DRA is a federal-state partnership created by Congress, which serves a 240 county/parish area in an eight-state region. In Mississippi, 45 counties (including all 7 CMPDD counties) are eligible for funding under DRA. The purpose of DRA is to remedy severe and chronic economic distress by stimulating economic development partnerships that will have a positive impact on the region’s economy.
Priority for funding is given to four types of projects: (1) Basic Public Infrastructure; (2) Transportation Infrastructure; (3) Business Development; and (4) Job Training and Employment-related Education. DRA funds may also be used to leverage other federal and state programs. Under federal law, 75 percent of funds are targeted to distressed counties and pockets of poverty, and 50 percent of dollars are earmarked for transportation and basic public infrastructure.