Washington, D.C. (January 26, 2022) — The Atlas, a free online community for local government leaders, is launching The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: A Handbook for State and Local Government Leaders, a new digital resource for the state & local government decision-makers. The handbook was created to help cut through the uncertainty of the recent act and empower local leaders so that they can best position their organizations and their priority projects. The announcement was made today by Ellory Monks, co-founder of The Atlas.
"Getting IIJA signed into law was the first step. Now there’s an enormous challenge facing government leaders at all levels: funnel the money into impactful projects, and do it as quickly as possible. The task is as hard as it sounds,” said Monks. “ This handbook was born out of our desire to help state and local leaders navigate this monumental challenge during a critical time in our nation's history."
The handbook features many different resources to help officials understand this new act. The handbook includes tips to maximize fundability & financial sustainability of projects, examples of how to mix and match different colors of money (all of the various funding and financing streams state and local governments can access) to achieve bigger impacts, estimates of when state & local governments will see money from which IIJA programs, the breakdown of each funding category (Transportation, Water, Broadband, Resilience, Electric Grid, Legacy Pollution) and the programs included in each and examples of the types of projects that may be funded in each category. All of these features were designed with state and local government leaders and their communities in mind.
The handbook was reviewed by Mark Funkhouser, former Mayor of Kansas City and now president of Funkhouser & Associates, LLC and and Dr Shalini Vajjhala, Executive Director of San Diego Regional Policy and Innovation Center, both advisors to The Atlas.
"This handbook is a unique resource for state and local government leaders during a critical time,” said Funkhouser. “Perhaps most importantly, it outlines each program included in IIJA and when state and local governments will likely see funding from each source. This information doesn't exist elsewhere right now, but it is essential to local planning efforts."
“After years of downsizing projects to fit shrinking budgets, state and local governments will need to think big,” said Vajjhala. “This handbook is an invaluable resource to help local leaders generate ambitious yet practical projects and make the most of a once-in-a-generation investment opportunity.”
Ellory Monks, who created the handbook, has extensive experience working directly with state and local government officials to identify and implement strategies that solve complex infrastructure problems. Previously she held a fellowship at the Science and Technology Policy Institute, where she acted as the executive secretary of the Obama Administration’s Climate Data and Tools Initiative, and more broadly, provided analytical and technical support to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) on a wide range of infrastructure, energy and environment issues. She frequently contributes to the ongoing conversation about cities, infrastructure and innovation in outlets like Architect Magazine and the Brookings Institution.
About The Atlas
The Atlas is a free online community for local government officials & staff to browse city case studies, follow trending local government topics and post questions to colleagues. Since its launch in April 2019, The Atlas has grown to host more than 3,000 local government leaders each month. Its database includes more than 500 member-generated case studies that cover topics as diverse as scooters, homelessness and green infrastructure. It is a recent graduate of 500 Startups. Check it out here: www.the-atlas.com.