Selected Federal Agency Announcements and Related for the Week of January 6, 2020

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.

See more open funding opportunities at federal agencies on the EDI webpage at https://www.eda.gov/edi/assistance/

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

OPPORTUNITY ZONES

Treasury and IRS Issue Final Regulations on Opportunity Zones

On December 19, 2019 the U.S. Treasury Department and the IRS issued final regulations implementing the Opportunity Zones tax incentive. Opportunity Zones, created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, offer capital gains tax relief for investments in economically distressed areas.

The final rules provide clarity for Opportunity Funds and their eligible subsidiaries in determining qualification and levels of new investment in Opportunity Zones. They also provide guidance regarding the types of gains that qualify for Opportunity Zone investments, as well as gains that may be excluded from tax after a 10-year holding period. See the full release here:

More info and analysis: Several external media articles, such as this December 23, 2019 article in Forbes, summarize notable clarifications addressed in the final rules. Included are final rules regarding development of Brownfields in OZs, as discussed in this recent industry publication.

Federal Incentives and Actions Supporting Opportunity Zones

  • Find an up-to-date listing of actions taken by federal agencies to support Opportunity Zones, as well as a host of other resources for Local Leaders, Investors and Entrepreneurs in Opportunity Zones on the Opportunity Now, Opportunity Zones website hosted by HUD at: https://opportunityzones.hud.gov/.
  • View EDA investments in projects located in and around Opportunity Zones here.
  • Learn more about OZ tax advantages and rules at irs.gov , including their updated FAQs.

 

INFRASTRUCTURE

Opening Jan 31 – USDA RD’s New Round of Reconnect Program Funding for Rural Broadband

On December 12, 2019, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the availability of a second round of $550 million in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Reconnect Pilot Program funding appropriated by Congress. USDA will make available up to $200 million for grants, up to $200 million for 50/50 grant/loan combinations, and up to $200 million for low-interest loans. The application window for this round of funding will open Jan. 31, 2020. Applications for all funding products will be accepted in the same application window, which will close no later than March 16, 2020.  A full description of 2020 ReConnect Pilot Program funding is available on page 67913 of the Dec. 12, 2019, Federal Register (PDF, 336 KB). To learn more about eligibility, technical assistance and recent announcements, visit www.usda.gov/reconnect.

Apply by Feb 3 – HUD CDBG Funding for Native American Communities. Notice of Funding Availability for the Indian Community Development Block Grant Program (ICDBG)

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will award up to $65 million to tribal programs through the ICDBG to develop viable Indian and Alaska Native communities by creating decent housing, suitable living environments, and economic opportunities primarily for persons with low- and moderate- incomes. Application Deadline: February 3, 2020.

  • TIP: For more current funding opportunities for Native American and Tribal Communities, see also USDA RD’s biweekly Innovation Matters. Click to subscribe.

 

INNOVATION & TECHNOLOGY:

LOI Due Jan 8: EDA/NIST Disaster Resilience and Response Technology Challenge Grant

Deadline is approaching to submit Letters of Intent to apply for Accelerate R2 Network Challenge. The Economic Development Administration (EDA), in collaboration with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority), are seeking proposals to form national networks to support innovation, entrepreneurship, research, and investment in transformative technologies in the response and resiliency markets. Visit EDA’s  OIE’s Accelerate R2 webpage for specific details.

NEW  Apply by Feb 6: Funding Opportunity for Current MEP Centers

NIST invites proposals from current recipients of Manufacturing Extension Partnership Center cooperative agreements (MEP Centers) to deploy advanced manufacturing technology services to U.S. manufacturers in the broad area of Industry / Manufacturing 4.0, with an emphasis on serving the technology-based needs of small U.S. manufacturers (hereinafter referred to as small U.S. manufacturers). For the purpose of this program, Industry / Manufacturing 4.0 includes any combination of technologies that, when implemented individually or collectively, enables the operation of digitally-connected, smart manufacturing systems within factories and across manufacturing supply chains.

NIST anticipates funding no more than 3 awards pursuant to this NOFO, with each award being funded at a total amount of up to $1,000,000. The project(s) awarded under this NOFO will have a budget and performance period of up to three (3) years. For full details, see NIST’s Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Services program (2020-NIST-MEP-AMTS-01).

 

DISASTER RECOVERY, RESILIENCE AND MITIGATION

Apply by Jan 17 – FTA Funding for Public Transit Systems in Disaster Areas

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is making $10,462,935 in non-competitive grants available under the Public Transportation Emergency Relief Program (Emergency Relief Program) to state and local jurisdictions impacted by major declared disasters occurring in calendar year 2018. Projects may include costs for disaster response, recovery, and rebuilding activities. Details at Grants.gov Opportunity: FTA-2020-002-TPM-ER

Closes Jan 31 – FEMA FY19 Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program Funding.

The Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) program makes available Federal funds to State, Local and Tribal Governments to implement and sustain cost-effective measures designed to reduce the risk to individuals and property from natural hazards, while also reducing reliance on Federal funding from future disasters. Visit Grants.gov for full details.

Apply by Mar 26 – NOAA Environmental Resilience Education Programs

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced a funding opportunity to build environmental literacy of K-12 students and the public so they become knowledgeable of the ways to increase community resilience to extreme weather and/or other environmental hazards. See Grants.gov Opportunity Number: NOAA-SEC-OED-2020-2006190  for details.

 

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

Apply by Jan 9 – DOL Workforce Grants for Opioid Impacted Areas.

The  Employment and Training Administration (ETA) is making available up to $20 million in grant funds for the Support to Communities: Fostering Opioid Recovery through Workforce Development grant program (FOA-ETA-20-01) to support 8 to 10 partnership grants, ranging from $500,000 to $5 million.   Grants will be made under the WIOA National Dislocated Worker Grants / WIA National Emergency Grants program. These grants intend to allow State workforce agencies, outlying areas, or Tribal organizations to creatively align and deliver career, training, and supportive services that will best serve workers in their local areas impacted by the crisis. For details, visit Grants.gov.

NEW Jan 28 Applicant Webinar -Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program

On December 30, DOE issued its Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-0002144 , for the 2020/2021 Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program (MSIPP). Through this program, the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration awards grants to Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) to prepare NNSA’s next-generation technical workforce. The program’s primary mission is to create and foster a sustainable STEM-pipeline that prepares a diverse workforce of world class talent through strategic partnerships between Minority Serving Institutions and the DOE/NNSA Enterprise. To execute this mission, MSIPP builds a network of NSE ready students through enrichment activities from K-20 to post-doctoral level. Through university-lab consortia partnerships students are exposed to cutting-edge research and activities in their relevant fields. Submission deadline for Applications is March 4, 2020.  An information webinar will be offered on January 28.

  • Meeting link
  • Meeting number: 901 269 528
  • Password: xHMHeEi4

 

Open Federal Funding Opportunities:  

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
PWEAA2020

 

FY 2020 EDA Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Programs DOC-EDA   10/18/2019 Open
EDA-2019-DISASTER FY 2019 EDA Disaster Supplemental DOC-EDA   08/13/2019 Open
FR-6400-N-54 HUD’s FY2020 and FY2021 Distressed Cities TA Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) HUD   11/26/2019 Open
693JJ319NF-NSFLTP Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects (NSFLTP) DOT-FHWA   10/04/2018 Open
FOA-ETA-20-01 The Support to Communities: Fostering Opioid Recovery Through Workforce Development DOL-ETA   10/31/2019 01/09/2020
FTA-2020-002-TPM-ER Public Transportation Emergency Relief Funds for Transit Systems Affected by Major Declared Disasters Occurring in Calendar Year 2018 DOT-FTA   12/03/2019 01/17/2020
DHS-19-MT-047-000-99 FY19 Pre-Disaster Mitigation DHS-DHS   09/09/2019 01/31/2020
DHS-19-MT-047-000-99 FY19 Pre-Disaster Mitigation DHS-DHS   09/09/2019 01/31/2020
 2020-NIST-MEP-AMTS-01 Advanced Manufacturing Technology Services DOC-NIST   12/23/2019 02/06/2020
DE-FOA-0002144 Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program DOE-NNSA   12/30/2019 03/04/2020
EDA-HDQ-OIE-2020-2006301 Accelerate R2 Network Challenge – FINAL DOC   10/18/2019 03/11/2020
NOAA-SEC-OED-2020-2006190 Environmental Literacy Grants: Supporting the education of K-12 students and the public for community resilience DOC   10/15/2019 03/26/2020
CRNR-2020 Coral Reef and Natural Resources Program DOI   10/16/2019 04/01/2020
TAP-2020 Technical Assistance Program DOI   10/04/2019 04/01/2020

Recent Federal Awards and Announcements

DOC, USDA Highlight 2019 Investments and Accomplishments:

As 2019 came to a close, the Department of Commerce and Department of Agriculture issued highlights of programs supporting Opportunity Zones, rural broadband expansion, minority business development assistance, small business loans, and infrastructure investments. See the posts below for ideas on programs that might support your community’s future regional development plans:

NEW DOL Issues Final Rule Giving States Flexibility Under Wagner Peyser Act

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) today announced a final rule that will allow states to better tailor their staffing approach when providing services in the Employment Service program. “As states continue to implement integration of workforce services, this flexibility encourages even greater collaboration across programs and partners at the state level,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training John Pallasch. “These changes give states the flexibility to more effectively and efficiently staff their employment outreach services.”

 

Public Meetings, Events and Training

Jan 15 Broadband USA Webinar:  Benefits of Smart Buildings

Smart buildings are quickly becoming the building blocks of smart cities, providing benefits to both the building owners and tenants. They provide greater energy efficiency, improved use of building resources, and increased productivity of the occupants. Developing smart buildings can lead to an exponentially positive impact on the surrounding community. This panel will discuss smart buildings use cases, the foundational technologies that support them, and the benefits reaped.

Topic: The Benefits of Smart Building Technology

Date:   Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Time:  2:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET

Please pre-register for the webinar using this registration link.   After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Jan 15 & Jan 28 Application Workshops – ARC POWER 2020 Funding

The Appalachian Regional Commission’s POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) program is a congressionally funded initiative that targets federal resources to help communities and regions that have been affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of America’s energy production. Upcoming application workshops will
run from 9am–3pm and are free to attend. Pre-registration required. Locations include:

  • Wednesday, January 15, 2020: Ashland, Kentucky
    Register Now
  • Tuesday, January 28, 2020: Johnson City, Tennessee
    Register Now

Comment by Mar 20. HHS Seeking Input on Employment Training for Non-Resident Parents.

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) seeks to further the development of employment programs for nonresident parents and is soliciting ideas and information from a broad array of stakeholders on improving nonresident parents’ employment outcomes, including how to create a comprehensive, multi-system approach that addresses multiple barriers that nonresident parents face when trying to support their children. ACF will analyze information collected from a November 20 RFI published in the FEDERAL REGISTER. Comments are due by March 20, 2020. Questions, comments, and supplementary documents can be submitted to nonresidentemploymentRFI@acf.hhs.gov.

 

Reports, Research and Tools

NEW:  CORI Releases New Rural Assets Mapping Tool

In December 2019, the Center on Rural Innovation’s (CORI) released its Rural Opportunity Map, a suite of data visualization and mapping tools to help local leaders, national policymakers, investors, and donors see the potential in rural America. The tool contains hundreds of datasets curated to give insights into tech- and innovation-based economic development strategies and opportunities. Tools include:

  • Rural Startup Scout  providing data “on broadband infrastructure, educational attainment, STEM degrees, patent activity, young companies and other local assets to highlight Opportunity Zones with emerging tech sectors. The map is designed to help Opportunity Zone investors identify rural areas that are likely to produce promising tech startups,” according to CORI.
  • Local Leader Action Map, that helps local leaders understand their assets and communicate rural opportunities.

NEW: Opportunity Project Data Sets for Workforce and Economic Development

CORI’s Rural Opportunity Map was just one of several tools on display at the US Census Department’s recently held Opportunity Project Demo Day, that contain hundreds of data sets from the U.S. Census, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and other government agencies.

  • City Builder by Citi, a data-driven, web-based platform that seamlessly aggregates information about U.S. Opportunity Zones, was also featured during the Demo Day event. The site aims to increase transparency and access to information in order to help investors, fund managers, developers, municipalities and community members work together on community development projects. The City Builder platform is accessible at no cost via https://citi.com/citybuilder.

The platform currently supplies data and insights from 9 cites: Chicago, Columbia, S.C.; Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Louisville, Ky., New York, Newark, and Providence, R.I – with plans to add more cities and expand the site’s scope across the country.

  • The Opportunity Project website hosts a wealth of issue-specific data recommended by government experts and test-driven by teams working to solve the nation’s biggest challenges. The site hosts curated federal data sets relative to Entrepreneurship, Opportunity Zones, Career Pathways, Talent Discovery and more inputs to support your comprehensive economic development strategies.

NEW: Small Business Administration Releases Fact Sheet on Growth in Number of Rural Business Establishments

Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) are defined around areas of high population density.  A comparison of counties within MSAs to those outside reveals how growth has varied between metropolitan and rural areas.  Since 2000, the number of establishments in metropolitan counties has grown by 30.9 percent, while the number in rural counties has grown by only 7.2 percent.  More information on trends can be found in the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy’s “Small Business Facts: Growth in Number of Rural Establishments.”

 

NEW: Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank Releases Report on Bridging the Gap between Economic and Workforce Development

As part of the Investing in America’s Workforce initiative, the Cleveland Fed’s Drew Pack and Kyle Fee recently wrote Understanding the Disconnect between Economic Development and Workforce Development Systems. The report focuses on the alignment of these two systems and highlights the common barriers and opportunities for improving alignment across several metro areas. The report identifies challenges to alignment noted by local stakeholders and explores best practices to address these alignment challenges.

In addition to this report, Atlanta Fed analyst, Whitney Strifler, highlights the book, Investing in America’s Workforce: Improving Outcomes for Workers and Employers, that examines workforce development systems/resources and regional partnerships, including the chapter, Coordinating Regional Workforce Development Resources.

View the full post here.

 

NSF Award Supports “Open Knowledge Database” for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses

University of Maryland News Release:

The National Science Foundation has awarded $1 million to a multi-institutional team to help develop an open knowledge database to benefit entrepreneurs and small businesses. The money for phase I of the project comes from NSF’s Convergence Accelerator pilot program.

Louiqa Raschid, a professor of information systems in the Robert H. Smith School of Business with an appointment in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies is a co-principal investigator on the project. The team, which includes researchers from the University of Southern California and Dartmouth College, will develop new computational methods for extracting, representing, linking and analyzing data with complex and nuanced information about the business domain. Currently, knowledge about markets and businesses is spread across a variety of sources, and is often unavailable for entrepreneurs, nonprofits, academia and small businesses. The research team will use the latest techniques in data science to create the Business Open Knowledge Network, making data about businesses, innovation and markets freely available in easily usable forms.

 

Disaster Recovery Resources & Info

Where to Find Federal Disaster Declarations

  • 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. Link here.

 

Funding and other Assistance Available for Economic Recovery:

EDA Disaster Supplemental Funding Available for Areas Impacted by 2018/19 Disasters

On August 13, 2019, EDA announced the EDA Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) Disaster Supplemental Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), making available $587 million for eligible grantees in communities impacted by Presidentially declared natural disasters in 2018, and by floods and tornadoes in 2019. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted. View Opportunity Number EDA-2019-DISASTER on Grants.gov,  and contact your EDA Regional Office representative for eligibility information and application assistance. For more information, view EDA’s September 2019 webinar video recording and download the slides on our Disaster Supplemental Web page.

EPA Toolkit Features Resources to Prepare for Natural Disasters

The U.S. EPA Urban Waters Federal Partnership has released a new toolkit, How to Prepare for Natural Disasters: A Pre-Disaster Toolkit for Small to Medium-Sized Communities.  The toolkit has two sections – one for local government officials, including Emergency Management Coordinators (EMCs), utility district managers, and local elected officials – and a section for community residents. It provides information, tools and resources to help with planning for hurricanes, floods, and other natural disasters. Click here to access the toolkit.

HUD TA for Disaster Recovery in Distressed Cities.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is accepting requests for Technical Assistance (TA) under the new Distressed Cities Technical Assistance (DCTA) Program.  Note that HUD strongly encourages interested jurisdictions to contact your HUD Field Office prior to submitting a request for TA.

USDA Rural Housing Announced Availability of 2019 Disaster Relief Act Funds

USDA Rural Housing Service’s Community Facilities Program (CF) has supplemental grant funding available for necessary expenses related to the consequences of Hurricanes Michael and Florence and wildfires occurring in calendar year 2018, tornadoes and floods occurring in calendar year 2019, and other natural disasters. Submit applications through USDA State Office contacts, available here.

Economic Recovery Support & the National Disaster Response Framework

  • Read more about the Economic Recovery Support Function (ERSF) and the National Disaster Response Framework here.
  • See also the federal government’s primary site for Disaster Recovery Assistance here