Selected Federal Agency Announcements and Related for the Week of April 30, 2018

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 developmentSpecial thanks to ETA and other federal partners for sharing content included below.

Also visit the following links on our updated EDI webpages at www.eda.gov/edi for additional information about federal resources that are available to support comprehensive regional economic development strategies, including:

Click here to view all weekly federal announcement posts.


Funding & Resource Announcements

Announcements of Federal Funding & Assistance Available:

 

New Transportation Infrastructure – DOT BUILD Program Announces $1.5 Billion Notice of Funding Opportunity. Apply by Jul 19

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has published a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to apply for $1.5 billion in discretionary grant funding through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grants program.

See: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=303923

BUILD Transportation grants replace the pre-existing Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program. As the Administration looks to enhance America’s infrastructure, FY 2018 BUILD Transportation grants are for investments in surface transportation infrastructure and are to be awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant local or regional impact. BUILD funding can support roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports or intermodal transportation.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 made available $1.5 billion for National Infrastructure Investments, otherwise known as BUILD Transportation Discretionary grants, through September 30, 2020.  For this round of BUILD Transportation grants, the maximum grant award is $25 million, and no more than $150 million can be awarded to a single State, as specified in the FY 2018 Appropriations Act. At least 30 percent of funds must be awarded to projects located in rural areas.

To provide technical assistance to a broad array of stakeholders, DOT is hosting a series of webinars during the FY 2018 BUILD grant application process.

  • A webinar on how to compete for BUILD Transportation Grants for all applicants will be held on Thursday, May 24;
  • A webinar for rural and tribal applicants will be held on Tuesday, May 29; and
  • A webinar on how to prepare a benefit cost analysis for a BUILD application will be held on Thursday, May 31.

All webinars will take place from 2:00-4:00 PM EDT. Details and registration information regarding these webinars will be made available at https://www.transportation.gov/BUILDgrants. The Department will schedule additional webinars on these topics in June.

The deadline to submit an application for the FY 2018 BUILD Transportation Discretionary Grants program is July 19, 2018.

For more information, please visit https://www.transportation.gov/BUILDgrants.

NEW Rural Capacity Building – USDA Funding Available for FY2018 Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI). Apply by June 25

Qualified private, nonprofit and public including tribal intermediary organizations proposing to carry out financial and technical assistance programs will be eligible to receive the funding. The Intermediary will be required to provide matching funds in an amount at least equal to the RCDI grant. The respective minimum and maximum grant amount per Intermediary is $50,000 and $250,000. The Intermediary must provide a program of financial and technical assistance to recipients to develop their capacity and ability to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development that will support the community.

Applicants are encouraged to consider projects that provide measurable results in helping rural communities build robust and sustainable economies through strategic investments in infrastructure,

partnerships, and innovation. Key strategies include:

  • Achieving e-Connectivity for Rural America
  • Developing the Rural Economy
  • Harnessing Technological Innovation
  • Supporting a Rural Workforce
  • Improving Quality of Life

Link to Additional Information:    Link to Notice in Federal Register

 

NEW Business Development for Distressed Areas – SBA Invites SBDCs to Apply for 2018 PORTABLE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM FY 2018. Due June 8

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY NO. OSBDC-2018-06   The purpose of this Funding Opportunity is to invite proposals for funding from entities currently funded by SBA as a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Lead Center.  Through this program, SBA seeks to fund SBDC Lead Centers serving economically distressed areas. Projects must provide technical assistance and/or training services to small businesses in communities that are economically impacted as a result of a recent business or government facility downsizing or closing, known as a “Qualifying Event.” The Qualifying Event(s) must demonstrate negative impacts of job losses or small business instability in the SBDC Service Area. The goals and objectives of a successful application must demonstrate an increase in small business success and viability through such measures as job creation and retention, increases in sales, business starts, and capital infusion. SBA is particularly interested in collaborative efforts (community, regional, statewide, industry sector, etc.) that may serve as best practices and models of such small business assistance. Applicants are encouraged to design and develop innovative programs and services to address the purpose of this Project.

Each proposal must describe recent, serious economic conditions resulting from diminished business or government operations within a discrete area served by an SBDC network. Proposals must include detailed plans to deliver technical assistance to the affected area with corresponding objectives and milestones to be accomplished. Only applications from SBDC Lead Centers will be considered for funding. Opening Date: April 24, 2018 Closing Date: June 8, 2018. Visit the announcement on Grants.gov for application packet and additional guidance: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=304190

 

NEW: E-Training for HazMat Workers – NIH Seeks SBIR Applicants for New Product/Tool Development. Apply by July 31.

RFA-ES-18-006: This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) encourages Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant applications from small business concerns (SBCs) that propose to further the development of Advanced Technology Training (ATT) products for the health and safety training of hazardous materials (HAZMAT) workers; skilled support personnel; emergency responders in biosafety response, infectious disease training and cleanup; emergency responders in disasters and resiliency training; and for ATT tools to assist in research into the acute and long-term health effects of environmental disasters. ATT as defined by the Worker Training Program (WTP) includes, but is not limited to, online training, virtual reality, and serious gaming, which complement all aspects of training from development to evaluation including advance technologies that enhance, supplement, improve, and provide health and safety training for hazardous materials workers. The major objective of the NIEHS WTP is to prevent work related harm by assisting in the training of workers in how best to protect themselves and their communities from exposure to hazardous materials. The financial support for this initiative comes directly from NIEHS Worker Education and Training Branch SBIR funds.  Apply by July 31.

Link to Additional Information: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-ES-18-006.html

Grants for New Product R&D – NSF Funds Small Business R&D for Science and Technology Products. Apply by June 14.

The National Science Foundation’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs seek innovative proposals that show promise of commercial and societal impact. Information on science and technology topics of interest is available here). Further information about the program is available at seedfund.nsf.gov.

 

Previously Announced Federal Funding Opportunities Closing Soon:  

Below is a list of previously highlighted funding opportunities that are still open. Enter the Opportunity Number in Grants.gov to see announcement details. You can also search Grants.gov for a full list of current federal opportunities, including programs not listed below.

 

Opportunity Number Opportunity Title Agency Posted Date Close Date
OIT-STEP-2018-01 State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) SBA 03/30/2018 05/02/2018
FOA-ETA-18-02 Reentry Projects (RP) DOL-ETA 04/04/2018 05/04/2018
USDA-AMS-TM-LFPP-G-18-0001 Local Food Promotion Program USDA-AMS 03/07/2018 05/07/2018
USDA-AMS-TM-FMPP-G-18-0002 Farmers Market Promotion Program USDA-AMS 03/07/2018 05/07/2018
NOAA-NMFS-HCOP-2018-2005502 NOAA Coastal Resilience Grants Program (FY 2018) DOC 01/24/2018 05/07/2018
FOA-VETS-18-01 Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program (HVRP), including Incarcerated Veterans Transition,  Homeless Female Veterans and Homeless Veterans with Families DOL-ETA-VETS 04/06/2018 05/07/2018
P18AS00081 Historic Preservation Fund Grants-in-Aid: Tribal Heritage Grants DOI-NPS 03/01/2018 05/11/2018
RDRUS-CC-2018 Community Connect Grant Program USDA-RUS 03/15/2018 05/14/2018
FOA-ETA-18-06 State Occupational Licensing Review and Reform DOL-ETA 04/12/2018 05/14/2018
N00014-18-S-F005 FY 2018 FOA for DOD’s Office of Naval Research (ONR) Manufacturing Engineering Education Program DOD-ONR 01/12/2018 05/16/2018
USDA-NIFA-SRGP-006544 Special Research Grants Program – Aquaculture Research USDA-NIFA 04/03/2018 05/17/2018
USDA-AMS-TM-SCBGP-G-18-0003 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program – Farm Bill USDA-AMS 03/07/2018 05/24/2018
USDA-NRCS-PR-CIG-001 NRCS’ Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) for FY 2018 – Caribbean Area USDA-NRCS 03/30/2018 05/30/2018
FMCS-2018 Labor-Management Cooperation Grant Program FMCS 03/12/2018 05/31/2018
RUS-18-01-DLT Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program USDA-RUS 04/05/2018 06/04/2018
USDA-NIFA-FSMA-006549 Food Safety Outreach Competitive Grant Program 2018 USDA-NIFA 04/16/2018 06/07/2018
OSBDC-2018-06 Portable Assistance Program SBA 04/25/2018 06/08/2018
NNH18ZDA001N-DISASTERS ROSES 2018: Earth Science Applications: Disaster Risk Reduction and Response NASA-HQ 02/15/2018 06/14/2018
DE-FOA-0001755 Industry Partnerships for Cybersecurity of Energy Delivery Systems (CEDS) Research, Development and Demonstration DOE-NETL 04/16/2018 06/18/2018
USDA-RD-HCFP-RCDI-2018 Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) USDA-RHS 04/26/2018 06/25/2018
DTOS59-18-RA-BUILD1 FY 2018 National Infrastructure Investments DOT 04/20/2018 07/19/2018
RFA-ES-18-006 SBIR E-learning for HAZMAT and Emergency Response (R43/R44 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) HHS-NIH11 04/25/2018 07/31/2018
NSF 17-590 Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Education and Human Resources NSF 08/22/2017 10/01/2018

Public Meetings, Events and Training

April 29-May 5 is National Small Business Week

Join SBA in celebration as we recognize outstanding entrepreneurs and small business owners from all across the 50 states and U.S. territories. Participate in events like the Virtual Conference and Twitter chat. SBA will be livestreaming the award ceremonies, including the announcement of the National Small Business Person of the Year. Click here to Learn More

 

Nov 6-7 National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education Conference, in Miami FL.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) granted FIU, and its partner New America, a cooperative agreement to host the annual National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Conference and Expo over the next five years.

The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education led by The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the U.S. Commerce Department’s partnership between government, academia and the private sector focusing on cybersecurity education, training and workforce development. Its mission is to energize and promote a robust network and an ecosystem of cybersecurity education, training, and workforce development.

The NICE Conference and Expo brings together leaders from public and private sectors to examine challenges and opportunities for higher education and industry to address growing cybersecurity workforce shortages. This year’s conference will be held in Miami, FL from November 6-7, with the conference expanding to other major cities around the U.S in the future.

For more information regarding the 2018 NICE Conference and Expo, visit www.NICEconference.org.


Reports, Tools and Data

Executive Order Reducing Poverty in America by Promoting Opportunity and Economic Mobility

The Executive Order Reducing Poverty in America by Promoting Opportunity and Economic Mobility was issued on April 10.   The Executive Order summaries the purpose, policy, definitions and guidance documents to support the goals of the EO. Follow this link to view the executive order:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-reducing-poverty-america-promoting-opportunity-economic-mobility/

 

New: Small Business Development & Impact Investing White Paper

An April 26 advisory from CDFA:

One of the largest challenges faced by small businesses has always been and continues to be access to capital in order to operate, grow and create jobs. The FDIC estimates that 53% of small businesses get their loans from community banks, yet the number of such banks declined by 28% between 2000 and 2014. Helping small businesses find other sources of financing is important for a number of reasons. The purpose of a new Small Business Development & Impact Investing White Paper from CDFA is to document the potential of a collaboration between Impact Investors and high performing Development Finance Agencies (DFAs) to fill the capital gaps facing small businesses and to accelerate DFAs as a major source of capital to enable small businesses to grow, create jobs and spur economic and community development. View the white paper here: https://www.cdfa.net/cdfa/cdfaweb.nsf/ordredirect.html?open&id=201804_smallbizimpactinvest.html

 

New: USDA Rural Development Innovation Center Launches Interactive Webpage to Share Best Practices for Rural Economic Development

Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today (April 25)  unveiled a new interactive webpage to identify best practices for building rural prosperity.

The webpage highlights effective strategies that have been used to create jobs, build infrastructure, strengthen partnerships and promote economic development in rural America. An interactive feature allows webpage visitors to submit comments on ways USDA can improve Rural Development program delivery. Innovation Center staff will review these recommendations and direct customers to resources, services and expertise that will help their communities create transformative solutions to complex rural challenges.

The webpage also highlights USDA resources that can be used for investments in infrastructure and innovation. These resources include USDA’s Distance Learning & Telemedicine Grant Program, Community Connect Grant Program, and Community Facilities Programs.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

 

NEW: SBA’s Office of Advocacy Releases Small Business Profiles (2018)

Today (April 25),  the Office of Advocacy released the annual Small Business Profiles. The Small Business Profiles are an annual portrait of each state’s small businesses. They gather the latest federal data into state-by-state snapshots of small business health and economic activity. Limited economic data is also provided for the U.S. territories.This year’s profiles report on state economic growth and employment. They also answer the questions:

  • How many small businesses are in my state?
  • How many jobs do they create?
  • Which industries have the most small businesses and small business jobs?
  • How many establishments opened and closed?
  • How many small businesses export, and how much?
  • Which counties have the most small business employment?

Visit Advocacy’s website to view the U.S. or your state’s profile.

 

New GAO Publishes 2018 Annual Report: Additional Opportunities to Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication and Achieve Other Financial Benefits

The Government Accountability Office published 2018 Annual Report: Additional Opportunities to Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication and Achieve Other Financial Benefits

https://www.gao.gov/assets/700/691514.pdf

GAO notes: “Every year, we identify and report on federal agencies, programs, and initiatives with fragmented, overlapping, or duplicative goals or activities; and ways to reduce costs or enhance revenue. The government saves money when it takes the actions we’ve proposed—saving an estimated $178 billion so far by fully or partially addressing 76% of our recommendations.

In its 8th annual report, GAO identified 68 new actions that Congress and executive branch agencies could take to improve operations across government.

 

New BLS Announces Improvements to the One-Screen Data Search Tool

An April 23 BLS advisory

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has a wealth of data available to its users, including data on inflation and prices, pay and benefits, employment and unemployment, productivity, and workplace injuries and illnesses. The BLS One-Screen Data Search tool is useful for users who want to create customized, downloadable tables for one or more data series. With all of the available data characteristics on one page, the One-Screen data search tool allows users to easily adjust their selections and to select multiple items for comparison.

As previously announced, BLS’ “One-Screen” data search tool is being retired. The Bureau has developed a new and improved One-Screen data search tool. In order to make the tool more widely available, BLS has removed its reliance on Java applet, making it a more secure application. This means the One-Screen tool is now supported by most browsers, including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Internet Explorer. The updated tool also queries the BLS database faster, which improves the user experience when retrieving the desired data. The new One-Screen data search tool is available for most BLS programs and can be accessed on the data homepage. BLS welcomes and appreciates all user feedback, as it will help to further develop and refine the One-Screen data search tool.

In addition to the revamped One-Screen data search tool, BLS encourages you to try one of the following popular alternative data retrieval tools:

Census Bureau Releases 2016 County Business Patterns

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The newly released 2016 County Business Patterns (CBP), provides detailed annual information on the number of establishments, first quarter employment, and first quarter and annual payroll at the national, state, metropolitan area, county and congressional district levels for nearly 1,200 industries defined by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

Highlights include:

  • The number of all establishments rose 1.2 percent from 7,663,938 in 2015 to 7,759,807 in 2016.
  • The largest employment gains in Construction occurred in California (36,817), Florida (33,463) and New York (27,662).
  • The greatest number of employees was in Health Care and Social Assistance (NAICS 62), which rose 2.7 percent to 19.7 million employees working at 890,519 establishments in 2016.
  • Food Services and Drinking Places, (NAICS 722) had the largest increase in first quarter employment with an increase of 4.2 percent from 11,164,851 in 2015 to 11,636,640 in 2016.
  • The largest percentage increases in first quarter employment among states occurred in Florida (5.0 percent) and Arizona (3.7 percent).

CBP data can be accessed using multiple tools available via the Census Bureau’s website, including American FactFinder, QuickFacts, Census Business Builder and My Congressional District.

 

OSHA Online Database of Trainers

Need an authorized instructor to train your team? OSHA has launched a new online database of trainers who provide 10-hour and 30-hour OSHA outreach training courses. The site (available here) is searchable by location and provides contact information to email or call each trainer. While OSHA says it does not endorse the trainers listed, it hopes the tool will enable companies to find OSHA-authorized trainers. Trainers who wish to be added to the database should contact their Authorizing Training Organization (OTI Education Center). On its web site, OSHA also has available lists of:

US Dpt of ED Publishes “Stackable Credentials Toolkit”

The Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education has recently released a “Stackable Credentials Tool Kit” available here: https://Stackable_Credentials_Tool_Kit_20180401.pdf

 

CEDS Central –Free Resource and Training Archive for Regional Partners

CEDS Central serves as the Resource and Training Archive for materials developed by the NADO Research Foundation (NADO RF) as part of its Stronger CEDS, Stronger Region program, funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration. The free materials archived there include reports, case studies, videos, webinars, and presentation materials on planning, developing, and implementing the CEDS. See: https://www.cedscentral.com/

 


Disaster Recovery Resources & Info

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

Funding Assistance for Recovery Efforts:

 

Save the Date for May 9 Webinar – Details Forthcoming for EDA NOFO for $587M in Supplemental Funding for Areas Impacted by 2017 Hurricanes, Wildfires and Other Disasters

EDA has issued a NOFO (EDA-2018-DISASTER) inviting applications for $587 million in grants available to eligible entities to address economic challenges in disaster-impacted areas. These grants will support disaster recovery activities in areas receiving a major disaster designation as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and wildfires and other 2017 natural disasters. EDA plans to accept proposals on a rolling basis until all funds are obligated. See listing above and these links below for details:

 

New Hurricane and Wildfire Recovery and Schooling: Department of Education Announces Intent to Fund Projects under Emergency Impact Aid and Assistance for Homeless Children and Youth

The Department of Education has announced its intent to award funds under two programs — (1) Emergency Impact Aid (CFDA number 84.938C) and (2) the Assistance for Homeless Children and Youth program (CFDA number 84.938B). The amounts awarded under each program will be based on demand and specific data received from eligible applicants.

Under the Emergency Impact Aid program, the Department will award grants to eligible SEAs to enable them to make emergency impact aid payments to eligible LEAs and eligible Bureau of Indian Education (BIE)–funded schools for the cost of educating during the 2017-2018 school year public and non-public school students displaced by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, or the 2017 California wildfires for which a major disaster or emergency has been declared under sections 401 or 501 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5170 and 5190) (covered disaster or emergency).  Under the Assistance for Homeless Children and Youth program, the Department will award grants to eligible SEAs to enable them to provide financial assistance to LEAs serving homeless children and youth displaced by a covered disaster or emergency in order to address the educational and related needs of these students in a manner consistent with section 723 of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento Act) and with section 106 of title IV of division B of Public Law 109-148. Full details may be found in the April 25 FEDERAL REGISTER at https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-04-25/pdf/2018-08700.pdf

 

USDA Announces $2.36 B Available through WHIP Program to Help Agricultural Producers Recover after 2017 Hurricanes and Wildfires

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced on April 6 that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will make disaster payments of up to $2.36 billion, as provided by Congress, to help America’s farmers and ranchers recover from hurricanes and wildfires. The funds are available as part of the new 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (2017 WHIP). Sign-up for the new program, authorized by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, will begin no later than July 16.

Full background: https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2018/04/06/usda-implements-236-billion-help-agricultural-producers-recover

 

EPA Announces Puerto Rico Youth and the Environment Program – Apply by May 25

EPA-R2-CWD-FO-001: Puerto Rico Youth and the Environment Program. Posted 04/12/2018.

EPA Region 2 is soliciting grant applications from eligible applicants for the development of projects in Puerto Rico for eligible post-Hurricane Maria restoration activities in the (1) Vieques Bioluminescent Mosquito Bay; and (2) San Juan Bay Estuary, that involve training, studies and/or demonstrations relating to the reduction of the sedimentation load; elimination of water pollution; and/or the development of an environmental education program and materials through the Youth and the Environment program. Link to Additional Information https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=303173

 

USDA FY18 Conservation Innovation Grants Avail for PR and USVI

USDA-NRCS-PR-CIG-001  USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has posted a Funding Opportunity for its FY18 Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) – Caribbean Area. Applications will be accepted from eligible entities for projects carried out in the USDA Caribbean Area: Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands. CIG grants are designed to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies. APPLICATIONS DUE by 4 p.m. Eastern Time on May 30, 2018. Submit electronically through grants.gov. In addition, a PDF of the complete application must be emailed to jaime.valentin@pr.usda.gov. See full announcement here: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=302405

 

Updates on FEMA Response in Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands

 

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, as well as prior declarations for other areas, on FEMA’s disaster declarations webpage.

Amended Declarations

Existing Declarations may be subsequently amended to expand covered areas, provide notification that an incident has been closed, or make other necessary changes.

These are posted in the Federal Register here: https://www.federalregister.gov/agencies/federal-emergency-management-agency#documents

Economic Recovery Support

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