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Posted on: February 8, 2024

Southern Arizona Coalition Invites Community Organizations and Local Governments To Co-Develop

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Southern Arizona Coalition Invites Community Organizations and Local Governments To Co-Develop  Regional Strategy for $50 Million Investment

EDA names Santa Cruz River Corridor Plan eligible for $50 Million EDA Recompete Grant to be submitted April 2024

Santa Cruz County, Pima County, and the City of Tucson invite all interested community organizations to participate in a series of Strategy Development Workshops for potential sub-grantees interested in proposing strategies and projects for consideration in the $50M EDA Recompete Phase 2 grant application.

The Santa Cruz River Corridor (SCRC) Plan coalition will host a series of four (4) in-person proposal accelerator workshops to identify and propose strategies and projects to submit in its finalist-round Santa Cruz River Corridor Recompete Plan. The workshops are free of charge. Organizations can register for the workshops and will receive more information about locations/details after https://forms.gle/PpLrZWWhnJ2Mv34AA

Workshops will be held 3-5 pm in-person February 20, March 5, and March 26, and virtually on April 2. The workshops will provide guidance and technical assistance (TA) for organizations seeking to develop strategic projects to be included in the Phase 2 Recompete Grant for $50M (See the overview of grant development workshops). 

The workshops will provide opportunities for participating community organizations and local governments to build a regional network connecting underemployed and unemployed workers to good jobs and family services. Activities will help break down institutional silos and facilitate communication so participants will be prepared to work together to promote and sustain regional prosperity and achieve outcomes defined in the Santa Cruz River Corridor Recompete Plan.

The Santa Cruz River Corridor Recompete Plan (SCRC Plan) received approval in December 2023 (see Press Release), enabling the coalition to apply for a Phase 2 grant of $50M to implement the plan. Phase 2 grant applications are due April 25, 2024. 

Good candidates for the workshops include 501c3 and 501c6 organizations and local governments within Santa Cruz County and eligible areas of southern Pima County (see PDF or interactive map) that can provide:

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    Opportunities for workers, including wrap-around services needed to connect them to existing jobs/existing employers

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    Support for entrepreneurs/ small businesses seeking to grow employment opportunities

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    Trusted connections to those seeking skill-building and employment 

The Regenerating Employment and Economic Opportunity Along The Santa Cruz River Corridor coalition is among 22 finalists for the US Department of Commerce Distressed Area Recompete Pilot Program (Recompete). Recompete 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 of closing this gap through flexible, locally-driven investments. Partners intend to serve Santa Cruz River Corridor’s 16,439 unemployed prime-age individuals and their households. 

Authorized by the CHIPS and Science Act, Recompete is intended to 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. 

Recompete finalists are located across 20 states and Territories and represent a cross-section of urban and rural regions. More than 500 applicants competed for the Recompete program, with applicants representing nonprofits, local government, economic development organizations, educational institutions, and tribal governments and organizations. 

Media Contacts: 

Santa Cruz County, Arizona Community Development Department 

The mission of Santa Cruz County, Arizona’s Community Development Department is to provide the highest quality professional planning services to assist with the development of safe, functional, sustainable, and healthy public and private commercial and residential projects. Since Covid, the department has prioritized broad community stakeholder engagement in various community development strategies and plans, as outlined in its 2020 Covid Recovery Plan and 2023 Economic Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Pathways Forward report. 

Frank Dillon, Community Development Director for Santa Cruz County, fdillon@santacruzcounty.az or Angie Donelson, angie@scr-analytics.com 

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Pima County Department of Economic Development 

The mission of Pima County Economic Development is to create a vibrant, diverse, and resilient economy that allows for upward economic mobility for our community, broadens and stabilizes our tax base, and promotes economic well-being and quality of life for our residents. Through business attraction, retention and expansion, job creation, infrastructure development, and workforce development, we aspire to create and retain head-of-household wage jobs, train and retain a qualified workforce, develop a vibrant community, and improve the overall quality of life. For more information, visit https://www.pima.gov/2229/Economic-Development

Heath Vescovi-Chiordi, Economic Development Director, heath.vescovi-chiordi@pima.gov 

City of Tucson Office of Economic Initiatives 

The Office of Economic Initiatives coordinates the City’s economic development programs for the purpose of attracting jobs and investment to the City of Tucson. The Office of Economic Initiatives also offers local small business and entrepreneurial assistance and encourages regional workforce development efforts to foster a sustainable and diverse local economy. For more information or to contact the Office of Economic Initiatives, visit www.ConnectTucson.com. 

Barbra Coffee, Economic Initiatives Director Barbra.Coffee@tucsonaz.gov or Francisca Villegas, Small Business Program Manager Francisca.Villegas@tucsonaz.gov 

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