Devastating statistics such as these are what led Congress to create the Delta Regional Authority in 2000 after years of commissions, task forces, and study groups. The time for studies was over. The time for action had arrived.
Since its creation thirteen years ago, the Delta Regional Authority has worked to improve the lives of the 10 million people who live in the Delta. Targeted investments in each of the eight states have created over 9,000 jobs and retained more than 7,500 jobs. Through the States' Economic Development Assistance Program and Rural Community Advancement Program, DRA supports business incubators, job training and workforce development programs, and infrastructure and industrial development to attract new business investments, all of which increase the opportunities for high-skill jobs for Delta residents.
With a leverage ratio of 22:1, the Delta Regional Authority leveraged $1.7 billion in private investment with DRA projects over 12 cycles that have touched nearly every county and parish in the Delta. The Delta Regional Authority forges partnerships throughout the region as well as with federal family of agencies, bringing national investment and opportunities to the Region. Local development districts are key partners and serve as front-line project developers with community and economic leaders. DRA also utilizes strategic partnerships with U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development offices in the region, state economic development departments, local small business development centers, the U.S. Economic Development Administration, U.S. Small Business Administration, and other federal agencies.
Through numerous policy initiatives, the Authority is investing in programs that better the health, accessibility, connectivity, and educational opportunities for Delta residents of all ages. Over twelve funding cycles has trained 3,745 individuals and helped 25,500 families gain access to clean water and sewer service. The Delta Leadership Institute, Healthy Delta Initiative, and other programs are helping to improve the leadership, health outcomes, and quality of life for people in the Delta.