Birmingham Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity

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The Birmingham Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity (IEO), also called the Mayor's Office of Economic Development (OED), is an administrative department of the City of Birmingham, responsible for workforce recruiting and training as well as small business development. It was created in 2017 under the directorship of Director of Economic Development Josh Carpenter, and has been headed since November 2020 by Griffin Lassiter.

The department has managed the Prosper Birmingham Initiative, the Birmingham Promise initiative, the VITAL Program, and the Birmingham Strong response to the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic. In February 2021 it was announced that the Mayor’s Office of Sports and Entertainment would be merged into the department.

The Department administers the city's "Building Opportunities for Lasting Development" ("BOLD") grants to nonprofit organizations, a program launched in 2018 to help test innovative approaches to economic development.


BOLD grants






  • Rebirth Community Corporation, $67,000 for its "Reboot: Rebuilding Better" mental health and emotional wellness programs
  • Women's Foundation of Alabama, $79,720 for efforts to help women access jobs and overcome financial insecurity
  • Urban Impact, $125,500 to provide small business resources and address barriers to growth of disadvantaged businesses
  • Ed Farm, $154,975 to conduct a 14-week coding "boot camp", along with child care and mentoring services for participants
  • Community Care Development Network, $80,0000 for its "Inspire Education" program providing resources for people transitioning from school, unemployment, or prison into new careers.



External links