Santa Cruz County Community Foundation (SCCF), a geographic affiliate of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona (CFSA), has been selected as a host organization for a new Economic Recovery Corps program (ERC) launching this month at 65 host locations across 44 states and territories.
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) initiated the ERC program in 2023 to build capacity in some of the hardest-hit and most economically distressed areas across the United States.
The ERC is funded by the Economic Development Administration (EDA) under the CARES Act and led by the IEDC in partnership with six national organizations: Center on Rural Innovation (CORI), International City/County Management Association (ICMA), National Association of Counties Research Foundation (NACo RF), National Association of Development Organizations Research Foundation (NADO RF), National League of Cities Institute (NLCI), and RAIN Catalysts.
The IEDC received more than 500 applications from potential ERC host organizations and over 1,400 ERC Fellow applications. Each selected host site receives a dedicated Fellow, fully funded for 2.5 years, who will work to strengthen and coordinate relationships and support local efforts to build more resilient, inclusive, and equitable economies.
In Santa Cruz County, the ERC fellow will support local nonprofit organizations through the implementation of a nonprofit accelerator program. The accelerator will help organizations bring collaborative (cross-organizational and cross-community) ideas to life and expand their organizational capacity and services through peer learning, mentoring, and coaching.
“I am thrilled for our community to have this opportunity to help build the capacity of our local nonprofits to access and bring federal dollars to Santa Cruz County. Being selected as an Economic Recovery Corps host community was a very competitive process, and I am excited to see the impact of this fellowship over the next few years,” shared Bruce Bracker, Vice Chairman of the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors.
Santa Cruz County native Evan Kory was awarded this nationally competitive fellowship placement and will provide targeted capacity-building support to the Santa Cruz County nonprofit community. Kory is a Julliard-trained classical musician and active community organizer from Nogales, Arizona. He serves on several Santa Cruz County nonprofit boards and recently led the effort to open the new Wittner Museum, a multi-use space that serves as an art museum, performance venue, and community center.
Kory shared, “I am grateful for the opportunity to offer support and guidance to our community’s nonprofits through the ERC fellowship program. I hope to engage with a wide variety of nonprofits ranging from the arts sector to affordable housing, many of which are now eligible for larger federal funding opportunities. Working together, we can increase the potential for employment and economic growth in Southern Arizona.”