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The Economic Recovery Corps (ERC) Fellowship program aims to build capacity in economically distressed areas across the U.S. while cultivating the next generation of economic development leaders. The program connects 65 host sites nationwide with diverse practitioners and leaders with the passion, skills, and vision to create new ways of doing economic development. The ERC Fellowship was launched in 2023 through a $30 million cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). It is led by the International Economic Development Council and supported by six other national economic development organizations.


From over 500 hosts applications, we were among 65 host sites selected to receive help in advancing a project critical to the economic recovery of our community. ERC projects represent the interconnectedness between economic development and the pressing needs in communities of all sizes, including workforce development, entrepreneurial ecosystem building, housing, childcare, climate resiliency, broadband, and access to capital. Each project across the U.S. receives a dedicated fellow (fully funded for 2.5 years from the ERC program) who serves as a field catalyst to enhance, strengthen, and coordinate relationships and local efforts alongside the host community. We are delighted to be matched with Shaun Donovan, who brings a wealth of expertise and passion to help us and local stakeholders on our project for the next 2.5 years. Shaun will be living and working in our community, so he will be embedded in the local fabric of our region.


To find out more about the exciting work Shaun and the Region I staff will be doing, please visit

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