Selected Federal Agency Announcements and Related for the Week of October 2, 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.

 

Funding & Resource Announcements

Announcements of Federal Funding Available:

Reminder of EPA Technical Assistance Grant Deadlines: October 25

Federal agency partners invite communities to apply for technical assistance to help communities revitalize their economy, improve health, and protect the environment. Deadline to apply for the following programs is October 25, 2017:

  • Local Foods, Local Places helps communities reinvest in existing neighborhoods and revitalize downtowns through the development of local food systems. To date, nearly 80 communities have benefited from assistance with support from EPA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Delta Regional Authority. Learn how to apply for the Local Foods, Local Places Program: https://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/local-foods-local-places-2017-2018-application

 

  •  Healthy Places for Healthy People helps community leaders and health care partners focus on health as an economic driver and catalyst for downtown and neighborhood revitalization. Health care partners include community health centers (including Federally Qualified Health Centers), nonprofit hospitals, and other health care facilities. To date, 10 communities have benefited from assistance with support from EPA and the Appalachian Regional Commission. Healthy Places for Healthy People provides assistance for communities that are economically challenged, including those in rural Appalachia. Learn how to apply for the Healthy Places for Healthy People Program:  https://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/healthy-places-healthy-people-2017-2018-application

EPA will host a webinar to explain more about these programs on October 13, 2017, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Information about registering for the webinar will be posted on EPA’s Smart Growth website soon.

CDFI Fund Invites Applications for FY 2017 Bank Enterprise Award (BEA) Program. Due Nov 16

The Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) awards funds to CDFIs, community development organizations, and financial institutions through the Community Development Financial Institutions Program (CDFI Program), the Native American CDFI Assistance Program (NACA Program), and the Bank Enterprise Award Program (BEA Program). The BEA Program complements the community development activities of banks and thrifts (collectively referred to as banks for purposes of this NOFA) by providing financial incentives to expand investments in CDFIs and to increase lending, investment, and Service Activities within Distressed Communities. Providing monetary awards to banks for increasing their community development activities leverages the CDFI Fund’s dollars and puts more capital to work in Distressed Communities throughout the nation.

The Treasury Department is currently Inviting Applications for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Funding Round of the Bank Enterprise Award Program (BEA Program). The CDFI Fund expects to award up to $23 million for the FY 2017 BEA Program Awards round under this NOFA. Full background including eligibility criteria, can be found in the September 29 FEDERAL REGISTER.

 

HHS Announces Funding Available for Nursing Schools to Provide Forgivable Student Loans. Due Nov 28

Department of Health and Human Services is soliciting applications for its Health Resources and Services Administration Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP).  The purpose of this one-year funding opportunity is to increase the number of qualified nursing faculty by providing funding to accredited schools of nursing to offer loans to students in advanced education nursing degree programs who are committed to become nurse faculty.  In exchange for full-time, post-graduation employment as nurse faculty, the program authorizes cancelation of up to 85 percent of any such loan (plus interest thereon).

Link to more information in Grants.gov:  http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=297699

 

The Institute of Museums and Library Services Announces FY18 Funding for Museums for America. Applications Due Dec 1

The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for FY 2018 (PDF, 427 KB) is now available. The Museums for America (MFA) program supports projects that strengthen the ability of an individual museum to serve its public. MFA has three project categories:

  • Learning Experience
  • Community Anchors
  • Collections Stewardship

Grant Amount: $5,000–$250,000, per award for a period up to 3 years

Eligibility: Museums that fulfill the eligibility criteria for museums may apply.

Deadline: December 01, 2017

Webinar:  October 12, 1pm ET  Listen to this live webinar to learn more about the FY18 Museums for America program: FY18 Museums for America, Thursday, October 12, 2017, 1 PM – 2 PM EST

 

Energy Department Announces Funding for Research to Develop Solar Desalination Technologies. Concept Paper due Dec 4

The U.S. Department of Energy today (September 27) announced new funding to develop revolutionary solar desalination technologies that will help create freshwater from otherwise unusable waters. Desalination treats seawater, brackish water, and contaminated water for use in municipal and industrial water supplies, or to reclaim contaminated water. The Solar Energy Technologies Office expects to make $15 million available for 7 to 10 projects that explore early-stage technologies with the prospect of significantly reducing the cost of desalination through solar thermal energy. More ….

 

Prior to submitting a full application for this opportunity, a brief, mandatory concept paper is due on December 4, 2017. Note upcoming deadlines:

Informational Webinar:                                            October 12, 2017, 1:30 p.m. ET

Submission Deadline for Mandatory Concept Papers:          December 4, 2017

Submission Deadline for Full Applications:                           March 16, 2018

 

Additional Information Download the full funding opportunity on the EERE Exchange website

 

NSF Seeks Engineering Research to Advance Economic Competitiveness – LEAP HI Applications Due Feb 20, 2018

National Science Foundation invites applications for research grants under its Leading Engineering for America’s Prosperity, Health, and Infrastructure (LEAP-HIP) opportunity.

The LEAP HI program challenges the engineering research community to take a leadership role in addressing demanding, urgent, and consequential challenges for advancing America’s prosperity, health and infrastructure. LEAP HI proposals confront engineering problems that are too complex to yield to the efforts of a single investigator — problems that require sustained and coordinated effort from interdisciplinary research teams, with goals that are not achievable through a series of smaller, short-term projects. LEAP HI projects perform fundamental research that may lead to disruptive technologies and methods, lay the foundation for new and strengthened industries, enable notable improvements in quality of life, or reimagine and revitalize the built environment. LEAP HI supports fundamental research projects involving collaborating investigators, of duration up to five years, with total budget between $1 million and $2 million. LEAP HI proposals must articulate a fundamental research problem with compelling intellectual challenge and significant societal impact, particularly on economic competitiveness, quality of life, public health, or essential infrastructure.

Link to Additional Information: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=297735

 

Recently Announced Programs (non-grant):

EPA Announces the “Smart Sectors” Program; Identifies 11 Sectors of Focus

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today has announced the Smart Sectors program in the Office of Policy. Based on the successful EPA Sector Strategies program, EPA’s Smart Sectors program will re-examine how EPA engages with industry in order to reduce unnecessary regulatory burden, create certainty and predictability, and improve the ability of both EPA and industry to conduct long-term regulatory planning while also protecting the environment and public health. EPA has initially identified the following sectors to work with: Aerospace; agriculture; automotive; cement and concrete; chemical manufacturing; construction; electronics and technology; iron and steel; oil and gas; ports and shipping; and utilities and power generation. Sectors were selected based on each sector’s potential to improve the environment and public health. EPA welcomes participation from other stakeholders. The Smart Sectors program will designate staff-level points of contact who are highly knowledgeable about specific industries. These individuals will act as liaisons among industry trade associations and companies, EPA program and regional offices, state and local governments, and other stakeholder groups. The sector liaisons will focus their attention primarily on three main areas: Building relationships and improving customer service to sectors; developing additional expertise in each industry’s operations and environmental performance; and informing the planning of future policies, regulations, and Agency processes. EPA anticipates that participating industries will benefit from coordinated, cooperative, and constructive problem-solving with government. The Agency will invite participating industries to engagein active dialogue and offer their own innovative ideas to reduce environmental impacts. Because industry-wide environmental performance improvement is the goal, EPA will work with trade associations and others to find creative ways to document environmental progress and burden reductions. For more information, email: Daisy Letendre, Senior Advisor for Policy and Strategic Communications, Office of Policy, Office of Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency, at sectors@epa.gov.

 

Public Meetings, Events and Training

EPA Presents Oct 5 Webinar on FY 2018 Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup Grant Guidelines

Webinars to Assist in Preparing Assessment, RLF, and Cleanup Proposals: To assist applicants with understanding the guidelines, EPA will host the EPA National Assessment, RLF and Cleanup Guideline Webinar on Thursday, October 5, 2017, at 1:30 pm ET.

Webinar: EPA will host a National Guidelines Webinar on Thursday, October 5, 2017 at 1:30 pm Eastern. Join online at: http://epawebconferencing.acms.com/app18/ and/or via conference call (dial-in number: 1-866-299-3188/ access code: 202-566-1817).

 

These brownfields grants may be used to address sites contaminated by petroleum and hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants (including hazardous substances co-mingled with petroleum). The proposal submission deadline is November 16, 2017.

More information is available at www.epa.gov/brownfields/apply-brownfields-grant-funding.

 

DOL WIOA Workforce GPS Site Presents Oct 5 Webinar on How to Tell Success Stories

Using Storytelling to Share Your Program Successes  (October 5 / 2:00 p.m.-3:30pm  ET)

Tell a person a fact, they may remember it for a day or two.  Tell them a memorable story, they are likely to remember it for a lifetime. Whether you are recruiting participants, engaging employers, or seeking financial support for your project, story-telling is one of the most powerful tools you can use to achieve your objectives.

 

For more webinars on topics of interest to WIOA One Stop Shops and American Job Centers stakeholders, follow this link to create your account: https://ion.workforcegps.org/resources/2017/08/22/16/13/OneStops_AJCs_Webinars-and-Webcasts

 

DOT Federal Highway Administration RESILIENCE WEBINAR SERIES (Thursdays, September 28 – November 16, 2017)

 

FHWA is holding seven webinars on the results of four different resilience-focused projects conducted in cooperation with its State and local partners. FHWA has developed information, examples and lessons learned on integrating resilience concerns into planning, project development and project engineering. Information on each webinar and a registration link is located here:

https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/sustainability/resilience/webinars/

 

Note on Webinar Registration: External participants (those who do not have a dot.gov email address) will first need to establish an account on the FHWA site. This can take 24-48 hours. Second, users must then login using this account to register for an FHWA webinar. Step-by step instructions on how to request an account can be found at the link above.

 

Webinars focus on developing lessons learned from recent FHWA studies and pilot projects to help transportation agencies address changing climate conditions and extreme weather events on transportation projects. It provides information to help State DOTs and local transportation agencies address resilience in project development.

 

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross will lead a Trade Mission to China in mid-November 2017.

This multi-sector mission will promote U.S. exports to China by supporting U.S. companies in launching or increasing their business in the marketplace, as well as address trade policy issues with high-level Chinese officials. Key elements will include business-to-government and business-to-industry meetings, market briefings, networking events and opportunities to promote new deals and agreements between mission participants and Chinese entities through signing ceremonies.

In the  September 28, 2017 FEDERAL REGISTER, the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration outlines the full background, criteria for selection, participation fees, timelines, definition of a SME, and contacts.

 

Upcoming Economic Development Related Conferences

·         ARC Event: Transforming Appalachia Embracing Change to Drive Progress, (Oct17 – 19) ,Pittsburgh

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

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

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

Reports, Tools and Data

Census Bureau Releases Statistics of U.S. Businesses

On SEPT. 29, 2017 the U.S. Census Bureau released the 2015 Statistics of U.S. Businesses data tables by establishment industry. This release includes single-year estimates of the number of firms, number of establishments, employment and annual payroll. Data are presented by state, industry and enterprise employment size.

Alaska’s Denali Commission Presents Proposed Work Plan and Investments for Infrastructure and Energy

Introduced by Congress in 1998, the Denali Commission is an independent federal agency designed to provide critical utilities, infrastructure, and economic support throughout Alaska. With the creation of the Denali Commission, Congress acknowledged the need for increased inter-agency cooperation and focus on Alaska’s remote communities. The Denali Commission’s proposed work plans for future spending for infrastructure- and energy-related activities appear in the  September 26  FEDERAL REGISTER.

Comments must be received by October 30, 2017.

 

EIG Releases 2017 Distressed Community Index

From SSTI:

While more Americans live in communities that are “prosperous” compared to “distressed,” large gaps persist across geographies, demographics, and educational attainment, according to a new report from the Economic Innovation Group (EIG). The 2017 Distressed Community Index, an update to last year’s release, is comprised of seven related metrics and categorizes communities into one of five tiers based on performance: prosperous, comfortable, mid-tier, at risk, and distressed.  Read more

 

Disaster Recovery Resources

USDA Announces Technical Assistance Grants for Water and Sewer Utilities Assisting Disaster Areas. Due October 18.

USDA’s  Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is providing funding through its Technical Assistance and Training Grant Program (TAT) for disaster recovery to RUS eligible water and sewer utilities serving areas subject to Presidential disaster declarations in effect on or after the date of this notice, which are beyond the scope or capacity of existing grant agreements or contracts with the RUS and do not duplicate other federal assistance to water and sewer utilities in the affected areas. No single award will exceed $600,000 and more than one grant may be made. Expenses incurred in developing applications will be at the applicant’s risk. Key excerpt from the notice published in(September 28) Federal Register. The additional funding made available under this notice for TAT/DR grants will allow rural communities to rebuild water and sewer infrastructure damaged by recent disasters and enhance the security of the RUS loan portfolio. Qualified private, non-profit organizations with expertise and a record of experience in providing technical assistance and training to RUS eligible water and sewer utilities may apply to receive a grant to provide technical assistance to RUS eligible water and sewer utilities in areas covered by a Presidential disaster declaration on or after the date of this notice. Grants are for disaster recovery related technical assistance, including such services as helping eligible rural water and sewer utilities complete Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) claims, and file insurance recovery claims, address and cure outstanding delinquencies, and assisting new and returning RUS applicants prepare applications for water and waste disposal loans and grants as needed. Funding level: Once funding for TAT has been determined, RUS will publish the program funding level on the Rural Development Web site https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/water-waste-disposal-technical-assistance-training-grantsApplications for TAT/DR grant(s) must be received by October 18, 2017. Applications must be submitted electronically through Grants.gov.

Federal Student Aid Waivers/Modifications for Individuals Performing Qualifying Military Service or Affected by Disaster

The Secretary of Education has published updated waivers and modifications of statutory and regulatory requirements governing the Federal student financial aid programs under the authority of the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act of 2003 (HEROES Act).  The HEROES Act requires the Secretary to publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the waivers or modifications of statutory or regulatory requirements applicable to the student financial assistance programs under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), to assist individuals who are performing qualifying military service, and individuals who are affected by a disaster, war or other military operation, or national emergency.  The waivers and modifications begin on September 29, 2017. The waivers and modifications expire on September 30, 2022.    Text of notice

 

SBA Administrator’s Blog on Access to Hurricane Recovery Resources:

Here’s How to Access SBA’s Hurricane Recovery Resources

By SBA Administrator Linda McMahon

The onslaught of powerful hurricanes over the past few weeks has posed major challenges for affected communities and our nation as a whole. Residents and businesses from Puerto Rico to Texas will likely be rebuilding from hurricanes Harvey, Irma and now Maria for years to come. And the U.S. Small Business Administration is offering a variety of resources to support their economic recovery. >Read More

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