FEMA Grant to Create Economic Recovery Training Program for U.S. Businesses

Award to Georgia Tech and Alliance Solutions Group supports national education curriculum on pre-disaster preparedness, post-disaster recovery

 

As the nation’s communities have grown in complexity through innovation and technological advances, the potential for massive economic damage in the wake of disasters has increased.

 

In response, the Enterprise Innovation Institute at Georgia Tech is creating a training and education curriculum focused on building economic recovery capabilities among U.S. businesses by equipping them with skills and tools needed to support community and regional resiliencies to disasters.

 

Supported by a three-year funding award from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the training will also provide economic development organizations with the tools and resources required to support businesses during the recovery process of major disasters.

 

Alliance Solutions Group, a Newport News, Virginia-based company that provides emergency management and safety solutions to the public, private, and defense sectors, is working with the Enterprise Innovation Institute in the research, development, and delivery of the training.

 

FEMA developed the grant in response to the need to enhance economic resilience among U.S. businesses, specifically in the aftermath of major disasters with long recovery periods. The agency estimates 75% of companies that do not have business continuity plans will fail within three years of a natural disaster.

 

National in scope with a mix of virtual and in-person delivery, the training courses will be available in all 50 states, six territories across FEMA’s 10 regions, and 573 Native American communities. As courses are completed and ready for delivery, they will be posted in FEMA’s National Training and Educational Division online catalogue.

 

Head shot of Brandy Nagel

Brandy Nagel, a program manager and faculty researcher with Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, will teach some some of the economic disaster preparedness and recovery courses under the FEMA grant.

The Enterprise Innovation Institute’s EDA University Center, an economic development program funded by the Economic Development Administration, identified the resilience and recovery challenges for economic development districts across the country.

 

“Based on that analysis, we took a 360-degree approach in creating a pre-disaster preparedness and post-disaster recovery curriculum that enhances our national economic resilience,” said David Bridges, vice president of the Enterprise Innovation Institute. “This education series proactively positions businesses to deal with and mitigate the fallout from disasters when they do occur.”

 

Georgia Tech and Alliance Solutions Group’s national training program is designed to improve economic development organizations’ preparedness, engage communities, bolster international trade, and energize community lifelines. The program also includes a recovery phase to enhance preparedness, economic recovery, and community resilience on a national scale. Training courses and resource toolkits include:

 

  • Whole Community Approach to Establishing Regional Economic Resilience: Training for economic development organizations, planners, and local/regional leaders who will integrate economic development strategies with hazard mitigation plans to enhance regional economic resilience.
  • Export Resiliency during International Disasters: Training for export focused EDOs tailored to exporters and international businesses’ unique needs to learn how to quickly stabilize and restore exports during disasters.
  • Crisis Leadership and Decision-making: Implementing Community Lifelines to Accelerate Economic Recovery: Training for community leaders, managers and EDOs that will prepare decision makers to stabilize and restore lifelines.

As the nation’s oldest, largest, and most diverse university-based economic development organization, the Enterprise Innovation Institute brings a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and research in strategic planning and ecosystem building for a comprehensive training program.

 

Alliance Solutions Group has more than 16 years of corporate experience in the development of innovative training, exercise, and management programs that build sustainable disaster preparedness and environmental, health and safety capabilities for private and public sector clients.

 

About Georgia Tech
The Georgia Institute of Technology, or Georgia Tech, is a top 10 public research university developing leaders who advance technology and improve the human condition. The Institute offers business, computing, design, engineering, liberal arts, and sciences degrees. Its nearly 44,000 students, representing 50 states and 149 countries, study at the main campus in Atlanta, at campuses in France and China, and through distance and online learning. As a leading technological university, Georgia Tech is an engine of economic development for Georgia, the Southeast, and the nation, conducting more than $1 billion in research annually for government, industry, and society.

 

About the Enterprise Innovation Institute
The Enterprise Innovation Institute, the Georgia Institute of Technology’s economic development unit serves all of Georgia through a variety of services and programs that build and scale startups, grow business enterprises, and energize ecosystem builders. As the nation’s largest and most comprehensive university-based economic development organization, the Institute’s expertise and reach are global; its innovation, entrepreneurship, and ecosystem development programs serve governments, universities, nonprofits, and other organizations worldwide. In 2020, EI2 served more than 8,900 businesses, communities, and entrepreneurs. Those clients reported startup investment capital exceeding $731 million and creating or saving more than 25,8,00 jobs. The Institute’s total 2020 financial impact exceeded $3.6 billion. Learn more at innovate.gatech.edu.

 

About Alliance Solutions Group, Inc.
Alliance Solutions Group (ASG) is a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business that offers emergency management and environmental, health, and safety solutions to all levels of the public, private, and defense sectors. ASG’s team of strategists, thought leaders, subject matter experts, and instructors have an average of 20+ years of experience in our respective fields. In meeting customers’ needs, ASG leverages thousands of lessons learned, best practices and business processes that have been synthesized throughout the last decade. Having conducted over 15,000 workplace audits and several thousand training and exercise events, ASG has built a solid understanding of the challenges facing both private and public sector organizations in multiple sectors. ASG’s perspective spans from the local to the global, with offices across the U.S. and throughout the world, and partnerships with municipal, state, federal, military, and private sector clients in 48 states and 17 countries. Learn more at www.asg-inc.org.

 

About the Federal Emergency Management Agency
At FEMA, we employ more than 20,000 people nationwide. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we have 10 regional offices located across the country. We leverage a tremendous capacity to coordinate within the federal government to make sure America is equipped to prepare for and respond to disasters. Our mission is helping people before, during and after disasters. Our core values and guiding principles help us achieve it. To learn more, visit fema.gov.

Georgia Tech hosts inaugural University Center Roundtable

Lynne Henkiel

Lynne Henkiel, director of Georgia Tech’s EDA University Center, addresses attendees of the inaugural Atlanta Regional Office University Center Roundtable. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

The Georgia Institute of Technology’s EDA University Center hosted 13 schools from across the Southeast March 13 and 14 for the inaugural Atlanta Regional Office University Center Roundtable.

 

An initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), these university centers marshal the resources found in colleges and universities to support regional economic development strategies in areas facing chronic and acute economic distress.

 

“This meeting was two-fold, for new EDA funding awardees, this was their opportunity to present their plans and discuss what projects they planned to take on,” said Lynne Henkiel, director of Tech’s EDA University Center. “For re-awardees like us at Tech, we shared our success stories regarding past projects and gave guidance on lessons learned from past award cycles.

 

The conference featured a dozen colleges and universities from the Southeast. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

“It was designed to be an exchange of ideas, strategies and best practices.”

 

Among the schools in attendance: Georgia Southern University, Auburn, the University of Kentucky, Mississippi State University, Fayetteville State University, Western Carolina University, the University of Florida, University of Tennessee, Tennessee Tech University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of South Carolina.

 

H. Philip Paradice Jr.

H. Philip Paradice Jr., the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Southeast regional director, discusses EDA funding guidelines for projects. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

Georgia Tech has been an EDA award recipient since the program’s inception in the 1980s — the only school with that distinction — since the 1980s.

 

In her role, Henkiel leads a wide range of outreach activities designed to promote job creation, development of high-skilled regional talent pools, business expansion in innovation clusters, and to create and nurture regional economic ecosystems in the state of Georgia. In addition, the Center seeks to conduct technology-related economic and policy research that will enhance Georgia’s competitive position.

 

In fiscal year 2017, Tech’s EDA University Center’s work helped save or create 255 jobs and led to private sector investment of $132.9 million in Georgia.

 

The Georgia Tech EDA University Center is a program of the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), which is Tech’s economic development and outreach arm.