Created in December 2000, the Delta Regional Authority encourages the development of new jobs and basic improvements to enhance quality of life. The DRA’s formula for strengthening economies is to improve education, infrastructure, transportation and businesses with an emphasis on private enterprise. ADECA oversees the program in Alabama and works with local, state and regional agencies to implement program goals.
The DRA serves 252 counties and parishes in eight states, including 20 counties in Alabama. The Alabama counties in the DRA include Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Dallas, Escambia, Greene, Hale, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Monroe, Perry, Pickens, Russell, Sumter, Washington and Wilcox.
Each of the member counties in Alabama has been defined as a “distressed county,” where the unemployment rate is greater than the national average, a substantial loss in population has occurred, a major industry or business has closed, or a major disaster or emergency has been experienced. At least 75 percent of the total funds allocated to the authority are invested in distressed counties and half of those funds must be earmarked for transportation and infrastructure improvements. Projects that have a regional impact receive special priority.
The DRA supports job creation and economic development through innovative approaches to growing local and regional leadership, increasing access to quality healthcare, and boosting opportunities for entrepreneurs to obtain affordable capital.
The grant applications are submitted to DRA directly, reviewed and recommended jointly by DRA and the State, awarded by DRA, and managed by the DRA staff.
The Local Development Districts (LDDs) are our local partners and are an active and essential part of the DRA partnership. There are six LDDs in Alabama’s Delta Region, and each LDD operates under a Board of Directors composed of elected representatives from the various local governments.
States’ Economic Development Assistance Program (SEDAP)
The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) has announced funding availability for the States’ Economic Development Assistance Program (SEDAP) that will support economic and community development needs within DRA’s region. Approximately $16.8 million is available to address basic public and transportation infrastructure, as well as workforce and business development needs for communities within DRA’s eight-state service area.
Learn more here. Deadline: July 9, 2023
2024 Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy
The Delta Regional Authority’s (DRA) 2024 Delta Leadership Institute (DLI) Executive Academy application period is now open. DLI is an extensive, nine-month leadership development program that brings together public, private, and nonprofit sector leaders from the Mississippi River and Alabama Black Belt regions.
Learn more and apply here: https://dra.gov/programs/human-infrastructure/leadership/delta-leadership-institute/
2023 Delta Summit
Registration is now open for the Delta Regional Authority’s (DRA) Annual Delta Summit at the JW Marriott in New Orleans, Louisiana, from October 30-November 1, 2023. The 2023 Delta Summit, themed Navigating the Currents of Opportunity, will bring together community leaders from across the eight-state DRA region.
Crystal G. Talley
Federal Initiatives and Recreation Division Chief
Leslie M. Clark
Federal Initiatives and Recreation Unit Chief