Selected Federal Agency Announcements and Related for the Week of September 25, 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.

New Announcements re: Funding Available:

Public Meetings, Events and Training.

Reports, Tools and Data.

Disaster Recovery Resources.

 

Funding & Resource Announcements

New Announcements re: Funding Available:

EPA Announces FY 2018 Guidelines for Brownfields Cleanup Grants. Proposals due Nov 16

 

EPA-OLEM-OBLR-17-09 – Closing Date: November 16, 2017

EPA provides brownfields funding for three types of grants: Brownfields Assessment Grants, Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Grants, and Brownfields Cleanup Grants.

Under this RFP, EPA is seeking proposals for Cleanup Grants only*, to provide funds to carry out cleanup activities at a specific brownfield site owned by the applicant. An applicant may request up to $200,000 to address hazardous substances and/or petroleum contamination at one or more site(s). EPA anticipates awarding an estimated 38 Cleanup Grants for an estimated $7.5 million.

The closing date and time for receipt of proposals is November 16, 2017, 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET). Proposals must be submitted through www.grants.gov. Note, EPA strongly recommends contacting the Regional Brownfields Contact listed in Section VII of the NOFA to ensure the proposed site(s) is eligible for funding. Follow this link for full details:

If you are interested in requesting funding for Brownfields Assessment Grants and/or Revolving Loan Fund Grants, please refer to announcement EPA-OLEM-OBLR-17-07 (Assessment Grant Guidelines) or EPA-OLEMOBLR-17-08 (Revolving Loan Fund Grant Guidelines) posted separately on www.grants.gov and www.epa.gov/brownfields/apply-brownfields-grant-funding.

  • 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).

 

DOT FHWA Solicits Proposals for Tribal Transportation Program Safety Funds Applications Due Dec 11; Webinar October 17

 

The Federal Highway Administration requests grant applications for FHWA’s Tribal Transportation Program Safety Funds (TTPSF) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 and FY 2018 funding, subject to future appropriations. The notice identifies selection criteria, application requirements, and technical assistance relating to this competitive funding opportunity.

 

  • Federal Register Document: 2017-20111
  • Application deadline: December 11, 2017
  • Webinar for more Information on TTPSF: October 17, 2017, 2 p.m, Eastern Time Zone.

Register and join the webinar at  https://flh.fhwa.dot.gov/programs/ttp/safety/ttpsf.htm or by phone at: TOLL FREE 1-888-251-2909; ACCESS CODE 4442306. The Webinar will be recorded and posted on FHWA’s Web site at: http://www.flh.fhwa.dot.gov/programs/ttp/safety/ .

Non-Federal Funding Opportunities:

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Opens 2018 Competition for $25K Culture of Health Prize. Apply by Nov 3

RWJF wants to hear from communities that have placed a priority on health and are creating powerful partnerships and deep commitments to provide everyone, especially those facing the greatest challenges, with the opportunity to live the healthiest life possible. More information, including selection criteria, can be found here: http://www.rwjf.org/en/library/funding-opportunities/2017/chr-prize6.html

Application Deadline

November 3, 2017, 3:00 p.m. ET

 

Recently Announced Awards:

EDA Announces $17M in FY17 Regional Innovation Strategies Awards

 

U.S. Department of Commerce announced $17 Million in Investments have been awarded by EDA to 42 organizations, to Accelerate Entrepreneurship across the Nation to Move Ideas to Market, Create Jobs, and Promote American Innovation.

Nonprofits, institutions of higher education, and entrepreneurship-focused organizations from 28 states will receive over $17 million to create and expand cluster-focused proof-of-concept and commercialization programs, and early-stage seed capital funds through the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program.

This fourth cohort of Regional Innovation Strategies awardees expands the RIS portfolio to eight new states and continues to build vibrant regional entrepreneurial economies. Selected from a pool of more than 217 applicants, the awardees include a Philadelphia business incubator where startups scale to export worldwide; an aerospace manufacturing incubator in West Virginia; a commercialization program for advanced timber technology in rural Maine; agriculture technology commercialization efforts in Iowa, Nebraska, and California; and a new space technology commercialization effort in El Paso.

The RIS grants, broken into two categories — the i6 Challenge and the Seed Fund Support (SFS) Grants. To learn more about the Regional Innovation Strategies program and the awardee projects, visit eda.gov and the FAQs (PDF).

 

SBA Announces FY17 Awards to States for Export Trade Expansion (STEP)

The U.S. Small Business Administration has recently announced that $18 million in funding has been awarded to 44 State international trade agencies through SBA’s competitive State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), to support export growth among U.S. small businesses.

STEP is designed to increase both the number of small businesses that begin to export and the value of exports for small businesses currently exporting.  The 2017 STEP awards will allow states to assist small businesses with the information and tools they need to succeed in export related activities, including  participation in foreign trade missions, foreign market sales trips, services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, as well as design of international marketing campaigns, export trade show exhibits, training workshops and more.

STEP awards are managed and provided at the local level by state government organizations. The program is managed at the national level by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of International Trade. See the full list of STEP awardees for FY 2017.

 

DOL Awards Nearly $1.5 Million for Women in Apprenticeships and Nontraditional Occupations

 

The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded $1,492,095 to support the recruitment, training, and retention of women in skilled occupations.

The Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations grant program funds community-based organizations that provide employers and labor unions with one or more of the following types of technical assistance:

  • Pre-apprenticeship or nontraditional skills training programs;
  • Ongoing orientations for employers, unions and workers on creating a successful environment for women to succeed in these careers; and
  • Support groups and facilitating networks for women to improve their retention.

“Apprenticeships in the trades offer great opportunities for women to acquire the skills necessary for family-sustaining jobs,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta.

Women are severely underrepresented in apprenticeship programs, and in high-growth, high-wage occupations generally. While women make up nearly half of the U.S. labor force, they comprise less than 10 percent of apprentices.

Apprenticeships offer workers a pathway to the middle class and helps companies recruit, develop, and retain a highly skilled workforce.  In addition to their long history in skilled trades such as construction, apprenticeships are also increasingly found in emerging and high-growth industries like energy, health care, and information technology.

The 2017 grants are administered by the Department’s Women’s Bureau. For information about the program see the Department’s FAQ.

 

Public Meetings, Events and Training

Federal Highway Administration Webinars on Economic Development and Transportation:

FHWA’s National Systems and Economic Development Team is presenting a three-part webinar series this fall focusing on economic development issues.

  • September 14, 2017 – EDA 101: The Economic Development Administration’s Programs with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) staff. The webinar presentation described how economic development intersects with transportation policy through strategic investments that foster job creation and attract private investment. EDA staff provided a high-level overview of key financial and technical assistance resources that support plans and projects in distressed areas.

View the webinar recording.

 

NADO Posts Presentations from its 2017 Training Conference Online: Workforce Development, Economic Development Integration, CEDS, Broadband, Brownfields, “Creative Placemaking”

 

The National Association of Development Organizations (EDO) marked its 50th Anniversary by hosting the 2017 Annual Training Conference in Anchorage, AK on September 9 – 12.

Over 500 attendees, representing 38 states and the District of Columbia, came together to learn, share best practices, network, and celebrate the accomplishments of regional development organizations from across the country.

 

All presentations can be accessed at https://www.nado.org/events/2017-annual-training-conference/

 

Upcoming Economic Development Related Conferences

·         UEDA Annual Summit (October 1 – 4), Long Beach, CA

·         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

Select USA Issues Report on the Role of FDI in High Tech Industries

Select USA has announced the release of a new report: FDI in High-Tech Industries. This report highlights the role foreign direct investment (FDI) plays in U.S. high-tech industries, from employment to research and development spending.

To view SelectUSA’s first industry-focused report, FDI in Manufacturing, click here

 

Census Has New Tools for Using Data from American Community Survey

In conjunction with its release of the “New American Community Survey Statistics for Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Available for States and Local Areas” last week, the Census Bureau provided these updates.

New Data Exploration Platform

The U.S. Census Bureau is currently working to streamline online data dissemination to be more customer-driven and user friendly by creating one centralized and standardized platform to underlie the search on census.gov. Beginning September 14, some 2016 American Community Survey statistics, including detailed tables, data profiles, subject tables, and comparison profiles, will be available on the preview site at data.census.gov, in parallel with the data released on American Factfinder. We encourage you to take a look at data.census.gov and provide your thoughts on our work in progress at cedsci.feedback@census.gov.

New Data Visualization Tools

The U.S. Census Bureau has a new way for people to explore ACS data through two new data visualization tools.

The ACS Data Wheel allows users to explore ACS data for all 50 states.

The Data Wheel Dashboard includes a bar graph and map of the U.S. highlighting ACS characteristics for all 50 states

Census Bureau Reports on Job Creation by Startups: 2M jobs in 2015

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In 2015, the nation’s 414,000 startup firms created 2.5 million new jobs according to data from the Census Bureau’s Business Dynamics Statistics. In contrast, this level of startup activity is well below the pre-Great Recession average of 524,000 startup firms and 3.3 million new jobs per year for the period 2002-2006. Other highlights include:

  • Job creation in the United States totaled 16.8 million with job destruction equaling 13.7 million. Job creation minus job destruction equaled net job creation of 3.1 million in 2015.
  • Young firms (those less than 6 years old) accounted for 11 percent of employment and 27 percent of job creation.
  • Old firms (those more than 25 years old) comprised 62 percent of employment and 48 percent of job creation.
  • The net job creation rate for establishments in metro areas was 2.7 percent. For establishments in nonmetro areas, the rate was lower at 1.2 percent.
  • States with the highest net job creation rates in 2015 — 3.4 percent and above — are in the South Atlantic, Pacific and Mountain divisions.

The Business Dynamics Statistics are based on Business Register data, which covers all employers in the U.S. private nonfarm economy. The Business Register is based on administrative data combined with data from the Report of Organization (formerly known as the Company Organization Survey).

 

Urban Institute Maps CDFI Activity/Gaps in Distressed Communities:

Using data collected across the country, Urban Institute researchers illustrate in a new fact sheet the growing footprint of CDFIs and the role they play in serving communities in need:

  • CDFIs lent more than $34.3 billion between 2011 and 2015, roughly $6.8 billion a year—sixty-four percent of CDFI lending went to areas that were underserved or distressed.
  • But CDFI activity was not distributed equally across the country, even among economically comparable places. 27% of counties saw no CDFI lending activity, while other counties saw significant CDFI activity.

Urban’s community development experts will also soon be releasing an interactive map that allows cities, lenders, and developers to drill down into the CDFI footprint on a county level.

 

HHS/ACF Report Provides Lessons and Strategies for Integrating Financial Services with Social Services

Financial capability is the capacity—based on knowledge, skills, and access—to manage financial resources effectively. Integration refers to incorporating financial capability discussions, resources, and tools directly into existing services, rather than creating a standalone program.

 

Community Action Agencies (CAAs) are local organizations whose purpose is to reduce the causes of poverty in the low-income communities they serve. There are more than 1,000 CAAs across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. CAAs provide a wide range of programs and services, creating many opportunities to build clients’ financial capability through the integration of financial capability services rather than create an additional standalone program. Developing an integration plan also offers an opportunity for CAA leadership and staff to learn more about all the programs they provide and leverage existing internal resources to better serve clients.

 

A new brief shares lessons and strategies from three CAAs that are integrating financial capability services into social service programs.

 

EPA Information on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in Low-Income Communities Now Available

 

EPA has recently completed a collection of 11 case studies and program profiles to highlight effective efforts by state and local agencies, non-profits, and utilities to bring energy efficiency and renewable energy to low-income communities. The collection features proven, practical, scalable, replicable, and sustainable programs and policies, focusing on how they overcame common barriers that often prevent effective delivery of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects to low-income households. Case studies are featured from projects in California, Vermont, Maryland and Colorado.

 

The following guide is also available and can be used by low-income community leaders and stakeholder groups to better understand the benefits of participating in EPA initiatives to help community members save energy costs, improve the health and safety of their homes, and protect the environment.

Disaster Recovery Resources

EPA Shares Hurricane Maria Update

WASHINGTON (September 22, 2017) –  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to coordinate closely with federal, commonwealth, territory and local partners as the Agency responds to the impact of Hurricane Maria. EPA is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through its assistance to the governments of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. EPA is focused on environmental impacts and potential threats to people’s health caused by Hurricane Maria, as well as the safety of those in the affected areas.

About 80 personnel are currently involved in hurricane efforts. The following EPA teams of On Scene Coordinators, scientists, technical assistance professionals and other first responders are deploying to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands this weekend, once conditions are safe to travel, to assess conditions in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria:

–      Water Sampling

–      Hazardous Materials Assessment

–      Drinking Water and Wastewater Facilities Assessment

–      Regulated Facility Assessment

EPA has important resources available online in English and Spanish about floodwaters, hazardous debris, household hazardous waste, and other hurricane impacts. EPA will continue to provide regular updates about EPA’s response to Hurricane Maria. For information and updates, visit: www.epa.gov/hurricane-maria.

NSF Accepting Research Proposals Related to Hurricane Irma (& Harvey)

Through its September 18th Dear Colleague Letter, nsf17135 , NSF encourages the submission of proposals that seek to address the challenges related to Hurricane Irma. NSF also will support fundamental science and engineering research projects whose results may enable our country to better prepare for, respond to, recover from, or mitigate future catastrophic events.

Research proposals relating to a better fundamental understanding of the impacts of the storm (both physical, biological and societal), human aspects of natural disasters (including first responders and the general public), emergency response methods, and approaches that promise to reduce future damage also are welcome. Multiple proposal mechanisms are available to conduct new research related to Hurricane Irma.

  • RAPID: Proposals focusing on projects with severe urgency with regard to availability of, or access to, data, facilities or specialized equipment, including quick-response research on natural disasters. RAPID proposal project descriptions may not exceed 5 pages, with a maximum request of $200K for one year, although many are much smaller. Link to  instructions on preparation of a RAPID proposal: (https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappg17_1/pappg_2.jsp#IIE1).
  • EAGER: Proposals to conduct fundamental research representing exploratory work in its early stages on untested, but potentially transformative, research ideas or approaches. EAGER proposal project descriptions may not exceed 8 pages. Requests may be up to $300K and with a maximum award duration of two years. Link to  instructions on preparation of an EAGER proposal (https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappg17_1/pappg_2.jsp#IIE2).
  • Supplements to existing awards: Small amounts of supplemental funding to existing awards may be requested. Link to instructions on preparation of a supplemental funding request (https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappg17_1/pappg_6.jsp#VIE4).

To submit a RAPID, EAGER or supplemental funding request, investigators must contact the NSF Program Officer most closely related to the proposal topic before submitting, to determine if the proposed activities meet NSF’s guidelines. Click here for a list of NSF contacts by Directorate: https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2017/nsf17135

A NSF’s earlier Dear Colleague Letter dated September 1, 2017 (NSF17128) extended similar opportunities with regard to Hurricane Harvey: .https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2017/nsf17128/nsf17128.jsp

 

USDA Rural Development Provides Disaster Recovery Assistance to Individuals, Businesses, Utilities and Communities in Affected Areas:

 

USDA Approves D-SNAP for Florida Disaster Counties

Floridians struggling with the after effects of Hurricane Irma could be eligible for help buying food through USDA’s Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP)

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said that households who may not normally be eligible under regular SNAP rules may qualify for D-SNAP — if their income is under the disaster limits and they have qualifying disaster-related expenses.  Although each disaster situation is unique, D-SNAP is most appropriate in the recovery phase after commercial channels of food distribution have been restored and families are able to purchase and prepare food at home. Before operating a D-SNAP, a State must ensure that proper public information, staffing and resources are in place. More …

Additional Disaster Assistance Resources from USDA

USDA Rural Development provides many forms of disaster recovery assistance in areas affected by recent Hurricanes. This assistance includes:

  • Coordinating with private partners to restore utilities to rural communities in hurricane-affected regions.
  • Helping businesses, utilities and single family home loan customers that are current USDA borrowers by considering requests to defer principal and/or interest payments, and to provide additional temporary loans
  • Partnering with FEMA to provide emergency housing for people who need it in these affected areas.

Additional information may be found at https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/services/rural-development-disaster-assistance.

To find the nearest USDA Rural Development office, visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/contact-us.

 

DOE Highlights 5 Ways Alternative Fuels Can Support Disaster Response

Back-to-back hurricanes Harvey and Irma devastated parts of Houston and Florida and left millions of residents in the dark. The long lines and “out of fuel” gas station signs are reminders that most of the transportation sector still relies on gasoline and diesel. However, in a number of cities and states, alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) are playing a big role in responding to natural disasters and improving emergency preparedness. For 5 examples, click here: https://energy.gov/eere/articles/5-ways-alternative-fuels-aid-response-hurricanes-and-natural-disasters

 

The Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) supports a balanced portfolio of early-stage research and works directly with its nationwide network of Clean Cities Coalitions to enable widespread use of alternative fuels and energy efficient mobility technologies that enhance energy affordability, reliability, and resilience and strengthen U.S. energy security. Click here to  Learn more about VTO’s Initiative for Resiliency in Energy through Vehicles project.

Norbord Contributes $1M To Support Home Builder Institute’s Construction Training to Rebuild In Texas And Florida;

HBI, a leading career trainer for the building industry, is gearing up to help prepare the local workforce for reconstruction in Texas and Florida following the recent hurricanes. Norbord Inc.’s donation of $1 million to HBI will help train individuals in the building industry to rebuild in communities that were hard-hit by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

 

HBI’s industry-recognized training program is an “open-entry, skilled-exit” model and is one of only three curricula recognized by the Department of Labor. The program is designed to train, certify and place individuals in construction trades skills, including carpentry and framing houses, over 12- to 14-week periods. According to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reports, reconstruction in the hurricane-hit areas will take years.

“HBI is planning training programs that will expand current HBI programs and set up new ones in Texas and Florida over the next two years. Norbord’s Thank-A-Framer campaign, which kicked off September 1, provides an opportunity to learn more, donate to HBI, and spread the word on social media using #ThankAFramer.

HBI expects to be on the ground and running training programs in the coming months.

IEDC Seeking Volunteers to Assist Post-Disaster Economic Development Recovery

 

From IEDC:

In response to the unprecedented impacts of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and the immediate need for economic recovery solutions, the IEDC is gearing up to provide a range of assistance to local economic developers in regions of Texas, Louisiana and Florida which were hit. The aim of these efforts is to help increase the post-disaster survival rate of small- and medium-size businesses and to get people back to work as quickly as possible. As such, IEDC is seeking volunteers to serve in varying capacities and duration. Typical activities may be providing advice on what worked in your community in the past and how to prioritize recovery activities or serving as an instructor or presenter on key economic recovery topics, serving as a volunteer at a business recovery center, and more.

More information about volunteering is available at RestoreYourEconomy.org, a one-stop shop for disaster preparedness and post-disaster economic recovery tools and resources. Visit and find opportunities to connect with peers through social media groups and much more. The site exposes readers to the critical issues and challenges, highlights lessons learned in the response and recovery process, as well as suggests resources and best practices to use in restoring the local economy after a disaster. This includes articles, whitepapers, presentations, briefings, documents, website links, and other relevant resources to assist your community in the disaster preparedness or recovery process. IEDC will launch a special report on the role of Public-Private Partnerships in economic recovery and resiliency, which will include five case studies. The report will be launched at the 2017 Annual Conference. 

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