Sen. Kelly Praises Arizona Finalists for Economic Development Grants

Today, Arizona Senator Mark Kelly praised the announcement that three Arizona entities are among the 60 finalists for the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Build Back Better Regional Challenge Grants. 

“As we continue to recover from this pandemic, it’s critical that we invest in communities with strong plans to reinvent their economy for the future and create good-paying jobs,” said Senator Kelly. “Arizona’s three finalists presented compelling visions for communities across the state and I look forward to seeing their projects move forward.”

The three Arizona grant finalists are the City of Tucson’s Southern Arizona Coalition for Climate Adaptation and Research, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, and the Hopi Utilities Corporation. Each entity is focused on creating a regional technology hub to make Arizona a leader in the tech, environmental, healthcare and manufacturing industries.

The Build Back Better Regional Challenge, which was funded as a part of the American Rescue Plan Act passed by Kelly, is designed to assist communities nationwide in their efforts to accelerate the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and build local economies that will be resilient into the future. The $1 billion allocated for the Regional Challenge will provide a transformational investment to 20-30 regions across the country that want to revitalize their economies. These regions will have the opportunity to grow new regional industry clusters or scale existing ones through planning, infrastructure, innovation and entrepreneurship, workforce development, access to capital, and more. 

Kelly serves on the Committee on Environment and Public Works, which oversees the EDA, and has worked in that capacity to help Arizona entities take full advantage of EDA resources. In August, in partnership with the EDA, Kelly’s office organized a workshop for Arizona’s economic development professionals to learn more about the Build Back Better Regional Challenge and help them prepare their applications. Earlier this year, Kelly also introduced the Endless Frontiers Act with a bipartisan group of Senators, a bill that would permanently authorize the regional technology hub program at EDA.