NCSL Labor and Economic Development Committee - Policy

Economic Development

Expires August 2013

For years states have been pioneers in developing effective economic development programs and policies. Even in times of economic declines, states continue to be the laboratories for enhancing economic development and job creation. 

There are four federal agencies responsible for providing the necessary information and vital resources to support state economic development programs. The U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are the federal sources for research, economic development tools and construction. The U.S. Department of Labor provides resources for training, and the Small Business Administration provides direct loans to businesses. However, significant information gaps remain within the federal government’s approach to supporting state efforts in economic development.

The National Conference of State Legislatures commends Congress and the Administration for their ongoing efforts to identify and encourage economic development and growth in states. However, current federal policy and agencies often operate independently with overlapping program and policy goals diluting the impact of limited federal resources. NCSL strongly urges the federal government to better coordinate their economic development activities by establishing a coordinator in the Office of the President to mitigate confusion and redundancies among such policies and agencies, and coordinate efforts at the executive office level. The coordinator would also produce an overall catalogue or compendium of state economic development policies and programs that would enable states to draw upon the experience of one another. NCSL also strongly believes that in order to be successful, federal policy should supplement, not supplant, state economic development policy, progress, improvements and innovations.

Labor and Economic Development Committee