recovery prioritizes equity as we continue our work to get to the other side of this pandemic,” said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio. “Our shared vision is focused on economic renewal and social equity. I thank the Economic Development Administration for this award and look forward to the work we will continue to do as a region to expand jobs and diversify our economy so that more of our residents can prosper.”
“In the last two years we have learned just how much we need to improve our research and data capabilities to design strategies and programs that create economic opportunity for all corners of our region,” said Victor Hoskins, President and CEO, Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. “This grant from the Economic Development Administration will help Connected DMV build those capabilities so we can expand equitable opportunities for all and diversify our regional economy to fulfill its potential as a global hub of innovation.”
"This EDA award to Connected DMV will move the region closer to understanding the policies and tools that will be needed to achieve goals of equity and inclusion in regional economic growth. For the Washington Region to fulfill its potential, I hope that this grant will start to map the road to full equitable economic access and participation. We cannot endure the status quo,” said David Iannucci, President and CEO, Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation.
The Playbook project will last 12 months and will deliver the first comprehensive regional economic assessment, first regional metrics scorecard, and a new DMV Atlas tool that will integrate public, private, and academic data sets to assist with regional planning and evaluation activities for equitable and inclusive growth.
To read the Economic Development Administration’s announcement of the funding, including quotes from the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Virginia’s U.S. Senators, click here.
About Connected DMV
Connected DMV is an initiatives-based, charitable 501(c)(3) organization that works with regional organizations across Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia – the DMV – to help drive ongoing improvements to social, digital, and physical infrastructure. Connected DMV focuses on initiatives that span local jurisdictions and require public-private-academia-community collaboration to best achieve the dual objectives of enduring economic health and social equity.