Federal Interagency Thriving Communities Network
Putting Federal Commitments into Action
The Biden-Harris administration is making historic investments that address climate, economic development, and infrastructure needs in communities around the country thanks to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law [BIL]), the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), and the American Rescue Plan (ARP), and annual appropriations. To make the most of these once-in-a-generation, transformational commitments, the White House and Cabinet agencies of the Executive Branch are coordinating closely on the planning, implementation, and technical support needed to ensure these investments create long-term benefits nationwide.
The Federal Government has also set a goal as part of President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative under Executive Order 14008 for 40 percent of the overall benefits of climate- and clean energy-related investments to flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution.
The Administration can only achieve its Justice40 goal if we provide coordinated resources to communities to help overcome the barriers between Federal funding and the places that need them most.
Whole of Government Approach to Federal Coordination of Place-Based Technical Assistance
The Thriving Communities Network is designed to help Cabinet agencies coordinate strategy, collaborate across initiatives, and target deployment of a full range of Federal place-based technical assistance and capacity-building resources to urban, rural, and Tribal communities experiencing a history of economic distress and systemic disinvestment. This effort includes resources to help disadvantaged communities with grant and financial management, pre-development assistance, community engagement, planning, and project delivery support.
Each Thriving Communities Network partner agency is committed to coordinating and collaborating between their technical assistance programs, especially within regional or field offices that often serve as front doors and key points of contact to support communities. By working alongside and within communities, technical assistance programs can better support the locally identified needs and priorities.
Thriving Communities Shared Principles
Thriving Communities Network partner agencies commit to collectively supporting the following shared principles:
- Scale for Impact – Proactively identify and collaboratively support transformative projects that demonstrate the potential for equitable, inclusive community and economic development in underserved communities.
- Build Community Wealth – Build long-term community capacity to successfully compete for, leverage, and manage the investment of Federal funds in strategic projects and activities that build lasting community wealth.
- Center the Power of Community – Provide technical assistance that values, leverages, and grows the local expertise existing within communities regarding their needs with inclusive and culturally competent public engagement processes.
- Meet Areas of Greatest Need – Prioritize support to rural, urban, suburban, and Tribal communities that have the greatest resource and capacity needs.
- Expand Access and Participation – Intentionally remove barriers and create access to economic, health care, education, energy, housing, and environmental opportunities in every part of the country.
- Diversify Knowledge – Diversify the pool of capacity-building providers to include a greater number of disadvantaged and small businesses, entrepreneurs, and those with community-based expertise.
During the fiscal year (FY) 2023 launch year, the Thriving Communities Network will focus on implementing a set of identified technical assistance programs. Participating agencies and technical assistance programs include the following:
Department of Agriculture
USDA Rural Partners Network
The Rural Partners Network (RPN) is a collaboration among Federal agencies to support and collaborate with deployed RPN Community Liaisons to assist with Federal government navigation.
Information for this program is available in USDA’s post about the Rural Partners Network.
Department of Energy
Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization Rapid Response Teams (RRT)
Co-chaired by the National Economic Council and Climate Policy Office and administered by DOE, Rapid Response Teams will assist communities in transition with immediate fossil (e.g., coal plants, mines, oil wells) asset closures.
Information about this program is available on the Interagency Working Group’s website.
Department of Housing and Urban Development
The DOT-HUD Thriving Communities Initiative is a joint agency effort between DOT and HUD to provide place-based technical assistance to communities to plan and transform infrastructure and community development projects. Primary focus under this initiative is the Thriving Communities Program (TCP), but it also includes coordination of other DOT place-based community solutions programs providing targeted technical assistance directly to communities through other programs administered by DOT’s Build America Bureau, including the Reconnecting Communities Learning Institute in 2023.
The Thriving Communities Program provides technical assistance, planning, and capacity building to ensure that disadvantaged communities adversely or disproportionately affected by environmental, climate, and human health policy outcomes have the technical tools and organizational capacity to compete for Federal aid and deliver quality infrastructure projects that enable their communities and neighborhoods to thrive.
Information about this program is available on the Thriving Communities Program website.
Department of Transportation
DOT-HUD Thriving Communities Initiative
DOT’s Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program
DOT’s Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program will provide technical assistance for entities interested in reconnection of communities cut off from opportunity by transportation infrastructure such as highways.
Information about this program is available on the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program website.
DOT’s Regional Infrastructure Accelerators Program
The USDOT Build America Bureau’s Regional Infrastructure Accelerators program funds accelerators or extensions of the Bureau in regions across the country that are the bridge between the Bureau and local project sponsors. Accelerators open the door to billions of dollars available via the Bureau’s long-term, low-interest loans for critical transportation infrastructure projects.
Working together with Bureau technical experts, Accelerators help agencies make projects viable for the Bureau’s Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan program and Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) loan program.
For more information, contact RIA@dot.gov or visit the Regional Infrastructure Accelerators Program website.
Economic Development Agency (Department of Commerce)
EDA Economic Recovery Corps
The U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Economic Recovery Corps program is being launched to provide a national network of fellows to increase underserved communities’ ability to plan, prepare for, and implement economic development initiatives. This is part of EDA’s broader efforts to provide financial and technical assistance to support locally driven, regionally oriented economic development strategies.
Information about this program is available on the Economic Recovery Corps website.
Environmental Protection Agency
EPA Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Centers
The Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Centers (EJTCTACs) is a joint effort between EPA and DOE to support underserved communities’ understanding of the Federal grant process to enhance their ability to provide EPA with meaningful input pertaining to its environmental justice programs.
Information about this program is available on the Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Centers Program website.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (Department of Homeland Security)
Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities Direct Technical Assistance
The Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities Direct Technical Assistance (BRIC DTA) program provides tailored support to communities that may not have the resources to begin climate resilience planning and project solution design on their own. BRIC DTA works alongside communities interested in enhancing their capacity to design holistic, equitable hazard mitigation solutions that advance numerous community-driven objectives.
Information about this program is available on FEMA’s BRIC Direct Technical Assistance website.
U.S. General Services Administration
GSA Center for Urban Development
The Center for Urban Development provides GSA regional offices and their local stakeholders with the technical expertise they need to coordinate project touch points, plan for public-use open space, and maximize economic impact.
Information about this program is available on the Urban Development/Good Neighbor Program website.