Dept. of Commerce: Federal EDA offers assistance to communities negatively affected by trade agreements

Contact: Tony Hozeny, Department of Commerce, 608/267-9661

Communities whose local economies have been negatively affected by international trade agreements can now apply for assistance through the federal Community Trade Adjustment Assistance (Community TAA) Program through the US Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA). Up to $36,780,000 is available nationwide. Preapplications are due Feb. 1, 2010 and full applications on April 20, 2010.

“These federal funds can help communities that have suffered economic dislocations as a result of the ever-evolving global marketplace,” said Department of Commerce (Commerce) Secretary Richard J. Leinenkugel. “The overall goal of the Community TAA Program is to help communities respond effectively to negative trade impacts and become more competitive in the global economy.”.

The Community TAA program will help eligible communities devise long-term Strategic Plans and carry out implementation activities to address economic development challenges in regions affected by trade impacts. Grants under the program may be used to support a wide range of technical, planning, and infrastructure projects to help communities adapt to pressing trade impact issues and diversify their economies. Grants will be awarded in two categories: to develop strategic plans and to implement projects or programs in strategic plans.

To be eligible, communities must prove negative impact as evidenced by at least one certification being made under one of the following three Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) programs: TAA for Workers, TAA for Firms, or TAA for Farmers. The EDA must also make an Affirmative Determination that an applicant has been significantly impacted by the threat to, or the loss of, jobs associated with one or more TAA certification.

Sixteen Wisconsin counties (Brown, Calumet, Chippewa, Kenosha, Marinette, Outagamie, Ozaukee, Pierce, Price, Richland, Rock, Sheboygan, Trempeauleau, Walworth, Waupaca, and Wood Counties) have been identified as “significantly impacted by trade” based upon the EDA’s analysis of TAA for Workers certifications from January 1, 2007 through December 15, 2009. Counties included on the “TAA for Workers Significantly Impacted by Trade List” have had at least 8.25 per 1,000 workers affected by trade during this time period.

Preapplications and full applications may be submitted at http://www.grants.gov or submitted to the Economic Development Administration, Chicago Regional Office, 111 North Canal Street, Suite 855, Chicago, IL 60606. Telephone: (312) 353-7706, Fax (312) 353-8575. Application packages are available electronically at the website above or by contacting the Chicago Regional Office. Additional Information may be obtained from the Chicago Regional EDA Office or at http://www.eda.gov/CommunityTAA.xml

Commerce has determined that federal Community Development Block Grant funds may be used by communities as match. Up to 25 percent may be used for strategic plan grants and up to 5 percent may be used for implementation grants. Communities seeking more information on match requirements and opportunities may contact Jim Frymark, Commerce, at [email protected]