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The EDA Center is Requesting Proposals for Assistance

by Melissa on October 13th, 2014

The EDA Center at the University of Minnesota, Crookston is one of more than 40 university centers nationwide, supported by the Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.  The EDA Center conducts applied research, provides direct technical assistance and delivers educational programs to economic development agencies that support the economy of economically-distressed rural communities throughout Minnesota.    This Request for Assistance (RFA) is designed to solicit requests from community, county and regional economic development agencies seeking direct technical assistance to support their economic development activities. This RFA will be the mechanism by which the EDA Center will identify its annual technical assistance projects.   All project requests will be assessed by EDA Center staff and advisory council for staff costs and time commitments.

Eligible Applicants: Public, tribal-supported and nonprofit economic development agencies supporting rural areas.

Types of Assistance:  The EDA Center does not specifically define the types of assistance that rural economic development agencies may seek. Accordingly, the EDA Center will accept and review all requests for assistance from eligible applicants.  The driving consideration in evaluating RFAs is potential regional impact and availability of university expertise. Typically, the EDA Center has found success finding expertise in assisting economic development in organizations in the following ways:

  • Market Research
  • Technology Studies
  • Workforce Development Studies & Support
  • Economic Impact Analysis
  • Student-supported Projects and Internships
  • Product Development Assistance
  • Strategic Planning Services
  • Statistical Studies
  • Technology Deployment Planning
  • Support of Entrepreneurial Program Development

Project Timelines: Due to constraints of EDA funding, project time lines should be less than 12 months in duration.

Costs of Assistance:   The EDA Center does not have require matching resources it delivers technical assistance to, however we generally limit average project costs to less than $20,000.  In addition, the EDA Center takes a partnership approach with the organizations it serves rather than an outside consultant.  This means that technical assistance projects include clear mutual responsibilities between the EDA Center and the economic development agency.

EDA Center Priorities: The EDA Center will prioritize project requests based on the following criteria:

  1. Location in an economically-distressed area.
  2. Impact on job creation, recruitment or retention.
  3. Impact on the effectiveness of the economic development agency.
  4. Project duration of less than 12 months.
  5. Overall project costs.

How to Apply: The application process to request assistance from the EDA Center is simple and streamlined.  Simply complete the RFA application along with a cover letter.  Applications can be downloaded at to be submitted via email or completed and submitted online at .  

Application Deadlines: There are no set deadlines for submitting technical assistance requests. Each application will be evaluated and responded to in a timely manner.   Have Questions: Contact Joyce Hoelting, EDA Center Director at (w) 612-625-8233 or email at   You may also contact Eddie Walker, EDA Center Research Analyst at 218-281-8251 or email at  


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