Selected Federal Agency Announcements and Related for the Week of October 16, 2017

The following is a selection of recent announcements gleaned from various federal sources and colleagues, and is provided to EDA’s Economic Development Integrators to increase our awareness of complementary resources for economic development. Special thanks to ETA and other federal partners for sharing content included below.

Click here to view all weekly federal announcement posts.


Contents

Funding & Resource Announcements.

Announcements of Federal Funding Available:

Public Meetings, Events and Training

Reports, Tools and Data.

Disaster Recovery Resources.

Also of Interest.

 

Funding & Resource Announcements

Announcements of Federal Funding Available:

 

NIH Intends to Seek Applications for Regional BioMed Tech Transfer Accelerator Hubs

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) intends to publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to provide opportunities for eligible U.S. small business concerns (SBCs), in collaboration with academic partners in Institutional Development Award (IDeA) states (https://www.nigms.nih.gov/Research/CRCB/IDeA/Pages/default.aspx), to conduct research to develop, implement, and test a comprehensive program for promoting biomedical entrepreneurship, technology (tech) transfer, management, small business finance, and other business skills needed to move basic discoveries and technologies out of the lab and into commercial products that improve patient care and enhance human health. The intent of the FOA is create one shared regional tech transfer accelerator hub in each of the four IDeA regions (Central, Northeastern, Southeastern and Western). These accelerator hubs will act as regional consortia to provide infrastructure and build an entrepreneurial culture at the IDeA institutions in that region. The goal of this FOA is to create a sustainable culture of biomedical entrepreneurship within IDeA states.

Below are anticipated dates for issuance of the Funding Opportunity Notice and other deadlines:

Estimated Synopsis Post Date:                 Nov 03, 2017

Estimated Application Due Date:             Jan 01, 2018

Estimated Award Date:                                Aug 01, 2018

Estimated Project Start Date:                    Sep 01, 2018

See Grants.gov announcement for more details. http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=297847

 

USDA Rural Utility Services Announces $10M to Improve Energy Facilities in High Cost Rural Areas

The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announces the availability of up to $10 million in fiscal year 2017 (FY17) and application deadlines for competitive grants to assist communities with extremely high energy costs. These grants are made available under the authority of section 19 of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936, as amended, and program regulations. The grant funds may be used to acquire, construct, extend, upgrade, or otherwise improve energy generation, transmission, or distribution facilities serving communities in which the average residential expenditure for home energy is at least 275 percent of the national average. Grants may also be used for programs that install on-grid and off-grid renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements in eligible communities.

Applications will be accepted upon publication of this notice until midnight (EST) of the closing date of December 11, 2017.

Copies of the 2017 Application Guide, required forms and other information on the High Energy Cost Grant Program may be obtained by the following:

(1) Program Web site (http://www.rd.usda.gov/​programs-services/​high-energy-cost-grants) or

(2) Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov) by searching under Opportunity Number RD-RUS-HECG17; or

(3) Contact the RUS Electric Program at (202) 720-9452 to request paper copies of the 2017 Application Guide or other materials.

Additional information and examples of eligible project activities are contained in the Application Guide available at https://www.rd.usda.gov/​programs-services/​high-energy-cost-grants.

 

Amended Announcement: DOE Design & Testing of Advanced Carbon Capture Technologies Program – Applications now due Nov 14

 

The Department of Energy has amended its Funding Opportunity Announcement for the National Energy Technology Laboratory’s program to support Design and testing of advanced carbon capture technologies (DE-FOA-0001791). The purpose of this amendment is to eliminate the requirement for a Class 2 cost estimate; clarify that Item 5 under D. Deliverables on page 19 is for Area of Interest 1 only; and revise the application due date. Applications are now due November 14, 2017. See grants.gov for details http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=297592

 

Recently Announced Awards:

Delta Regional Authority Announces Investments to Strengthen Economy and Infrastructure in AL, AR, IL, KY, MO, MS, TN,

The Delta Regional Authority today announced a number of new investments. Click links for details.

Delta Regional Authority invests $2.9M to strengthen Tennessee’s economy, infrastructure

Delta Regional Authority invests $1.7 million to strengthen Kentucky’s economy, infrastructure

Delta Regional Authority invests $4.4M to strengthen Mississippi’s economy, infrastructure

Delta Regional Authority invests $2.4M to strengthen SE Missouri’s economy, infrastructure

Delta Regional Authority invests $1 million to strengthen Alabama’s economy, infrastructure

Delta Regional Authority invests $2.8 million to strengthen Arkansas’s economy, infrastructure

Delta Regional Authority invests $1.4 million to strengthen Illinois’s economy, infrastructure

Non-Federal Opportunities:

Google Pledges $1B for Tech Skills Education and Training

Google announced plans to invest $1 billion in grants to non-profits over the next three years.  Media coverage here: Media: TechCrunch coverage; San Jose Mercury-News coverage; FORTUNE coverageExcerpts from Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s prepared remarks:

  • We’re launching Grow with Google, a new initiative to help Americans with the skills they need to get a job or grow their business.
  • Globally, we will provide $1 billion in grants over the next five years to nonprofits working on three key areas that we think will boost opportunity.

 

  • We’ve launched an online hub—google.com/grow—where job seekers, teachers, local business owners, and developers can get significant training and professional certificates.
  • We’re also launching a G Suite certificationthat will allow people to prove their proficiency in essential workplace tools.
  • In January we’ll launch a first-of-its-kind program in IT support that we developed on Coursera. The IT Professional Support Certificate includes hands-on labs to take learners to job readiness in eight to 12 months.
  • We will sponsor 2,600 full scholarships through non-profit organizations; 100 of them will go to an organization here in Pittsburgh, Partner4Work. To ensure these courses directly translate into jobs, we’re connecting graduates with potential employers including Bank of America, L’Oreal, PNC Bank, and, of course, Google.
  • And for people who want to build tech directly, we’re launching the Google Developer Scholarship Challenge, a rigorous training program, free of charge. This is a partnership with Udacity to offer 50,000 scholarship opportunities for people who want to build things on the web and Android.

Finally, we’re launching a Grow with Google tour. Googlers will team up with libraries and community organizations across the country to host these events. We’ll provide career advice and training for people and businesses, including helping small businesses get online. Our first stop is Pittsburgh. The next stop will be Indianapolis, another fast-growing city for technology jobs …

Public Meetings, Events and Training

Oct 18 Select USA Webinar: How Federal Prison Industries Can Meet Manufacturers’ Needs

SelectUSA is happy to announce a new webinar series that highlights partner agencies in the Interagency Investment Working Group (IIWG). The U.S. Government (USG) Webinars kick off next week Wednesday, October 18, at 1:00 p.m. ET / 10:00 a.m. PT / 5:00 p.m. GMT, with a presentation on the Justice Department’s Federal Prison Industries (trade name “UNICOR”): How Federal Prison Industries Can Meet Your Business Needs.

The call – geared toward international companies and business investors, U.S. economic development organizations, and other federal programs – will provide an overview of how Federal Prison Industries can assist foreign companies interested in the U.S. manufacturing industry expand operations in the United States. The webinar is free and presentation speakers will be available to answer questions at the conclusion.

October 24 Webinar: Putting America to Work –  Rail Manufacturing in the U.S.

An advisory from NADO

On October 24 at 3:30 p.m. ET, the National Association of Counties (NACo) and One Rail Coalition will hold the webinar Putting America to Work: Rail Manufacturing in the U.S.  The webinar will feature senior executives from Siemens Corporation, Alstom, Caterpillar/Progress Rail, and GE Transportation as speakers.  They will provide summaries of their rail manufacturing profile, the types of jobs/skills required in their companies, manufacturing innovations, customers and current industrial trends.  Following the presentations, the panelists will discuss current opportunities and engage in a further discussion on steps to retain and expand these well-paying jobs that will increase employment and economic development for states and localities across the nation.  Click here to register.

 

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month – NIST Has Resources

NIST reminds readers of its recent Taking Measure blog that October is  National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. NIST MEP contributor, Pat Toth, notes that small businesses and manufacturers can be especially vulnerable to cyberattacks, and that natural events such as fires, floods or hurricanes can also severely damage IT systems. National Cybersecurity Awareness Month can help you learn how to protect your business. Awareness, training and education are fundamental tools for small businesses to use to protect their company information, assets, IT systems and reputation.

 

The NIST Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership has cybersecurity resources for manufacturers as does the NIST Small Business Center

 

Upcoming Economic Development Related Conferences

·         2017 National Minority Supplier Development Conference Detroit (Oct 22-25)

·         ICMA Annual Conference. San Antonio TX (October 22-25)

·         CDFA National Development Finance Summit, Atlanta GA (November 15-17)

·         Assn of Public & Land-Grant Universities Annual Meeting, Washington DC (Nov 12–14)

·         EPA National Brownfields Training Conference, Pittsburgh PA (Dec 5-7, 2017)

 

Reports, Tools and Data

Federal Reserve Bank’s Peer City Identification Tool Compares 300 Locations Across US

The Peer City Identification Tool (PCIT), developed by the Community Development and Policy Studies division (CDPS) of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, is a data comparison and visualization instrument that can help policymakers and practitioners understand a municipality in the context of peer cities. Drawing on city-level indicators from the American Community Survey and historical Decennial Census records, the PCIT performs a cluster analysis to identify groups of similar cities along economic, demographic, social, and housing dimensions. The 300 cities included in the dataset had a population of at least 50,000 in 1960. Today, they have a median population of just over 100,000. All cities meeting this historical criterion are included in the tool, with a few cities excluded due to data consistency concerns. The tool stems from the Industrial Cities Initiative (ICI), a study that profiled ten Midwestern cities with manufacturing legacies, describing how they have fared in socioeconomic terms over time.

Atlanta Fed Launches “Center for Workforce and Economic Opportunity”

The Atlanta Fed’s new Center for Workforce and Economic Opportunity (CWEO) acts as a bridge between research and practice by making Federal Reserve System work related to the labor market, employment opportunities, and workforce development accessible to researchers, businesses, and policymakers. The CWEO focuses on employment and labor market issues faced by individuals from low- and moderate-income backgrounds that affect economic opportunity, defined by the degree to which people and businesses engage in the labor market. The center shares research associated with the following economic opportunity outcomes: equality of opportunity, socioeconomic mobility, stability, resilience, and competitiveness.

SBA Office of Advocacy Report Shows Decline in Rural Entrepreneurship

A new report by the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy shows that rural America’s rate of entrepreneurship has fallen in recent decades. The report, “The Retreat of the Rural Entrepreneur,” tracks self-employment data from the U.S Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey. According to the author, Daniel Wilmoth, “In 1988, more than 1 in 4 self-employed workers lived in a rural area, but, by 2016, that had fallen to less than 1 in 6.”  The report is available on the Office of Advocacy website. It is part of a series examining trends in U.S. entrepreneurship. Other reports in the series have examined entrepreneurship among millennials, seniors, and immigrants.

The challenges facing rural America are the focus of a recent Executive Order, Promoting Agriculture and Rural Prosperity in America. The E.O. was issued in April and established a task force led by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

 

President’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council to Meet on Nov 9

The National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC) will meet Thursday, November 9, 2017, 1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST),  in Arlington, VA. This meeting will be open to the public.

 

Members of the public are invited to provide comments on issues to be considered by the NIAC mentioned in the supplementary information section. The comments must be identified by docket number DHS-2017-0049, and may be submitted to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov, or by email at NIAC@hq.dhs.gov. Include docket number DHS-2017-0049 in the subject line of the message.Note that written comments will be posted without alteration at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.

 

Disaster Recovery Resources

Primary site for Disaster Recovery Assistance: https://www.disasterassistance.gov/

SBA Announces Modified Criteria for Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program for Small Businesses Impacted by Disasters

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced modified lending criteria for the SBA Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program (Express Bridge Pilot), which provides expedited guaranteed bridge loan financing for disaster-related purposes to small businesses located in communities impacted by a Presidentially-declared disaster, while those small businesses apply for and await long term financing (including through SBA’s direct disaster loan program, if eligible). The modification of the lending criteria will minimize the burden on businesses applying for loans through the Express Bridge Pilot and provide an incentive for SBA Express lenders to participate in the pilot.

Lending criteria and other details can be found in the October 16 FEDERAL REGISTER here: 2017-22385 Citation: 82 FR 47958

 

DOL Issues Exemptions from certain Federal Contracting Requirements in Hurricane Areas

Hurricane Harvey National Interest Exemption

Due to the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has issued a temporary exemption from certain federal contracting requirements. For a period of three months, from September 1, 2017 to December 1, 2017, subject to possible extension, new Federal contracts to provide Hurricane–Harvey relief efforts will be exempt from having to develop written affirmative action programs as required by Executive Order 11246; The Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act; and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. This National Interest Exemption was initially issued August 31, 2017 but was revised September 7, 2017 to clarify that the National Interest Exemption also applies to construction contracts.

Hurricane Harvey National Interest Exemptions

DOL Hurricane Harvey Press Release

Resources for New Contractors

Hurricane Harvey National Interest Exemptions FAQs

Hurricane Irma National Interest Exemption

Due to the devastation of Hurricane Irma, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has issued a temporary exemption from certain federal contracting requirements. For a period of three months, from September 8, 2017 to December 8, 2017, subject to possible extension, new Federal contracts to provide Hurricane–Irma relief efforts will be exempt from having to develop written affirmative action programs as required by Executive Order 11246; The Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act; and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

Hurricane Irma National Interest Exemptions

Resources for New Contractors

Hurricane Irma National Interest Exemptions FAQs

Hurricane Maria National Interest Exemption

Due to the devastation of Hurricane Maria, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has issued a temporary exemption from certain federal contracting requirements. For a period of three months, from September 21, 2017 to December 21, 2017, subject to possible extension, new Federal contracts to provide Hurricane–Maria relief efforts will be exempt from having to develop written affirmative action programs as required by Executive Order 11246; The Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act; and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

Hurricane Maria National Interest Exemption

Resources for New Contractors

Hurricane Maria National Interest Exemption FAQs

 

FEMA Announces Adjustment to Threshold for Small Project Subgrants for Disasters and Financial Assistance to Individuals and Households

The Federal Emergency Management Agency the following published October 12 notices:·         adjusting the threshold for Small Project subgrants made to state, tribal, and local governments and private nonprofit facilities for disasters declared on or after October 1, 2017.  The new threshold is $125,500. ·         financial assistance provided to an individual or household under section 408 of the Stafford Act with respect to any single emergency or major disaster is $34,000.

SBA Posts Video Guide to Disaster Assistance Programs

The SBA recently updated the Disaster Assistance information available. Use this video to get up to speed on all that is offered to small business owners and people affected by the recent hurricanes. >Watch the Video

NIST MEP Awards $3M in Emergency Funding to Help Manufacturers Recover from Hurricane Harvey

The Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), a program of the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), has awarded $3 million in funding to help manufacturers begin the long road to recovery from Hurricane Harvey.

The funding will allow two of the MEP National Network ™ Centers, the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center (link is external) (TMAC) and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership of Louisiana (link is external) (MEPOL), to identify and provide recovery support to small and medium-sized manufacturers who are suffering from physical damage to their facilities, labor shortages, and other disruptions caused by the storm and flooding.

TMAC and MEPOL will also connect the businesses with appropriate federal, state and local resources that can further assist them in their business recovery efforts. Longer term, the centers will work with NIST to develop the best way to disseminate disaster preparedness information and best practices for what manufacturers should do before, during and after a disaster. This information will also be used by NIST and the MEP National Network to develop strategies that support recovery planning and risk mitigation for manufacturers across the United States.

NSF Announces $5.3M in Grants for Hurricane Response (Harvey/Irma)

National Science Foundation Announces Grants to Better Prepare for and Respond to Hurricanes

The National Science Foundation this week announced 59 grants to “help scientists understand how such (hurricane) disasters happen and how we can best respond.” The $5.3 million investment is largely related to hurricanes Harvey and Irma; NSF also expects to support studies related to Hurricane Maria. See NSF news release for a listing of individual grants and projects.

 

Where to Find Federal Disaster Declarations:

Is your home, business or community included in a federally declared emergency or disaster area? You can find the latest federal emergency and disaster declarations, including amendments adding new areas, on FEMA’s Disaster.gov webpage.

 

Each type of declaration makes different forms of federal assistance available to support response and recovery. The Economic Recovery Support Function coordinated by EDA, as well as other functional areas of support (such as Housing, Health & Human Services, Infrastructure etc), are activated in response to Major Disaster Declarations, which make a wide array of federal assistance available to individuals, businesses and communities impacted by major disasters such as hurricanes, floods and wildfires. Read more about the Economic Recovery Support Function and the National Disaster Response Framework here: https://www.eda.gov/programs/disaster-recovery/

 

These are the Major Disaster Declarations that FEMA has posted since August 2017:

California Wildfires (DR-4344)

Major Disaster Declaration declared on October 10, 2017

Seminole Tribe of Florida Hurricane Irma – Seminole Tribe Of Florida (DR-4341)

Major Disaster Declaration declared on September 27, 2017

Puerto Rico Hurricane Maria (DR-4339)

Major Disaster Declaration declared on September 20, 2017

U.S. Virgin Islands Hurricane Maria (DR-4340)

Major Disaster Declaration declared on September 20, 2017

Georgia Hurricane Irma (DR-4338)

Major Disaster Declaration declared on September 15, 2017

Florida Hurricane Irma (DR-4337)

Major Disaster Declaration declared on September 10, 2017

Puerto Rico Hurricane Irma (DR-4336)

Major Disaster Declaration declared on September 10, 2017

U.S. Virgin Islands Hurricane Irma (DR-4335)

Major Disaster Declaration declared on September 07, 2017

Texas Hurricane Harvey (DR-4332)

Major Disaster Declaration declared on August 25, 2017

Also of Interest

Directors of NIST and NOAA Confirmed

The U.S. Senate confirmed the appointments of Walter G. Copan of Colorado as Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology, to lead the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Timothy Gallaudet of California as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

2017 Manufacturing Day Declaration Published

President Trump’s Executive Order declaring October 6, 2017 as National Manufacturing Day was published in the Federal Register on October 13, 20107, and calls upon “all Americans to celebrate the entrepreneurs and workers in manufacturing who are making our communities strong.” The declaration can be viewed here: PDF

Contents

Funding & Resource Announcements. 2

Announcements of Federal Funding Available: 2

NIH Intends to Seek Applications for Regional BioMed Tech Transfer Accelerator Hubs. 2

USDA Rural Utility Services Announces $10M to Improve Energy Facilities in High Cost Rural Areas. 2

Amended Announcement: DOE Design & Testing of Advanced Carbon Capture Technologies Program – Applications now due Nov 14. 3

Recently Announced Awards: 3

Delta Regional Authority Announces Investments to Strengthen Economy and Infrastructure in AL, AR, IL, KY, MO, MS, TN, 3

Non-Federal Opportunities: 4

Google Pledges $1B for Tech Skills Education and Training. 4

Public Meetings, Events and Training. 4

Oct 18 Select USA Webinar: How Federal Prison Industries Can Meet Manufacturers’ Needs. 4

October 24 Webinar: Putting America to Work –  Rail Manufacturing in the U.S. 5

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month – NIST Has Resources. 5

Upcoming Economic Development Related Conferences. 5

Reports, Tools and Data. 5

Federal Reserve Bank’s Peer City Identification Tool Compares 300 Locations Across US. 5

Atlanta Fed Launches “Center for Workforce and Economic Opportunity”. 6

SBA Office of Advocacy Report Shows Decline in Rural Entrepreneurship. 6

President’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council to Meet on Nov 9. 6

Disaster Recovery Resources. 6

SBA Announces Modified Criteria for Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program for Small Businesses Impacted by Disasters  7

DOL Issues Exemptions from certain Federal Contracting Requirements in Hurricane Areas. 7

FEMA Announces Adjustment to Threshold for Small Project Subgrants for Disasters and Financial Assistance to Individuals and Households. 8

SBA Posts Video Guide to Disaster Assistance Programs. 8

NIST MEP Awards $3M in Emergency Funding to Help Manufacturers Recover from Hurricane Harvey. 8

NSF Announces $5.3M in Grants for Hurricane Response (Harvey/Irma) 8

Where to Find Federal Disaster Declarations: 9

Also of Interest. 9

Directors of NIST and NOAA Confirmed. 9

2017 Manufacturing Day Declaration Published. 10

 

Funding & Resource Announcements

Announcements of Federal Funding Available:

 

NIH Intends to Seek Applications for Regional BioMed Tech Transfer Accelerator Hubs

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) intends to publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to provide opportunities for eligible U.S. small business concerns (SBCs), in collaboration with academic partners in Institutional Development Award (IDeA) states (https://www.nigms.nih.gov/Research/CRCB/IDeA/Pages/default.aspx), to conduct research to develop, implement, and test a comprehensive program for promoting biomedical entrepreneurship, technology (tech) transfer, management, small business finance, and other business skills needed to move basic discoveries and technologies out of the lab and into commercial products that improve patient care and enhance human health. The intent of the FOA is create one shared regional tech transfer accelerator hub in each of the four IDeA regions (Central, Northeastern, Southeastern and Western). These accelerator hubs will act as regional consortia to provide infrastructure and build an entrepreneurial culture at the IDeA institutions in that region. The goal of this FOA is to create a sustainable culture of biomedical entrepreneurship within IDeA states.

Below are anticipated dates for issuance of the Funding Opportunity Notice and other deadlines:

Estimated Synopsis Post Date:                 Nov 03, 2017

Estimated Application Due Date:             Jan 01, 2018

Estimated Award Date:                                Aug 01, 2018

Estimated Project Start Date:                    Sep 01, 2018

See Grants.gov announcement for more details. http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=297847

 

USDA Rural Utility Services Announces $10M to Improve Energy Facilities in High Cost Rural Areas

The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announces the availability of up to $10 million in fiscal year 2017 (FY17) and application deadlines for competitive grants to assist communities with extremely high energy costs. These grants are made available under the authority of section 19 of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936, as amended, and program regulations. The grant funds may be used to acquire, construct, extend, upgrade, or otherwise improve energy generation, transmission, or distribution facilities serving communities in which the average residential expenditure for home energy is at least 275 percent of the national average. Grants may also be used for programs that install on-grid and off-grid renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements in eligible communities.

Applications will be accepted upon publication of this notice until midnight (EST) of the closing date of December 11, 2017.

Copies of the 2017 Application Guide, required forms and other information on the High Energy Cost Grant Program may be obtained by the following:

(1) Program Web site (http://www.rd.usda.gov/​programs-services/​high-energy-cost-grants) or

(2) Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov) by searching under Opportunity Number RD-RUS-HECG17; or

(3) Contact the RUS Electric Program at (202) 720-9452 to request paper copies of the 2017 Application Guide or other materials.

Additional information and examples of eligible project activities are contained in the Application Guide available at https://www.rd.usda.gov/​programs-services/​high-energy-cost-grants.

 

Amended Announcement: DOE Design & Testing of Advanced Carbon Capture Technologies Program – Applications now due Nov 14

 

The Department of Energy has amended its Funding Opportunity Announcement for the National Energy Technology Laboratory’s program to support Design and testing of advanced carbon capture technologies (DE-FOA-0001791). The purpose of this amendment is to eliminate the requirement for a Class 2 cost estimate; clarify that Item 5 under D. Deliverables on page 19 is for Area of Interest 1 only; and revise the application due date. Applications are now due November 14, 2017. See grants.gov for details http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=297592

 

Recently Announced Awards:

Delta Regional Authority Announces Investments to Strengthen Economy and Infrastructure in AL, AR, IL, KY, MO, MS, TN,

The Delta Regional Authority today announced a number of new investments. Click links for details.

Delta Regional Authority invests $2.9M to strengthen Tennessee’s economy, infrastructure

Delta Regional Authority invests $1.7 million to strengthen Kentucky’s economy, infrastructure

Delta Regional Authority invests $4.4M to strengthen Mississippi’s economy, infrastructure

Delta Regional Authority invests $2.4M to strengthen SE Missouri’s economy, infrastructure

Delta Regional Authority invests $1 million to strengthen Alabama’s economy, infrastructure

Delta Regional Authority invests $2.8 million to strengthen Arkansas’s economy, infrastructure

Delta Regional Authority invests $1.4 million to strengthen Illinois’s economy, infrastructure

Non-Federal Opportunities:

Google Pledges $1B for Tech Skills Education and Training

Google announced plans to invest $1 billion in grants to non-profits over the next three years.  Media coverage here: Media: TechCrunch coverage; San Jose Mercury-News coverage; FORTUNE coverageExcerpts from Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s prepared remarks:

  • We’re launching Grow with Google, a new initiative to help Americans with the skills they need to get a job or grow their business.
  • Globally, we will provide $1 billion in grants over the next five years to nonprofits working on three key areas that we think will boost opportunity.

 

  • We’ve launched an online hub—google.com/grow—where job seekers, teachers, local business owners, and developers can get significant training and professional certificates.
  • We’re also launching a G Suite certificationthat will allow people to prove their proficiency in essential workplace tools.
  • In January we’ll launch a first-of-its-kind program in IT support that we developed on Coursera. The IT Professional Support Certificate includes hands-on labs to take learners to job readiness in eight to 12 months.
  • We will sponsor 2,600 full scholarships through non-profit organizations; 100 of them will go to an organization here in Pittsburgh, Partner4Work. To ensure these courses directly translate into jobs, we’re connecting graduates with potential employers including Bank of America, L’Oreal, PNC Bank, and, of course, Google.
  • And for people who want to build tech directly, we’re launching the Google Developer Scholarship Challenge, a rigorous training program, free of charge. This is a partnership with Udacity to offer 50,000 scholarship opportunities for people who want to build things on the web and Android.

Finally, we’re launching a Grow with Google tour. Googlers will team up with libraries and community organizations across the country to host these events. We’ll provide career advice and training for people and businesses, including helping small businesses get online. Our first stop is Pittsburgh. The next stop will be Indianapolis, another fast-growing city for technology jobs …

Public Meetings, Events and Training

Oct 18 Select USA Webinar: How Federal Prison Industries Can Meet Manufacturers’ Needs

SelectUSA is happy to announce a new webinar series that highlights partner agencies in the Interagency Investment Working Group (IIWG). The U.S. Government (USG) Webinars kick off next week Wednesday, October 18, at 1:00 p.m. ET / 10:00 a.m. PT / 5:00 p.m. GMT, with a presentation on the Justice Department’s Federal Prison Industries (trade name “UNICOR”): How Federal Prison Industries Can Meet Your Business Needs.

The call – geared toward international companies and business investors, U.S. economic development organizations, and other federal programs – will provide an overview of how Federal Prison Industries can assist foreign companies interested in the U.S. manufacturing industry expand operations in the United States. The webinar is free and presentation speakers will be available to answer questions at the conclusion.

October 24 Webinar: Putting America to Work –  Rail Manufacturing in the U.S.

An advisory from NADO

On October 24 at 3:30 p.m. ET, the National Association of Counties (NACo) and One Rail Coalition will hold the webinar Putting America to Work: Rail Manufacturing in the U.S.  The webinar will feature senior executives from Siemens Corporation, Alstom, Caterpillar/Progress Rail, and GE Transportation as speakers.  They will provide summaries of their rail manufacturing profile, the types of jobs/skills required in their companies, manufacturing innovations, customers and current industrial trends.  Following the presentations, the panelists will discuss current opportunities and engage in a further discussion on steps to retain and expand these well-paying jobs that will increase employment and economic development for states and localities across the nation.  Click here to register.

 

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month – NIST Has Resources

NIST reminds readers of its recent Taking Measure blog that October is  National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. NIST MEP contributor, Pat Toth, notes that small businesses and manufacturers can be especially vulnerable to cyberattacks, and that natural events such as fires, floods or hurricanes can also severely damage IT systems. National Cybersecurity Awareness Month can help you learn how to protect your business. Awareness, training and education are fundamental tools for small businesses to use to protect their company information, assets, IT systems and reputation.

 

The NIST Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership has cybersecurity resources for manufacturers as does the NIST Small Business Center

 

Upcoming Economic Development Related Conferences

·         2017 National Minority Supplier Development Conference Detroit (Oct 22-25)

·         ICMA Annual Conference. San Antonio TX (October 22-25)

·         CDFA National Development Finance Summit, Atlanta GA (November 15-17)

·         Assn of Public & Land-Grant Universities Annual Meeting, Washington DC (Nov 12–14)

·         EPA National Brownfields Training Conference, Pittsburgh PA (Dec 5-7, 2017)

 

Reports, Tools and Data

Federal Reserve Bank’s Peer City Identification Tool Compares 300 Locations Across US

The Peer City Identification Tool (PCIT), developed by the Community Development and Policy Studies division (CDPS) of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, is a data comparison and visualization instrument that can help policymakers and practitioners understand a municipality in the context of peer cities. Drawing on city-level indicators from the American Community Survey and historical Decennial Census records, the PCIT performs a cluster analysis to identify groups of similar cities along economic, demographic, social, and housing dimensions. The 300 cities included in the dataset had a population of at least 50,000 in 1960. Today, they have a median population of just over 100,000. All cities meeting this historical criterion are included in the tool, with a few cities excluded due to data consistency concerns. The tool stems from the Industrial Cities Initiative (ICI), a study that profiled ten Midwestern cities with manufacturing legacies, describing how they have fared in socioeconomic terms over time.

Atlanta Fed Launches “Center for Workforce and Economic Opportunity”

The Atlanta Fed’s new Center for Workforce and Economic Opportunity (CWEO) acts as a bridge between research and practice by making Federal Reserve System work related to the labor market, employment opportunities, and workforce development accessible to researchers, businesses, and policymakers. The CWEO focuses on employment and labor market issues faced by individuals from low- and moderate-income backgrounds that affect economic opportunity, defined by the degree to which people and businesses engage in the labor market. The center shares research associated with the following economic opportunity outcomes: equality of opportunity, socioeconomic mobility, stability, resilience, and competitiveness.

SBA Office of Advocacy Report Shows Decline in Rural Entrepreneurship

A new report by the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy shows that rural America’s rate of entrepreneurship has fallen in recent decades. The report, “The Retreat of the Rural Entrepreneur,” tracks self-employment data from the U.S Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey. According to the author, Daniel Wilmoth, “In 1988, more than 1 in 4 self-employed workers lived in a rural area, but, by 2016, that had fallen to less than 1 in 6.”  The report is available on the Office of Advocacy website. It is part of a series examining trends in U.S. entrepreneurship. Other reports in the series have examined entrepreneurship among millennials, seniors, and immigrants.

The challenges facing rural America are the focus of a recent Executive Order, Promoting Agriculture and Rural Prosperity in America. The E.O. was issued in April and established a task force led by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

 

President’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council to Meet on Nov 9

The National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC) will meet Thursday, November 9, 2017, 1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST),  in Arlington, VA. This meeting will be open to the public.

 

Members of the public are invited to provide comments on issues to be considered by the NIAC mentioned in the supplementary information section. The comments must be identified by docket number DHS-2017-0049, and may be submitted to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov, or by email at NIAC@hq.dhs.gov. Include docket number DHS-2017-0049 in the subject line of the message.Note that written comments will be posted without alteration at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.

 

Disaster Recovery Resources

Primary site for Disaster Recovery Assistance: https://www.disasterassistance.gov/

SBA Announces Modified Criteria for Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program for Small Businesses Impacted by Disasters

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced modified lending criteria for the SBA Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program (Express Bridge Pilot), which provides expedited guaranteed bridge loan financing for disaster-related purposes to small businesses located in communities impacted by a Presidentially-declared disaster, while those small businesses apply for and await long term financing (including through SBA’s direct disaster loan program, if eligible). The modification of the lending criteria will minimize the burden on businesses applying for loans through the Express Bridge Pilot and provide an incentive for SBA Express lenders to participate in the pilot.

Lending criteria and other details can be found in the October 16 FEDERAL REGISTER here: 2017-22385 Citation: 82 FR 47958

 

DOL Issues Exemptions from certain Federal Contracting Requirements in Hurricane Areas

Hurricane Harvey National Interest Exemption

Due to the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has issued a temporary exemption from certain federal contracting requirements. For a period of three months, from September 1, 2017 to December 1, 2017, subject to possible extension, new Federal contracts to provide Hurricane–Harvey relief efforts will be exempt from having to develop written affirmative action programs as required by Executive Order 11246; The Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act; and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. This National Interest Exemption was initially issued August 31, 2017 but was revised September 7, 2017 to clarify that the National Interest Exemption also applies to construction contracts.

Hurricane Harvey National Interest Exemptions

DOL Hurricane Harvey Press Release

Resources for New Contractors

Hurricane Harvey National Interest Exemptions FAQs

Hurricane Irma National Interest Exemption

Due to the devastation of Hurricane Irma, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has issued a temporary exemption from certain federal contracting requirements. For a period of three months, from September 8, 2017 to December 8, 2017, subject to possible extension, new Federal contracts to provide Hurricane–Irma relief efforts will be exempt from having to develop written affirmative action programs as required by Executive Order 11246; The Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act; and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

Hurricane Irma National Interest Exemptions

Resources for New Contractors

Hurricane Irma National Interest Exemptions FAQs

Hurricane Maria National Interest Exemption

Due to the devastation of Hurricane Maria, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has issued a temporary exemption from certain federal contracting requirements. For a period of three months, from September 21, 2017 to December 21, 2017, subject to possible extension, new Federal contracts to provide Hurricane–Maria relief efforts will be exempt from having to develop written affirmative action programs as required by Executive Order 11246; The Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act; and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

Hurricane Maria National Interest Exemption

Resources for New Contractors

Hurricane Maria National Interest Exemption FAQs

 

FEMA Announces Adjustment to Threshold for Small Project Subgrants for Disasters and Financial Assistance to Individuals and Households

The Federal Emergency Management Agency the following published October 12 notices:·         adjusting the threshold for Small Project subgrants made to state, tribal, and local governments and private nonprofit facilities for disasters declared on or after October 1, 2017.  The new threshold is $125,500. ·         financial assistance provided to an individual or household under section 408 of the Stafford Act with respect to any single emergency or major disaster is $34,000.

SBA Posts Video Guide to Disaster Assistance Programs

The SBA recently updated the Disaster Assistance information available. Use this video to get up to speed on all that is offered to small business owners and people affected by the recent hurricanes. >Watch the Video

NIST MEP Awards $3M in Emergency Funding to Help Manufacturers Recover from Hurricane Harvey

The Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), a program of the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), has awarded $3 million in funding to help manufacturers begin the long road to recovery from Hurricane Harvey.

The funding will allow two of the MEP National Network ™ Centers, the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center (link is external) (TMAC) and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership of Louisiana (link is external) (MEPOL), to identify and provide recovery support to small and medium-sized manufacturers who are suffering from physical damage to their facilities, labor shortages, and other disruptions caused by the storm and flooding.

TMAC and MEPOL will also connect the businesses with appropriate federal, state and local resources that can further assist them in their business recovery efforts. Longer term, the centers will work with NIST to develop the best way to disseminate disaster preparedness information and best practices for what manufacturers should do before, during and after a disaster. This information will also be used by NIST and the MEP National Network to develop strategies that support recovery planning and risk mitigation for manufacturers across the United States.

NSF Announces $5.3M in Grants for Hurricane Response (Harvey/Irma)

National Science Foundation Announces Grants to Better Prepare for and Respond to Hurricanes

The National Science Foundation this week announced 59 grants to “help scientists understand how such (hurricane) disasters happen and how we can best respond.” The $5.3 million investment is largely related to hurricanes Harvey and Irma; NSF also expects to support studies related to Hurricane Maria. See NSF news release for a listing of individual grants and projects.

 

Where to Find Federal Disaster Declarations:

Is your home, business or community included in a federally declared emergency or disaster area? You can find the latest federal emergency and disaster declarations, including amendments adding new areas, on FEMA’s Disaster.gov webpage.

 

Each type of declaration makes different forms of federal assistance available to support response and recovery. The Economic Recovery Support Function coordinated by EDA, as well as other functional areas of support (such as Housing, Health & Human Services, Infrastructure etc), are activated in response to Major Disaster Declarations, which make a wide array of federal assistance available to individuals, businesses and communities impacted by major disasters such as hurricanes, floods and wildfires. Read more about the Economic Recovery Support Function and the National Disaster Response Framework here: https://www.eda.gov/programs/disaster-recovery/

 

These are the Major Disaster Declarations that FEMA has posted since August 2017:

California Wildfires (DR-4344)

Major Disaster Declaration declared on October 10, 2017

Seminole Tribe of Florida Hurricane Irma – Seminole Tribe Of Florida (DR-4341)

Major Disaster Declaration declared on September 27, 2017

Puerto Rico Hurricane Maria (DR-4339)

Major Disaster Declaration declared on September 20, 2017

U.S. Virgin Islands Hurricane Maria (DR-4340)

Major Disaster Declaration declared on September 20, 2017

Georgia Hurricane Irma (DR-4338)

Major Disaster Declaration declared on September 15, 2017

Florida Hurricane Irma (DR-4337)

Major Disaster Declaration declared on September 10, 2017

Puerto Rico Hurricane Irma (DR-4336)

Major Disaster Declaration declared on September 10, 2017

U.S. Virgin Islands Hurricane Irma (DR-4335)

Major Disaster Declaration declared on September 07, 2017

Texas Hurricane Harvey (DR-4332)

Major Disaster Declaration declared on August 25, 2017

Also of Interest

Directors of NIST and NOAA Confirmed

The U.S. Senate confirmed the appointments of Walter G. Copan of Colorado as Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology, to lead the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Timothy Gallaudet of California as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

2017 Manufacturing Day Declaration Published

President Trump’s Executive Order declaring October 6, 2017 as National Manufacturing Day was published in the Federal Register on October 13, 20107, and calls upon “all Americans to celebrate the entrepreneurs and workers in manufacturing who are making our communities strong.” The declaration can be viewed here: PDF

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