ECIA exists because of a need for local governments facing similar problems to cooperate in finding solutions. This cooperative effort, through ECIA membership, provides greater resources to local governments than they would be able to afford individually. The sharing of resources and discussion of common concerns vastly improves the quality and consistency of solutions to local and regional problems. Costs are held at a level that allows all local governments in the region to participate.
ECIA provides numerous planning, technical, and management resources to assist local governments in reaching and implementing decisions. Services provided by ECIA cover six broad categories: Community Development, Economic Development, Transportation Planning, Housing Assistance, Employment and Training and Rural Transit Services.