Greater Philadelphia is a complex region, covering portions of two states, with hundreds of municipalities responsible for individual development and land use decisions. The region’s economy is similarly diverse with dozens of public– and private– sector organizations seeking to promote or attract a wide variety of sectors and specific interests. DVRPC’s process and strategies strive to address all the challenges and promote opportunities within the region.
While each county and municipality approaches economic development differently, we are all united in advancing common goals: investing in people, creating attractive places, supporting businesses, and transforming infrastructure to meet the needs of a changing ecosystem. Continued coordination across state lines, city and county boundaries, employment sectors, and public and private sectors is essential to maintain a regional perspective.
Economic Development District (EDD)
In March 2022, DVRPC secured Economic Development District (EDD) designation from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce. While EDA is the main economic development agency of the federal government and works with EDDs throughout the country to promote regional cooperation and job growth, DVRPC is the designated liaison between EDA and our member counties and constituent communities. The primary purpose of the EDD is to implement the economic development activities and priorities set forth in the region’s CEDS.
As the Economic Development District for the nine-county region, DVRPC manages the regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) for Greater Philadelphia, satisfying provisions of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). The first Greater Philadelphia Economic Development Framework was formally approved by EDA as the regional CEDS in 2009 and recently updated in 2019. To remain eligible for EDA funding, the CEDS must be updated every 5 years.
Measuring Community Distress
U.S EDA regulations classify jurisdictions as “distressed” if the most recently available per capita personal income is 80 percent or less than the national average; the average unemployment rate over the most recent 24-month period for which data is available is at least one percentage point greater than the national average; or the area has a “special need,” as determined by U.S. EDA.
The U.S. EDA and Argonne Lab developed the National Economic Resilience Data Explorer (NERDE) to help economic development practitioners conduct local economic recovery analysis. The NERDE provides data on economic distress criteria, COVID-19 impacts to local economies, and industry clusters. The data is searchable at the county or Economic Development District (EDD) level.
StatsAmerica provides economic data, distress indicators, and development metrics to assist with grant writing and strategic planning.