Innovate Illinois Drives Decatur’s Selection as EDA Recompete Pilot Program Finalist, Springfield Secures Strategy Grant

DECATUR, Ill.--()--The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) has announced that Decatur is 1 of 22 finalists in the Distressed Area Recompete Pilot Program, alongside Springfield's receiving a Strategy Development Grant. Supported by Innovate Illinois, Decatur emerged as a top contender out of over 400 applications, exemplifying an innovative strategy to propel workforce development and economic recovery.

As part of the Biden-Harris Administration, the Recompete Pilot Program, is authorized by the CHIPS and Science Act to drive sustainable and equitable economic growth in economically challenged regions by addressing and closing the local prime-age employment gap. The EDA program will invest $200 million in communities across the country with the goal of spurring job opportunities.

The CHIPS Act and the Biden-Harris Administration continue to open doors for Illinois working families,” said Illinois Governor JB Pritzker. “The Recompete Plan will help ensure economic development impacts every community, including those who have historically faced barriers to employment. I’m pleased that Decatur and Richland Community College have been recognized as finalists for the funding, and I look forward to championing their program in years to come.”

The Decatur Workforce and Economic Recovery Plan is a comprehensive approach to stimulate Decatur's economy by prioritizing its underserved communities. As a Recompete finalist, Decatur is now invited to apply for Phase 2 funding, potentially securing an additional $20 to $50 million. This initiative will expand workforce training programs, building upon the success of Richland Community College’s EnRICH Program, which has already benefited over 2,300 students since 2018. Industry engagement, showcased by ADM's upskilling program with Richland Community College and TCCI Manufacturing’s EV + Energy Workforce Academy, further underscores the plan's holistic approach to inclusive economic advancement.

This marks a transformative chapter for EnRICH. We’re proud to lead workforce training that mirrors our community’s diversity and fuels regional growth,” said Richland Community College President Cris Valdez.

Springfield's project further echoes this commitment, emphasizing inclusivity and the expansion of high-wage job opportunities for historically underrepresented communities. Although not advancing as a finalist, Springfield secured a Strategic Development Grant to further build the program.

Innovate Illinois is a public-private coalition that was formed to drive a robust effort in securing unprecedented levels of federal funding. This win underscores Illinois’ commitment to seizing opportunities for improvement while ensuring our most vulnerable communities are placed at the forefront of economic recovery efforts. As Innovate Illinois pursues its mission, it is an example of what collaborative efforts can achieve when strategic vision, community insight, and federal resources converge. Innovate Illinois has achieved remarkable success for the state, including the recent announcement that Illinois will be home to 2 of 31 EDA Tech Hubs nationally, and is prepared to capitalize on momentum.

About Innovate Illinois

Innovate Illinois is a public-private coalition that was formed to drive the coordinated and robust effort in securing unprecedented levels of federal funding made available by landmark legislation including the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act.

Contacts

Media Contact
Jodi Silotto
DCC Marketing
jsilotto@dccmarketing.com
765-543-8175

Contacts

Media Contact
Jodi Silotto
DCC Marketing
jsilotto@dccmarketing.com
765-543-8175