WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, announced her original co-sponsorship of the Rebuilding Economies and Creating Opportunities for More People Everywhere to Excel Act (RECOMPETE Act), bicameral legislation that would establish a new federal grant program at the Economic Development Agency (EDA) to empower persistently distressed communities to develop, implement, and carry out 10-year economic development strategies and create jobs in those communities. Rosen helped introduce the legislation with Senators Chris Coons (D-DE), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). Bipartisan companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), and Suzan DelBene (D-WA), who led a group of 50 bipartisan co-sponsors.
“As we continue our efforts to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19, we must also ensure we invest in Nevada communities that faced economic distress even before the pandemic,” said Senator Rosen. “This legislation would help communities overcome long-standing economic disparities by establishing a federal grant program to meet local economic development needs, create good jobs, and invest in our workers and businesses. These important steps will help rebuild our communities stronger than before, putting all of Nevada on a path toward long-term economic success.”
BACKGROUND: Distressed communities, as identified by the W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, are home to almost one-sixth of the U.S. population and have an employment rate among workers ages 25 to 54 that is significantly below the national average. The Upjohn Institute’s analysis suggests that these communities have largely been left out of the investment, wealth, innovation, and opportunity that has instead been concentrated in a handful of major metro areas in recent decades.
The RECOMPETE Act would provide eligible local labor markets, local communities, and Tribal governments with flexible 10-year RECOMPETE Grants from the EDA in an effort to meet a variety of local economic development needs. Grants could be used for infrastructure investments, brownfield redevelopment, workforce development, small business assistance, resources to connect residents to opportunities, and other investments to help communities rebuild.