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.



  • The Is-Able Center, $87,050 to support workforce development programs for 60 Birmingham residents who have disabilities or support those with disabilities
  • Momentum, $117,500 to support workforce development and leadership training programs to 50 Birmingham residents at minority-, women-, and disadvantaged business enterprises (MWDBEs)
  • Birthwell Partners, $90,400 to support doula services, maternal health, childbirth and parenting programs for 80 Birmingham residents.
  • Diane’s Heart Inc., $138,413 to fund the "She Knew There Was More" coaching and mentoring program for 30 Birmingham single mothers.
  • MedsPLUS Consulting, $104,695 to support diabetes prevention services for 60 Birmingham residents and workforce development for 3 Community Health Workers
  • Urban Impact, $150,000 to support the Legacy Entrepreneurship Program to help local businesses with succession planning and preservation of wealth in the Black community
  • Bundles of Hope, $120,000 to support 1,500 Birmingham residents with free infant supplies and period products


External links