While rural communities’ jobs recovery lags behind the national average, the Chips and Science Act of 2022, which passed both chambers of congress and was signed into law by President Biden in August, authorized $1 billion for the RECOMPETE pilot program to support persistently distressed communities with high rates of unemployment.
RECOMPETE invests in persistently distressed communities over a longer time horizon, invests in planning, and is flexible enough for communities to determine the kind of work that needs to be done to revitalize the local economy.
“Rural recovery is progressing at half the pace of urban counties,” reports Bill Bishop in the Daily Yonder.
With the vast majority of distressed communities overlapping with rural areas, this investment couldn’t come at a better time.
However, Congress still must allocate the funds for these investments to be carried out. While the bill suggests the pilot program will start with 10 communities, it is possible that additional communities could be included, and sufficient funding will be essential to the pilot program’s success.