The Economic Development Administration (EDA) was created in 1965 under the Public Works and Economic Development Act (42 U.S.C. 3121) as part of an effort to target Federal resources to economically distressed areas and to help develop local economies in the United States. It was mandated to assist rural and urban communities that were outside the mainstream economy and that lagged in economic development, industrial growth, and personal income.
EDA provides grants to States, regions, and communities across the Nation to help wealth and minimize poverty by promoting a favorable business environment to attract private capital investment and higher skill, higher wage jobs through capacity building, planning, infrastructure, research grants, and strategic initiatives. Through its grant program, EDA utilizes public sector resources to facilitate an environment where the private sector risks capital and job opportunities are created.