Federal Infrastructure Funds: How Communities are Prioritizing Equity, Transparency, and Good Jobs

The Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act (IIJA) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) offer states and cities funding opportunities for infrastructure improvements across all areas, including billions in competitive grants. As states and localities apply for these funds, the Biden Administration has laid out several grantmaking priorities, including an emphasis on workforce development with the ultimate goal of creating good jobs and promoting diversity, equity, community participation, and transparency. Many IRA and IIJA funding categories are included in the Justice40 initiative, which aims to address underinvestment in disadvantaged communities by requiring 40 percent of federal funding to flow to disadvantaged communities. Federal departments are creating their own requirements for implementing Justice40 within their departmental funding programs.  To maximize competitive advantage in these grant programs, localities should consider prioritizing equity, transparency, and generating good jobs through workforce development.