Congrats to EDA’s 22 Recompete Pilot Program Finalists

  • December 21, 2023

We are thrilled to announce that TWO of our clients have been designated as EDA’s Recompete Pilot Program Finalists! We were part of the writing process for one client and served as part of the Red Team Review for another. We would like to congratulate all awardees and finalists. With so many innovative and impactful plans in development across the country, it’s clear that this program is making a significant impact on communities in need. 🎉

The Recompete Pilot Program targets the hardest-hit and most economically distressed areas where prime-age (25-54 years) employment is significantly lower than the national average, with the goal to close this gap through flexible, locally-driven investments.

Authorized by the “CHIPS and Science Act”, the Recompete Pilot Program is a key part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda – a key pillar of Bidenomics. Recompete will invest $200 million in economic and workforce development projects that connect workers to good jobs in geographically diverse and persistently distressed communities across the country.

These Recompete Pilot Program Finalists are located across 20 states and Territories and represent a cross-section of urban and rural regions. Of the 22 Finalists, seven are focused exclusively on rural American communities, and five are led by or involve Tribal organizations as a primary partner. Additionally, seven Finalists’ plans involve labor organizations as part of their proposed investments.   

In the two-phase competition, Phase 1 finalists will be invited to apply for implementation grants for their Recompete Plans in Phase 2.

In addition to announcing the Phase 1 finalists, the Department of Commerce launched the Recompete Pilot Program Phase 2 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). Phase 2 investments will range from $20-$50 million and can be used to support a wide range of implementation activities across workforce development, business and entrepreneur development, infrastructure, and additional planning, predevelopment, or technical assistance.

Here is what applicants for Phase 2 Investments need to know.

One important consideration for awardees is the need for Evaluation. While the plans themselves are impressive, it’s important to ensure that they are executed effectively and produce the desired outcomes. This can only be accomplished through ongoing independent external evaluation and monitoring, which should be a key part of any community development initiative.

Each Phase 2 Recompete Plan must develop a comprehensive Evaluation Plan that establishes appropriate criteria, goals, and growth/success indicators aligned with the Recompete’s focus. A well-versed evaluator will know how to construct the evaluation plan in a meaningful way.

An evaluator will be able to demonstrate in the evaluation plan HOW the following (at a minimum) will be achieved:

  • Establishing and creating effective partnerships with diverse stakeholders;
  • Progress toward achieving strategic goals;
  • Integration of meaningful diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA);
  • Effective implementation of educational and workforce training opportunities;
  • Successfully attracting, leveraging, and effectively utilizing complementary funding from sources;
  • Collaborations with existing ecosystems and other hubs and assets within the region, including federally-funded R&D centers.
  • Collect input from all stakeholders engaged in or impacted by the Recompete’s activities.

Your external evaluator should

  • Be an experienced evaluator or evaluation firm (✓ – We are.);
  • Be supportive of the innovation ecosystem and promote inclusive economic growth. ( – we totally do.);
  • Have experience working in the innovation and startup ecosystem ( – we totally do – this is our jam);
  • Be committed to creating regional-scale, technology-driven innovation ecosystems throughout every region of the United States, accelerating emerging technologies, driving economic growth, addressing key societal challenges, and maintaining national competitiveness ( – We do. );
  • Have a working knowledge of all (not just the program) EDA guidelines, protocols, processes, and evaluation requirements ( – We totally do.).
  • Have experience evaluating large-scale ecosystem-change projects ( – We totally do.);
  • Have experience with reporting on project-level outcomes and federally required outcomes (GPRAs) (– We do);

Want to talk with us about how we serve as your External Evaluator for your proposal? Schedule a consult call today.

Ready To Take the Next Step?

We assist our clients in locating, applying for, and evaluating the outcomes of non-dilutive grant funding. We believe non-dilutive funding is a crucial tool for mitigating investment risks, and we are dedicated to guiding our clients through the entire process—from identifying the most suitable opportunities to submitting and managing grant applications.