THE RECOVERY FUND AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
The Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (Recovery Fund), part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which NACo helped to develop and strongly advocated to pass, allocates $65.1 billion. These funds provide direct, flexible aid for every county, parish and borough in America. Counties are on the front lines in delivering this aid to residents and are a driving force connecting communities and strengthening the economy.
As directed by the ARPA and the U.S. Department of Treasury, counties can invest Recovery Funds into a broad range of programs, services and projects under five categories to: support the public health response; address negative economic impacts caused by COVID-19; replace lost revenue; provide premium pay to essential workers; and invest in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.
Since the enactment of the ARPA, America’s counties have been working hard to develop Recovery Fund implementation plans that will help spur an equitable economic recovery across the nation. As sound financial stewards, counties are investing these critical Recovery Funds to ensure the health and well-being of our nation’s residents and the economic vitality of our local communities. Many counties are in the preliminary stages of development and implementation of Recovery Fund Plans. This report highlights county investments to connect residents with stable job opportunities, expand job training assistance and provide support to emerging industries in the community.
COUNTIES ACROSS THE NATION FACE HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT
Across the nation, counties have experienced high unemployment rates during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, over 300 counties experienced an unemployment rate of 10 percent or higher. The Recovery Fund provides counties the opportunity to bolster and strengthen the local workforce.
Source: NACo Analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics - Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS).
COUNTIES ARE INVESTING RECOVERY FUNDS TO:
COUNTIES ARE PRIORITIZING WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT THROUGH KEY INVESTMENTS
How are counties investing the funds? NACo analysis of 200 county ARPA Recovery Fund plans reveals county-designed investments in the community across key areas of need. These local priorities are found within county plans at the rate displayed in the chart, e.g. 46 percent of county plans include investments in workforce and employment. The darker bars are the investment categories adjacent to workforce and employment that support the continuation and expansion of services in counties. The examples in this report further illustrate the allocations to support workforce development on the local level.
Note: NACo analysis of 200 county Recovery Plan Performance Reports from counties with a population of 250,000 and above, as required by the U.S. Department of Treasury. Analysis is as of Nov. 19, 2021. While the bar chart sources Recovery Plans, the narrative examples in this report draw from a variety of resources including the Recovery Plans, press releases and other official documents.