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History and Mission

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs was created by the Legislature as an arm of the Governor’s Office in 1983. The enabling legislation for the department is codified in Title 41, Chapter 23 of the Code of Alabama, and many of ADECA’s duties are delineated in this chapter.

The ADECA Director is a member of the Governor’s Cabinet and serves, along with the Assistant Director, at the pleasure of the Governor. A 10-member Legislative Oversight Commission monitors and evaluates the operations of ADECA and may recommend to the Legislature the enactment of additional laws relating to the department.

The Legislature established ADECA to streamline and professionalize the management of a number of federally-funded programs administered by the state. By consolidating numerous agencies into a single department, administrative costs were reduced while ensuring that strict federal requirements for comprehensive monitoring, reporting and auditing were implemented.

Today, ADECA is responsible for administering a broad range of state and federal programs that contribute to the department’s mission — Building Better Alabama Communities. Each year we distribute hundreds of millions of dollars to Alabama cities, counties, non-profit organizations and others. Our grants support economic development projects, infrastructure improvements, job training, energy conservation, law enforcement, traffic safety, recreation development and assistance to low-income families. We also work to monitor and protect Alabama’s water resources, and we distribute state and federal surplus property to local governments and other qualified organizations.

ADECA programs are as diverse as the people of Alabama and impact every corner of the state. The department works to assist children, the elderly, victims of crime and abuse, the disadvantaged and poor and the unemployed. Businesses, local governments, schools and non-profit organizations benefit from the hundreds of grants and contracts administered by ADECA.

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