BlueGreen Alliance | Companies Succeed, Communities Benefit

Companies Succeed, Communities Benefit

A Bluegreen Alliance User Guide for Companies to Demonstrate Community Benefits in Federal Funding Applications

December 5, 2023

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Three bills passed by the 117th U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Biden are historic investments in a new economy that is clean, thriving, and equitable:

  1. The $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL);
  2. The $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act (CHIPS); and 
  3. The $740 billion Inflation Reduction Act. 

Federal agencies are now charged with distributing more than $2 trillion to revitalize and clean up U.S. manufacturing, strengthen supply chains, support clean energy deployment, tackle the climate crisis, create good union jobs, and deliver benefits to communities. 

The BlueGreen Alliance (BGA) is guided by the principle that we can no longer choose between good jobs and a clean environment—that the actions we take to create quality jobs and to protect working people and the environment must go hand-in-hand, and that together, we will build a clean, prosperous, and fair economy. Similarly, we believe the documented labor and community actions that will result in a successful application for federal loans and grants under the BIL, CHIPS, and Inflation Reduction Act will create intrinsic value for the companies that are proposing these projects. Unions and communities can be key partners to companies as they bring projects to fruition by helping to recruit and train a skilled workforce, acquire necessary local permits, and get buy-in and support from local leaders. These kinds of relationships can also de-risk projects by shortening permitting and siting timelines, improving the prospect for future development, and ensuring quality products and projects that are competitive in a global marketplace. 

The following recommendations aim to help companies create successful federal funding applications that will contribute to what the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) describes as “broadly shared prosperity.” DOE’s Community Benefits Plans (CBPs) are a requirement of most DOE BIL- and Inflation Reduction Act-funded applications and are encouraged by other agencies’ funding opportunities. CBPs provide a comprehensive framework that applicants for grants and loans from all federal agencies can use to demonstrate commitment to creating good jobs and career pathways for a diverse pool of workers, as well as long-term economic, social, environmental, and health benefits for communities. 

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