Economic Development

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GrantWorks has an extensive history with economic development programs and is the top provider in the State of Texas for assisting local governments with the Texas Capital Fund (TCF) program. The TCF uses federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to create or retain jobs in the private sector. Activities include infrastructure and site development through grants and loans.
Over a span of 40+ years, we have successfully managed over $8 billion in projects focused on improving the communities where we live, work, and play. Today, with a national workforce of over 370+ professionals, GWI continues its mission to develop meaningful partnerships with public and private sector customers to solve complex infrastructure challenges, improve public service, and build stronger, smarter, and more resilient communities.

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    GrantWorks Economic Development SERVICES

    Our Economic Development Division offers a full range of technical and management services to our customers that includes full grant project management, project monitoring and compliance, pre-award application consulting, financial management, RFP/RFQ creation and implementation, stakeholder engagement and managementproject design and implementation, subrecipient management and procurement, project scope identification and implementation, contract close out, environmental review,  and audit readiness support.


    “EDA will continue to focus on restoring a foundation for equitable and sustainable job growth and build durable regional economies throughout the United States. Together, we will Build Back Better!”

    - Alejandra Castillo, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development

    Economic Development Administration (EDA) Funds available:

    The Economic Development Administration (EDA) has published the FY 2020 Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Programs Notice of Funding Opportunity (PWEAA NOFO). EDA’s Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) programs provide economically distressed communities and regions with comprehensive and flexible resources to address a wide variety of economic needs. Projects funded by these programs will support work in Opportunity Zones and will support the mission of the Department by, among other things, leading to the creation and retention of jobs and increased private investment, advancing innovation, enhancing the manufacturing capacities of regions, providing workforce development opportunities, and growing ecosystems that attract foreign direct investment.


      Eligible Applicants For EDA Funding:

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        • District Organization
        • Indian Tribe or a consortium of Indian Tribes
        • State, County, City, or other political subdivision of a State
        • Institution of higher education
        • Public or private non-profit organization or association, acting in cooperation with officials of a political subdivision of a State

        Through the PWEAA NOFO, EDA solicits applications from applicants in order to provide investments that support construction, non-construction, planning, technical assistance, and revolving loan fund projects under EDA’s Public Works program and EAA programs (which includes Assistance to Coal Communities). Grants and cooperative agreements made under these programs are designed to leverage existing regional assets and support the implementation of economic development strategies that advance new ideas and creative approaches to advance economic prosperity in distressed communities, including those negatively impacted by changes to the coal economy.


        Types Of Economic Development Projects We Support:


        • Infrastructure (new and improvements)
        • Economic Recovery & Resilience
        • Workforce Development
        • Manufacturing
        • Technology Based Economic Development
        • Environmentally Sustainable Economic Development
        • Opportunity Zone
        • Main Street Development
        • Strategic Planning
        • Green/Climate Projects
        • FDI and Exports

        Economic Development Team Leaders



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        John Zakian, CEcD
        SVP, Program Development

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        40+ Years

        Specialized In Economic Development

        John R. Zakian, CEcD, has more than 40 years’ experience in public service senior management positions with city and county governments, nonprofit corporations and a federal agency in diverse regions of the eastern United States. His expertise covers principles & practices of general city and county management; creating and managing 501(C)3 nonprofit corporations; municipal capital projects, and long term post disaster recovery plan development and projects’ implementation. Specialized knowledge includes resilience strategies/planning, strategic planning, redevelopment planning, public/private partnerships, alternative revenue, taxable and tax exempt financing instruments, federal grant procurement, and project delivery, rules, and regulations governing post disaster recovery including FEMA, EDA and HUD CDBG-DR. He has a MPA ‘with distinction” from Pace University, has completed three senior executive programs at Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government in Strategic Public Sector Negotiation, and Senior State and Local Executive Programs, and has earned the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) credential from IEDC.


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        Renee Wott, MPA
        VP, Economic Development

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        Specialized In Economic Development

        Renee leads GrantWorks'  Economic Development division in identifying opportunities to assist clients in formulating and funding economic development projects, primarily through state and federal grants.   Before joining GrantWorks, Renee was an Economic Development Specialist with the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration in Chicago, Illinois. She managed the grants monitoring process (pre- and post-award) of various grant recipients and programs for over $50 million in federal funding. Renee provided expert technical assistance to grantees throughout the life of the grant awards. In addition, she processed programmatic requirements of federal grants, amendments, progress reporting, and evaluation and financial reporting of federal grants, including reimbursements, advance payments, and quarterly financial reports. Renee has extensive knowledge of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and federal grant compliance and guidelines.


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        Tyler Engle
        Economic Development Coordinator

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        Specialized In Economic Development

        Tyler provides clients with technical and formative assistance on economic development projects through various state and federal grant programs. Tyler worked as Executive Director of the Joint Economic and Community Development Board of Unicoi County, Tennessee, Inc. before joining GrantWorks. Tyler procured and administered grants and programs for economic and community development in this capacity, including a multi-million dollar, multi-agency, multi-year adaptive reuse project transforming a disused glass plant into a prime greenfield site.   Downtown development programs he helped design and initiate brought an almost 50% reduction in the vacancy rate in the city's central business zone over five years. He also provided technical assistance and support on industrial projects related to ad valorem land, sales, and use taxes for the greater Johnson City metropolitan area. Tyler has spoken across the South about best practices in downtown, community, and economic development.