The Economic Development Authority has received a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration for development of the EDA’s Vision 2040 Post-Disaster Resiliency and Preparedness Plan, Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett has announced.
During a June board meeting, Kamal Latham, E.D.A. chief executive officer, said the VI 2040 Vision is an effort to develop a 20-year economic plan for the territory. “The governor designated E.D.A. to lead a multi-agency task force to develop the vision to be deployed on October 1st,” said Mr. Latham. “We have been granted $1 million from the Community Development and Block Grant – Disaster Recovery funds to fund Vision 2040,” he added, speaking of separating funding provided through the local government.
Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett said the federal grant announced Monday was provided to help rebuild communities devastated by natural disasters in the territory, to include several designated opportunity zones. “The investment will help hire managing directors, provide for industry analysis, and facilitate public meetings to gather ideas for the plan, which will lay the groundwork for the next 20 years of development in the territory,” she said. “Once completed, the project will increase job opportunities, attract foreign direct investment, and promote economic resilience after future natural disasters.”
She added, “This investment award will benefit the Virgin Islands tremendously with our ongoing rebuilding efforts making the Virgin Islands whole again after experiencing two devastating hurricanes. The United States government and the international community has an obligation to help in the reestablishment of our islands. The investment award is a vital component of that concern.”
A request for clarification of VI 2040 Vision dated May 21st that includes consultant questions and answers, is posted on the E.D.A. website and gives more detailed information about the initiative. According to the document, Shanell Petersen, managing director of marketing and 2040 vision, is the internal lead at the E.D.A. for the 20-year economic plan and is dedicated to assisting the consultant. Her internal task force includes two staff members.
The clarification document further states that the E.D.A. desires over 50 percent of the local population and approximately 10 percent of the diaspora to be engaged in providing feedback to the Vision 2040 process. The E.D.A. is seeking a diverse mix of in-person and digital engagement approaches.
A job vacancy announcement posted on the E.D.A.’s website states that the entity is seeking a full-time program manager for its managing director for Marketing and 2040 Vision position for the St. Thomas office. The position pays $61,337.48 – $65,091.83
The program manager reports to the managing director. According to E.D.A.’s website, members of the Vision 2040 steering committee include Mr. Bryan, Lt. Governor Tregenza Roach, Mr. Latham, Senator Allison Degazon, and attorney George H.T Dudley from St. Thomas.