Funds for strategy development planning in South Chattanooga

The City of Chattanooga was recently awarded a large grant from the US Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) — find out how the funds will be used.

Ariel shot of the Walnut Street and Market Street bridges over blue water.

New funds will be used to study workforce disparities in South Chattanooga.

Photo by Dan Henry via Chattanooga Tourism Co.

The City of Chattanooga and local partners are working together to improve economic outcomes in underserved neighborhoods. The partnership received a $500,000 Recompete Strategy Development Grant to analyze and develop solutions against systemic workforce barriers like access to jobs and livable wages.

First steps

The city has selected key neighborhoods in the South Chattanooga + East Lake areas, identified by the US Census as “persistent poverty tracts.” According to data, the targeted areas have a $10,000 deficit in median household income compared to that of the entire city.

Next steps

This study coincides with the federal Recompete Pilot Program. In order to carry out developed plans, the city will create an action group of workforce and economic development experts + work with local partners in hopes of connecting residents with access to childcare, transportation, workforce training, and educational programming.

Note: Chattanooga is one of 22 finalists currently in the running for additional funds (up to $50 million) through the Recompete Implementation Grant.

What they’re saying

  • “This is not just another study — this powerful federal grant will fund the creation of an organized group of subject matter experts to help us identify and overcome barriers holding historically disadvantaged Chattanoogans back from reaching their full potential.” — Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly
  • “If we become one of as many as eight cities granted the implementation grant as part of this program, we can create programming, implement policy changes, and develop best practices that will have a significant impact on the quality of life for our neighbors who are in desperate need of these resources.” — Director of Workforce Development Strategy Quentin Lawrence