Selected Federal Agency Announcements and Related for the Week of February 19, 2019

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.


Contents


Funding & Resource Announcements

ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND INNOVATION

EDA 2019 Regional Innovation Strategies Program. Apply by April 4.

EDA is pleased to announce that it is now accepting applications for the 2019 Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) Program funding starting today, February 1, 2019.

The RIS Program, operated by EDA’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE), again offers funding through two competitions:

  • FY19 i6 Challenge—catalyzing high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the country, the i6 Challenge awards up to $750,000 for projects that increase regional capacity to accelerate the translation of innovations, ideas, intellectual property, and research into products, services, companies, and jobs.
  • FY19 Seed Fund Support (SFS) Grant Competition—unlocking risk capital for entrepreneurs and startups to grow, SFS grants provide up to $300,000 for projects that create, launch, or expand equity-based seed funds or that create networks and tools that enable capital to flow into high-growth startups in all parts of the U.S.

All applications to the 2019 RIS Program competitions must be submitted no later than 11:59pm Eastern Time on Thursday, April 4, 2019. For information on eligibility and how to apply, interested organizations are encouraged to visit EDA’s Regional Innovation Strategies webpage for more info.

 

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN RURAL COMMUNITIES

Funding Available for Northern Border Communities – Forest Based Economies. LOI due March 15.

The Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) is pleased to announce a new opportunity for regional approaches to economic development under the Regional Forest Economy Partnership.

This NOFO allows for creative opportunities to improve communities in NBRC’s service area, including parts of ME, NH, NY and VT. See the Notice of Funding Opportunity or http://www.nbrc.gov for details.

 

ARC Accepting Proposals for 2019 POWER Initiative. Due April 10.

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is accepting applications for the FY 2019 POWER (Partnership for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative. ARC’s POWER Initiative will continue focusing on regional investments that maximize economic revitalization in the Appalachian region’s coal-impacted communities. The 2019 Request for Proposals (RFP) is available here. ARC has also scheduled upcoming regional RFP Workshops at these remaining locations:

  • February 13 – Johnson City, Tennessee, ETSU Millennium Centre
  • March 6 – Morgantown, West Virginia, Morgantown Marriott at Waterfront Place

 

HHS Solicits Applications from Tribal Communities for Social and Economic Development Strategies Program. Due April 15.

The Administration for Native Americans within the HHS Administration for Children and Families is seeking applications for its 2019 Social and Economic Development Strategies –SEDS program. This program is focused on community-driven projects designed to grow local economies, strengthen Native American families, including the preservation of Native American cultures, and decrease the high rate of current challenges caused by the lack of community-based businesses, and social and economic infrastructure in Native American communities. Applications are due April 15. See details in announcement posted on Grants.gov (HHS-2018-ACF-ANA-NA-1339) at https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=298007

INFRASTRUCTURE

NEW: USDA Rural Utility Service: FY Community Connect Grants Available. Apply by Apr 15.

RUS is now accepting applications for FY 2019 for the Community Connect Grants program.

This program helps fund broadband deployment into rural communities where it is not yet economically viable for private sector providers to deliver service. Rural areas that lack any existing broadband speed of at least 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream are eligible. Use of funds may include:

  • The construction, acquisition, or leasing of facilities, spectrum, land or buildings used to deploy broadband service for residential and business customers or critical community facilities (such as public schools, fire stations, and public libraries) in eligible areas
  • The cost of providing broadband service free of charge to the critical community facilities for 2 years
  • Less than 10% of the grant amount or up to $150,000 may be used for the improvement, expansion, construction or acquisition of a community center that provides online access to the public

The application window closes April 15, 2019. Applications for this program are serviced by RUS national office staff, available at community.connect@wdc.usda.gov.

See the Community Connect fact sheet, and the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for details.

 

USDA Extends Deadlines for ReConnect Rural Broadband Program to May 31.

unced USDA will extend application deadlines for the Rural eConnectivity Pilot Program (ReConnect Program). To give potential applicants adequate time to access technical assistance from USDA staff and its partners, the first application deadline will be pushed back to May 31, 2019 or later. Previously, application deadlines began in April.

 

New specific deadlines for ReConnect Program grants, loans, and grant-loan combination applications will be posted in the Federal Register in late February. More information about the ReConnect program may be found at http://reconnect.usda.gov.

DOT Opens 2nd Round of INFRA Grant Program. Apply by March 4

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is announcing the second round of the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) discretionary grant program through a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) at Grants.gov (Opportunity Number NSFHP-19-INFRA19).  The INFRA program will make approximately $855-902.5M available to projects that are in line with the Administration’s principles to help rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure – a priority for this Administration. Eligible INFRA project costs may include: reconstruction, rehabilitation, acquisition of property (including land related to the project and improvements to the land), environmental mitigation, construction contingencies, equipment acquisition, and operational improvements directly related to system performance. The Application Deadline is March 4, 2019. Link to NOFO on Grants.gov here: NSFHP-19-INFRA19

 

FY19 WaterSMART Grants Available: Deadlines in March and April.

The US Bureau of Reclamation is making funding available through its WaterSMART Program for water and energy efficiency grants. These grants will be awarded to projects that will result in quantifiable and sustained water savings and support broader water reliability benefits. To learn more visit www.usbr.gov/watersmart, and search www.grants.gov, using the opportunity numbers below:

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

ETA Publishes Work Opportunity Tax Credit Funding Allotments for Fiscal Year 2019

US DOL’s Employment and Training has conveyed the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 grant funding allotments (Attachment I: FY 2019 State Allotments ) and application requirements for the State Workforce Development Agencies, also known as State Workforce Agencies (SWA). Allotments are used in part to assist State Agencies to promote WOTC incentives to prospective employers seeking to hire qualified workers that face barriers to employment. Questions can be directed to the appropriate Regional WOTC Coordinator, listed on the WOTC website at: https://www.doleta.gov/business/incentives/opptax/contact/regional-offices.cfm.

 

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
19-501 Accelerating Research through International Network-to-Network Collaborations NSF 10/06/2018 02/28/2019
NSFHP-19-INFRA19 INFRA Grants DOT-DOT X-50 01/02/2019 03/04/2019
HRSA-19-092 Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention (NEPQR) – Veteran Nurses in Primary Care (VNPC) Training Program HHS-HRSA 01/07/2019 03/08/2019
BOR-DO-19-F004 WaterSMART Grants: Water and Energy Efficiency Grants for Fiscal Year 2019 DOI-BOR 01/31/2019 03/19/2019
BOR-DO-19-F003 WaterSMART Drought Response Program: Drought Resiliency Projects for Fiscal Year 2019 DOI-BOR 01/24/2019 03/27/2019
EDA-HDQ-OIE-2019-2005942 FY 2019 Regional Innovation Strategies Program DOC 02/01/2019 04/04/2019
HHS-2018-ACF-ANA-NA-1339 Social and Economic Development Strategies -SEDS HHS-ACF-ANA 02/06/2018 04/15/2019
RDRUS-CC-2019 Community Connect Grant Program USDA-RUS 02/12/2019 04/15/2019
BOR-DO-19-F005 WaterSMART Grants: Small-Scale Water Efficiency Projects for Fiscal Year 2019 DOI-BOR 01/24/2019 04/24/2019
EDAP2018 FY18 Economic Development Assistance Programs: Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance DOC-EDA 07/02/2018 Open
693JJ319NF-NSFLTP Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects (NSFLTP) DOT-FHWA 10/04/2018 Open

 

 

Public Meetings, Events and Training

Select USA Adds Spin Off Events to Encourage Foreign Investors to Visit Locations Across US

Message from Select USA:

SelectUSA is partnering with economic development organizations (EDOs) across the U.S. to plan and promote spinoff events. These events will take place either before or after the 2019 SelectUSA Investment Summit in dozens of U.S. locations. We encourage all foreign business delegations to extend their stay and connect with business leaders and local experts while exploring promising investment opportunities.

  • To our economic development partners:We are happy to work with you to create the right type of event for your region.

Current spinoff events are listed at https://connect.eventtia.com/en/dmz/selectusaspinoffs/website More will be added as they become available.

SelectUSA 2019 will be held June 10-12,2019 in Washington DC. To apply for registration or find more information, visit: www.SelectUSA.gov or email: SelectUSA@experient-inc.com

NIH Online Course for Biomedical Innovators: Applying for SBIR/STTR Funding

The federal grant-making agency recently released a five-module online course for biomedical innovators considering funding through the NIH SBIR/STTR programs. The course aims to help prospective applicants “evaluate the use of federal grant funding within the context of a broader financial plan.” For information on the latest SBIR/STTR Opportunities at NIH, visit https://sbir.nih.gov/ .

Reports, Tools and Data

NEW: Department of Commerce Joins Government-Wide Initiative to Facilitate Broadband Deployment

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross joined with other Federal agencies to announce a cohesive, across-government, strategy to promote broadband deployment. A report released by the White House outlines the American Broadband Initiative (ABI), an effort that includes streamlining the Federal permitting process,

The ABI, announced during a Commerce Department meeting with state broadband leaders, coincides with the Department’s work to update the national broadband map and make it easier to identify which parts of the country lack connectivity.

As part of the ABI’s vision for how the Federal government can increase broadband access:

  • The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration will create a one-stop shop for broadband permitting information on its BroadbandUSA website.

Click HERE to read the report.

 

NEW: Map of Federal Infrastructure Assets That Can Support Rural Broadband

On January 8, 2018, and in association with the release of Executive Order (EO) 13821, Streamlining and Expediting Requests To Locate Broadband Facilities in Rural America, a Presidential Memorandum was issued to the Secretary of the Interior entitled, Supporting Broadband Tower Facilities in Rural America on Federal Properties Managed by the Department of the Interior.

In order to meet the goal of “identifying assets that can be used to support rural broadband deployment and adoption”, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has published a web-based mapping application that allows users to see locations of existing Federal broadband infrastructure, filter data, and add layers for analysis.

This streamlines the broadband permitting process by enabling customers to identify land management agencies and designations early, make informed choices, and ultimately improve the permitting process.

Interactive GIS Map of Broadband sites across the United States, screenshot by Joel Harrington, BLM.

 

Visit these links to see what else the Department of Interior agencies are doing to deploy Broadband in rural America:

NEW DOL’s Workforce GPS Clearinghouse Highlights Resources for Rural Communities

Every state has rural areas. And providing workforce services to these areas is challenging due to long distances and in many cases, a lack of support services and infrastructure like broadband and affordable transportation.

This month, Workforce GPS is highlighting successful practices, programs and services in rural areas. A a resource page provides quick access to resources that showcase services to customers in rural areas. Follow this link to access these materials and resources:

https://www.workforcegps.org/resources/2019/01/31/00/58/Resources-to-Assist-Services-in-Rural-Areas

NEW Defense Spending by State Fiscal Year 2017

 

The Defense Spending by State Fiscal Year 2017 report examines U.S. defense spending in FY 2017 at the state and local levels for the 50 states and Washington, D.C. The document highlights factors, such as regional expenditures from military bases and private contractors, which can be used to assess potential exposure to fluctuations in defense spending and to target assistance to create more resilient communities and companies. The report was produced through an inter-agency partnership with the Federal Research Division within the Library of Congress.

 

The report can be downloaded here: https://www.oea.gov/defense-spending-by-state-fy17 .

 

NEW Case Studies of Economic Resilience across Appalachia

 

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) recently released Strengthening Economic Resilience in Appalachia, a new study identifying factors common across communities experiencing persistent economic growth in the aftermath of the 2008 Recession and other economic disruptions. The research includes a statistical analysis of key factors common to economic resilience, as well as a guidebook featuring ten communities that have rebounded after experiencing significant economic shocks.

To quantify economic resilience, 35 measures of demographics/mobility; economics/ industry; and community/health were analyzed in the Technical Report. With this analysis, each of Appalachia’s 420 counties was given a “resilience score”.

 

These strategies include:

  • Investing in education, technology, infrastructure and broadband;
  • Engaging the community over the long-term;
  • Growing youth engagement and next generation leadership;
  • Identifying and growing the assets in the community and region;
  • Building networks and fostering collaboration;
  • Moving multiple sectors forward for economic development and growing value chains; and
  • Cultivating entrepreneurs and developing resources for business start-ups.

In the accompanying Guidebook for Practitioners, case studies from counties in the Region and across the country offer additional insight into how communities have rebounded from the Recession and other economic disruptions in mining, manufacturing, hospitality, education, transportation or similar industries. These findings can successfully inform economic development strategies across Appalachia.

Both the Technical Report and the Guidebook are available at www.arc.gov/resilience.

NEW: USDA Launches High-Speed Broadband e-Connectivity Resource Guide

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has launched a new toolkit to help support the deployment of high-speed broadband e-Connectivity in rural communities.

 

The e-Connectivity Toolkit (PDF, 4.3 MB) features 27 USDA programs that support broadband deployment. The easy-to-use resource is a simple guide that allows customers to identify their type of e-Connectivity project and locate resources the federal government offers for planning, equipment, construction, research and other e-Connectivity projects. Resources such as grants, loans and technical assistance are available from multiple Mission Areas at USDA, including Rural Development, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Forest Service.

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USDA’s launch of the e-Connectivity Toolkit closely follows Secretary Sonny Perdue’s unveiling of the ReConnect Program, a pilot program authorized by the Consolidated Budget Act of 2018, to facilitate broadband deployment in rural areas that lack sufficient access to broadband.

 

For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

 

 

NEW: GAO Provides Inventory of 45 Programs to Support Veteran Employment

The federal government’s commitment to those serving in the military includes assisting them in pursuing education and employment skills to help them succeed in the civilian workforce.GAO Report Inventories Federal Programs to Employ Veterans The conference report accompanying a bill for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 included a provision for GAO to assess the panoply of benefits and programs intended to provide the skills and education necessary service members to achieve meaningful and fulfilling employment in their civilian lives.

 

A January 17, 2019 report by GAO (GAO-19-97R) identified 45 federal programs and one tax expenditure to help service members, veterans, or their families achieve civilian jobs. Eleven federal agencies administer these programs, usually independently of one another. The report provides a comprehensive inventory of such programs, including information on who is eligible to receive services, the programs’ objectives, and the available services.

 

Page 3 provides a snapshot of 45 programs by name and administering agency. See the full report here: https://www.gao.gov/assets/700/696499.pdf

 

 

 

Census Bureau Releases Revised Economic Indicator Calendar

The U.S. Census Bureau has announced updates to the 2019 economic indicator release schedule in coordination with other agencies and the Office of Management and Budget.

 

BEA Released Prototype GDP by County 2012-2015

The Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis is requesting feedback and comments on its recently released prototype statistics for gross domestic product (GDP) by county for 2012-2015. Access the data: https://www.bea.gov/news/2018/prototype-gross-domestic-product-county-2012-2015

 

HHS Publishes 2019 Update of the Poverty Guidelines

The Department of Health and Human has published its annual update of the Poverty Guidelines in the February 1 FEDERAL REGISTER. The Poverty Guidelines continue to be derived from the Census Bureau’s current official poverty thresholds; they are not derived from the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM).Click here for the full text; the graphic is based on the tables.

 

Census Posts Latest American Community Survey Data (2013-2017)

The U.S. Census Bureau released the 2013-2017 American Community Survey (ACS) five-year estimates, which features more than 40 social, economic, housing and demographic topics. The 2013-2017 ACS data are available on www.data.census.gov . County-level geography profiles of the 3,142 counties are available in a visual format with maps, charts and graphs. For official ACS statistics, please access American FactFinder at factfinder.census.gov.

 

Disaster Recovery Resources & Info

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

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.

Find recent amendments here: https://www.federalregister.gov/agencies/federal-emergency-management-agency#documents

 

Funding and other Assistance Available for Recovery:

 

EDA Has Supplemental Funding Available for Areas Impacted by 2017 Hurricanes, Wildfires and Other Disasters

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. Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis. See the following links for details:

 

More Resources for Recovery and Resilience

NEW: Article Puts 2018’s Billion Dollar Disasters in Context

A February 7, 2019 Blog post on NOAA’s Climate.gov page provides historical data that puts historic disasters of 2018 in context:

 

NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) tracks U.S. weather and climate events that have great economic and societal impacts. Since 1980, the U.S. has sustained 241 weather and climate disasters where the overall damage costs reached or exceeded $1 billion (including adjustments based on the Consumer Price Index, as of January 2019). The cumulative cost for these 241 events exceeds $1.6 trillion.

 

Read more: https://www.climate.gov/news-features/blogs/beyond-data/2018s-billion-dollar-disasters-context

 

Self-Paced Webinar – A Guide to SBA’s Disaster Assistance Programs

Take this free self-paced training course for an overview of SBA’s disaster assistance programs which provide low-interest disaster loans to help businesses of all sizes and homeowners recover from declared disasters. Launch the course

BLS Has Employment, Wages, and Establishment Counts in Flood Zones

USDOL’s Bureau of Labor Statistics Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program has created a set of maps and data for hurricane flood zones on the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts For more information, see the flood zone FAQ page.

Economic Recovery Support & the National Disaster Response Framework