A Strong Grant Funding Outlook Needs a Strong Team

Our 2023 crystal ball predicts several good news/bad news scenarios:

  • Despite concerns about recession, or maybe because of them, the need for infrastructure grant funding will remain strong as project owners prepare for the possibility of a budget crunch.
  • While fears of federal gridlock remain valid, the “uncommonly bipartisan,” passage of the 2021 federal infrastructure bill (per the New York Times) bodes well for the future of infrastructure funding.

The Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA) created a historic level of funding to complete road, bridge, energy, water/wastewater, resiliency and hazard mitigation projects. It has also contributed to a shortage of qualified professionals:

  • 82,000 new engineers will be required to tackle all that is funded by the act, at a time when engineering and design services are near full employment. (Source: American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC *)
  • Lack of grant writing expertise contributes to inequity in grant awards, where communities with greatest need may not have resources to navigate the complex application process. (Source: Smart Cities Dive*)

Pennoni’s clients have access to company resources with a long track record of grant writing as well as engineering and design success. Pennoni is also one of the few engineering firms (or grant services firms) with nationally credentialed grant writing staff, certifying the knowledge base, performance ability, integrity and ethical standards necessary to produce grant applications that stand out in a crowded field of submissions.

Our cross-cutting expertise also supplies knowledge of grant opportunities across sectors. In 2022, Pennoni guided clients to grant dollars for transportation projects, park improvements, flood mitigation and resiliency, energy efficiency improvements, EV charging, ports and marine upgrades, water/wastewater projects, brownfields, lead abatement and planning and economic development.

Wins ranged from a $100,000 regional grant for a park master plan to a $6M USDOT RAISE award. In 2022, 59 public and private clients in six states benefited from Pennoni grant services. Pennoni also provided direction in navigating the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act as well as American Rescue Plan Act Covid funding, the Inflation Reduction Act and Congressionally Directed Spending. Services included leading the full application effort, contributing narrative writing, editing and review services, grant research, risk management analysis and subject matter expertise.

As the ACEC put it, “Well-designed, well-built, and well-maintained infrastructure can solve many of America’s problems, including addressing the climate challenge, providing mobility and access to work opportunities and enhancing public health and safety.”

Pennoni’s grant services is here to help. Here’s to a successful 2023.

For more detail on infrastructure grants forecasting, or to discuss funding opportunities for your project, contact Pennoni’s grant writer and funding solutions manager Elaine Finn.


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