Selected Federal Agency Announcements and Related for the Week of July 16, 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 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:

Economic – Entrepreneurship & Technology Commercialization


NEW! USDA Outlines Requirements and Registration Innovations in Food and Agricultural Science and Technology (I-FAST) Prize Competition

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), USDA, mission is to invest in and advance agricultural research, education, and extension to solve societal challenges. As part of this mission NIFA is charged with providing grant funding for research, education, and extension that address key problems of national, regional, and multi-state importance in sustaining all components of agriculture. A majority of NIFA grant funding is provided to academic institutions to focus on developing research in the areas of farm efficiency and profitability, ranching, renewable energy, forestry (both urban and agroforestry), aquaculture, rural communities and entrepreneurship, human nutrition, food safety, biotechnology, and conventional breeding.

NIFA today (July 13) has announced the e I-FAST prize competition to develop and implement the Innovations in Food and Agricultural Science and Technology (I-FAST) Program. NIFA will partner with the National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovation Corps (I-Corps) to provide entrepreneurship training to NIFA grantees

under this I-FAST pilot program. The goals are to identify valuable product opportunities that can emerge from NIFA supported academic research. Selected NIFA I-FAST project teams will participate in the educational programs with NSF I-Corps Program. Over a period of six months the NIFA supported teams in the I-FAST program will learn what it will take to achieve an economic impact with their particular innovation. The final goal of the I-FAST Competition is to facilitate technology transfer of innovations that can make an impact in the marketplace and the global economy.

Full background / prize structure / submission process / key dates / rules and conditions


Economic- Technical Assistance


Rural Communities Opioid Response Program: HRSA Announces Funding Opportunity for Technical Assistance in Support of Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery

 The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has announced a cooperative agreement opportunity for the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) -Technical Assistance (TA).

HRSA has identified a funding level of $3,000,000 with the expectation of the award of approximately 75 Year 1 planning grants in FY 2018.   Applications are due August 10.  (See

The purpose is to provide technical assistance (TA) support for rural communities engaging in activities to combat opioid use disorder (OUD). The TA efforts will enhance the organizational and infrastructural capacity of multi-sector consortiums at the community, county, state, and/or regional levels.  The overall goal is the reduction of morbidity and mortality associated with opioid overdoses in high-risk rural communities.

The RCORP-TA award recipient will provide resources and expertise in support of the execution of the following focus areas:

  1. Prevention: reducing the occurrence of OUD among new and at-risk users as well as fatal opioid-related overdoses through community and provider education and harm reduction measures including the strategic placement of overdose reversing devices, such as naloxone;
  2. Treatment: implementing or expanding access to evidence-based practices for opioid addiction/OUD treatment such as medication-assisted treatment (MAT), including developing strategies to eliminate or reduce treatment costs to uninsured and underinsured patients; and
  3. Recovery: expanding peer recovery and treatment options to help people start and stay in recovery.

In FY 2019 and beyond, there will be additional funds available to provide continued support, including additional grants and National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Program awards.

RCORP award recipients and the communities they serve will receive tailored TA that may include, but is not limited to, the following:


  • Developing and implementing a strategic plan for the provision of TA to consortiums that are funded by HRSA through the RCORP grants;
  • Synthesizing resources for the development and strengthening of consortiums; HRSA-18-124 2
  • Developing training and tools to support analysis of opportunities and gaps in the workforce and service delivery (to include telehealth) associated with OUD prevention, treatment, and recovery;
  • Developing training and tools to educate RCORP award recipients and facilitate their strategic plan development addressing gaps in OUD prevention, treatment, and recovery;
  • Identifying and developing training and tools associated with workforce recruitment and retention targeted to rural communities to build provider capacity to address OUD issues;
  • Assisting RCORP award recipients in collaborating with the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) to recruit providers;
  • Assisting with the identification and development of evidence-based practice models relating to OUD prevention, treatment, and recovery;
  • Assisting with the identification and development of sustainability practices for consortiums;
  • Assisting with the identification and development of program measures for award recipients for the RCORP grants;
  • Assisting in building consortiums’ capacity and infrastructure to collect data to participate in program-wide evaluation activities;
  • Educating RCORP award recipients about other available federal and non-federal funding and resources to prepare them to leverage those resources, aid coordination, and avoid duplication of program efforts;
  • ? Educating rural stakeholders of national and state laws associated with OUD prevention


Secretary of Education Delays Effective Date of Selected Provisions of the Program Integrity and Improvement Regulations

The Department of Education will publish a notice in the July 3, 2018 FEDERAL REGISTER regarding the delay, until July 1, 2020, of the effective date of selected provisions of the final regulations entitled Program Integrity and Improvement. These regulations were published in the December 19, 2016 FEDERAL REGISTER (

The provisions for which the effective date is being delayed are listed in the “Supplementary Information” section of the notice.

The pre-publication version of the notice can be found at



Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals with Disabilities: Department of Education Invites Applications for New Awards

The purposes of the Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals with Disabilities Program are to: (1) improve results for students with disabilities by promoting the development, demonstration, and use of technology; (2) support educational activities designed to be of educational value in the classroom for students with disabilities; (3) provide support for captioning and video description that is appropriate for use in the classroom; and (4) provide  accessible educational materials to students with disabilities in a timely manner.

The Department of Education has announced the availability of $1,500,000 for investment in “Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals with Disabilities – Stepping-Up Technology Implementation

The Department plans to award up to 3 cooperative agreements in the range of $450,000 to $500,000.  Applications will be due August 3.

Eligible Applicants: SEAs; LEAs, including public charter schools that operate as LEAs under State law; IHEs; other public agencies; private nonprofit organizations; freely associated States and outlying areas; Indian Tribes or Tribal organizations; and for-profit organizations.

This program does not require cost sharing or matching.

The announcement outlining the application requirements will appear in the July 3 FEDERAL REGISTER  The pre-publication version is available at


STEM: National Science Foundation Announces Grants in Support of Early Career Engineering and Computer Science Faculty

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has invested $150 million in 307 early career engineering and computer science faculty to advance fields from intelligent infrastructure and collaborative robots to secure communications and brain-related technologies.

Over the next five years, each researcher will receive up to $500,000 from NSF to build a firm scientific footing for solving challenges and scaling new heights for the nation, as well as serve as academic role models in research and education.

The NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program, which extends across all the agency’s science and engineering directorates, allows promising junior faculty to pursue cutting-edge research while simultaneously advancing excellence in education.

This year’s awardees in engineering and computer science hail from 120 institutions across 43 states. In addition, more than 18 percent of awards are to grantees in jurisdictions eligible for Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), which helps traditionally underserved areas enhance their research competitiveness and strengthen science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and capacity.

More than 20 percent of engineering and computer science CAREER awardees are women and about 8 percent are from underrepresented groups, according to self-reported proposal data. These percentages are higher than those of U.S. engineering and computer science faculty overall.

NSF awarded more than 47 percent of these CAREER awards to first-time principal investigators. The awardees bring a diverse range of scientific and engineering thinking and expertise, essential for creating new knowledge and innovations to address complex problems.

NSF funding for these CAREER awards comes from NSF’s ENG and CISE directorates, with additional support from the NSF EPSCoR program. Visit the NSF award database for the list of Fiscal Year 2018 NSF CAREER grantees in ENG and CISE.

Visit the NSF award database for the list of FY 2018 NSF ENG CAREER grantees and the list of FY 2018 NSF CISE CAREER grantees.



Department of Education Announces Availability of Resources for Investment in Statewide Family Engagement Centers

The Department of Education has identified $9,700,000 for investment in Statewide Family Engagement Centers.

The SFEC program is authorized under title IV, part E of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA). The SFEC program seeks to promote high-impact cradle-to-career family, school, and community engagement by funding centers that build the capacity of all stakeholders–including families, SEAs, LEAs, school-level staff and personnel, and community based organizations–to engage in effective partnerships that support student achievement and school improvement and increase the number of high-quality educational options available to families.

The Secretary is authorized to award grants to statewide organizations (or consortia of such organizations) in partnership with an SEA to establish SFECs that (1) carry out parent education and family engagement in education programs, and (2) provide comprehensive training and technical assistance to SEAs, LEAs, schools identified by

SEAs and LEAs, organizations that support family-school partnerships, and other such programs.

Applications are due July 30.

Information on the pre-application webinar can be found at:

The June 8 FEDERAL REGISTER provides complete background, listing of priorities, and instructions for the submission of applications under this competition.



Economic Development Administration Publishes Guidance for the FY 2018 Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Program

 EDA designates Resources to Support Communities and Regions Negatively Impacted by Changes in the Coal Economy

The Economic Development Administration’s (EDA’s) mission is to lead the Federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for economic growth and success in the worldwide economy. EDA fulfills this mission through strategic investments and partnerships that create the regional economic ecosystems required to foster globally competitive regions throughout the United States. EDA supports development in economically distressed areas of the United States by fostering job creation and attracting private investment.

EDA has published a July 2 notification on that it will make construction, non-construction, and revolving loan fund investments under the Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Programs.

Through the Economic Development Assistance Program (EDAP) NOFO, EDA solicits applications from rural and urban communities to develop initiatives that advance new ideas and creative approaches to address rapidly evolving economic conditions.

Through this FY 2018 NOFO, EDA will also designate a portion of its EAA funding to support communities and regions that have been negatively impacted by changes in the coal economy (Assistance to Coal Communities, or ACC 2018).  For 2018 funding, projects must be located within and targeted to communities or regions that have been impacted, or can reasonably demonstrate that they will be impacted, by coal mining or coal power plant employment loss, or employment loss in the supply chain industries of either.

Grants made under these programs will leverage regional assets to support the implementation of regional economic development strategies designed to create jobs, leverage private capital, encourage economic development, and strengthen America’s ability to compete in the global marketplace.

There are no submission deadlines under this opportunity.  . Proposals and applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis until the publication of a new EDAP NOFO.

Eligible Applicants:                                     

City or township governments
State governments
Special district governments
County governments
Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
Others (see text field entitled “Additional Information on Eligibility” for clarification)
Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
Private institutions of higher education
Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)



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 to see announcement details. You can also search for a full list of current federal opportunities, including programs not listed below.


Opportunity Number Opportunity Title Agency Posted Date Close Date
NSF 17-590 Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Education and Human Resources NSF 08/22/2017 10/01/2018
EPA-GM-COOPERATIVE-AGREEMENTS-2018-1 Gulf of Mexico Program Cooperative Agreements 2018 EPA 05/31/2018 07/31/2018
USDA-NIFA-OP-006611 RREA – National Focus Funds USDA 05/31/2018 07/20/2018
FTA-2018-004-TPE Pilot Program for Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Planning DOT/FTA 05/24/2018 07/23/2018
RDBCP-RCDG-2018 Rural Cooperative Development Grant USDA 05/20/2018 07/24/2018
HRSA-18-124 Rural Communities Opioid Response Program – Technical Assistance HHS 06/29/2018 08/10/2018
2018-NIST-DR Disaster Resilience (DR) Research Grants Program DOC/NIST 06/28/2018 08/27/2018

Other Funding of Interest


NEW! Loans for Innovation: Minnesota Pilots a Rare Model

From SSTI:

The Minnesota Department of Deployment and Economic Development (DEED) has launched a new loan program for entrepreneurs with high-tech products or services. The loans are similar in size to microfinance options increasingly available to new bricks-and-mortar establishments, but flexible payment options and innovation-focused criteria are intended to make Minnesota Innovation Loans for Entrepreneurs (MILE) uniquely appropriate for tech-based economic development.

The debt provided through MILE is generous to entrepreneurs. There is no interest on the loan, and repayments do not start until year two, escalating through the four-year term. Loans may be $20,000-$50,000 and must be equally matched by another source.

Many organizations looking to support innovative entrepreneurs prefer equity-based capital solutions. From Minnesota’s perspective, investments can put the state in situations that force a choice between fiduciary responsibilities to the company and to state taxpayers. Grants, another common approach to providing funds to start-up technology companies, cannot form a sustainable program model.

With the primary audience for the MILE program being new businesses, DEED has established a scoring criteria that emphasizes opportunities beyond repayment potential. Loans are also scored on business capacity and strategy, need, and impact. Businesses must have been in operation for no more than five years and employ no more than five people. Retail locations and several direct service industries are also excluded from eligibility.

DEED plans to make up to six MILE loans per year. The program is currently a pilot, and business reporting requirements, post-repayment monitoring and repayment performance will help the agency determine the future opportunity for the model.


NEW! The Federal Transit Administration today (July 11) has announced the availability of $5,000,000 for the Tribal Transit competitive allocation in FY 2018 for projects


Federal awards under this competitive program will be in the form of grants. Additionally, there is a $25,000 cap on planning grant awards, and FTA has the discretion to cap capital and operating awards.

The due date for proposals is September 10.



Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Implementation Research and Evaluation Grants

In May 2017, the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) within the Administration for Children and Families funded three cooperative agreements (Child Care and Development Block Grant Implementation Research and Evaluation Planning Grants: Phase I/Cohort 2), or 18-months to Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Lead Agencies.

Those grants provided funding for Lead Agencies to develop a research-based evaluation plan of the implementation of policies and initiatives in response to the goals of the CCDBG Act of 2014.

Under a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) in June 2018, all grantees awarded planning grants (Phase I/Cohort 2) could be funded to implement their research plan (up to three awards may be made).

Awards will be on a competitive basis according to the evaluation criteria in the FOA.  During the period of this grant, CCDF Lead Agencies will refine their research and evaluation plan with their research partners (either within their organization or with an outside partner) and implement their research project.  Grantees are also expected to clearly document the policies of interest that will be evaluated, document how they will measure the policy implementation or change in response to the goals of the CCDBG Act of 2014, and articulate how these findings will be used in future policy and planning decisions.

OPRE has identified $500,000 for investment under this competition with the expectation of the award of three cooperative agreements.

These awards will be for a 48-month project period with four 12-month budget periods.  Proposals are due August 14.  Applications are due August 14.



Public Meetings, Events and Training

NEW! National Skills Coalition to Hold February 5 – 7, 2019 Skills Summit

NSC has forwarded this “save the date” advisory:

Mark your calendars for February 5-7, 2019 and join us in Washington, DC for the 2019 Skills Summit! Registration opens in September with a reduced Early Bird rate and hotel discount available until Thanksgiving weekend. The Skills Summit will again be hosted at the historic Omni Shoreham Hotel.

Questions can be directed to Jessica Cardott.

See you in February!

NEW! July 18 BroadbandUSA Webinar to Examine Adoption in Rural Communities


Highlight Roles of Partners; Explore Contribution to Digital Literacy Rural Economic and Workforce Development

This month, the BroadbandUSA webinar will focus on statewide strategies to promote broadband adoption and use in rural communities. Speakers will highlight the role of state governments, libraries and university extension programs in planning and executing these strategies. The speakers will also discuss the role of broadband adoption in rural economic and workforce development, as well as approaches to facilitate broadband use and improve digital skills.



Rachel Welborn, Associate Director, Southern Rural Development Center

Amy Huffman, Research and Policy Specialist, The Broadband Infrastructure Office, North Carolina Department of Information Technology

Susan McVey, Director, Oklahoma Department of Libraries

Moderator: Emy Tseng, Senior Program Specialist, BroadbandUSA, NTIA

The webinar will be offered on July 18, 2:00 – 3 p.m. ET.

Click here to learn more and to register.

NADO and LISC Hosting July 24 Presentation on Opportunity Zones

On July 24, NADO and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) will hold a featured webinar on the recently-created Opportunity Zones program.  The presentation, Taking the Opportunity: A Guide to Opportunity Zones, will introduce participants to the initiative, how the program aims to attract private investment to disadvantaged areas, and what steps RDOs can take to guide communities through the process.

The webinar is scheduled for July 24 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET.  Click here to register.

National Council on Disability to Meet on July 18 – 19

The members of the National Council on Disability will hold a quarterly meeting on Wednesday, July 18, 2018, 9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m., Eastern Time, and Thursday, July 19, 2018, 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m., Eastern Time. This meeting will take place in Washington, DC, at the Access Board Conference Room, 1331 F Street NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20004.

Interested parties may join the meeting in person at the meeting location or may join by phone in a listening-only capacity using the following call-in information: Teleconference number: 1-877-795 3635; Conference

ID: 1068537; Conference Title: NCD Meeting; Host Name: Neil Romano.

Additional background / agenda / public comment / contacts:


Advisory Committee on Veterans’ Employment, Training and Employer Outreach (ACVETEO) to Meet on July 31


The Advisory Committee on Veterans’ Employment, Training and Employer Outreach will meet on July 31.   The meeting will take place at the U.S. Department of Labor, Frances Perkins Building, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW,

Washington, DC 20210, Conference Room N-3437 A & B.

The ACVETEO is responsible for: assessing employment and training needs of veterans; determining the extent to which the programs and activities of the U.S. Department of Labor meet these needs; assisting to conduct outreach to employers seeking to hire veterans; making recommendations to the Secretary, through the Assistant

Secretary for VETS, with respect to outreach activities and employment and training needs of Veterans; and carrying out such other activities necessary to make required reports and recommendations.



9:00 a.m. Welcome and remarks, Matthew M. Miller, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Veterans’ Employment and

Training Service

9:05 a.m. Administrative Business, Gregory Green, Assistant Designated Federal Official

9:10 a.m. Transition & Training Subcommittee Discussion/Development on annual report recommendations

10:45 a.m. Break

11:00 a.m. Barriers to Employment Subcommittee Discussion/Development on annual report recommendations

12:30 p.m. Lunch

1:30 p.m. Direct Services Subcommittee Discussion/Development on annual report recommendations

3:00 p.m. Break

3:15 p.m. Subcommittee Discussion/Assignments, Previous ACVETEO Chairman, Ryan Gallucci

3:30 p.m. Public Forum, Gregory Green, Assistant Designated Federal Official

4:00 p.m. Adjourn

 Additional background / meeting attendance / contacts:

Reports, Tools and Data

NEW! BEA Publishes New Foreign Direct Investment in the United States, 2017

The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported on July 11 that expenditures by foreign direct investors to acquire, establish, or expand U.S. businesses totaled $259.6 billion in 2017, down 32 percent from $379.7 billion in 2016.

Additional highlights of the statistics on new foreign direct investment for 2017:

  • Expenditures for acquisitions were $253.2 billion, expenditures to establish new U.S. businesses were $4.1 billion, and expenditures to expand existing foreign-owned businesses were $2.4 billion.
  • Total planned greenfield investment expenditures—expenditures to establish new U.S. businesses and to expand existing foreign-owned U.S. businesses—for investments initiated in 2017, which include both first-year spending and planned spending in other years, totaled $24.8 billion.
  • Employment at newly acquired, established, or expanded foreign-owned businesses in the United States was 554,300 in 2017.

For more information, read the full report.


NEW! Department of Labor Announces Award of $47,600,000 in Training Grants to Help Homeless Veterans Re-enter the Workforce

U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta has announced the award of 163 Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program (HVRP) grants totaling $47,600,000. This funding will provide workforce reintegration services to more than 18,000 homeless veterans.

“While serving in the military, veterans learn many skills desired in today’s workforce,” said Secretary Acosta. “These grants will help thousands of homeless veterans reintegrate themselves into society and secure good jobs.”

Funds are being awarded on a competitive basis to state and local workforce investment boards; local public agencies and nonprofit organizations; tribal governments; and faith-based and community organizations. Homeless veterans may receive occupational skills training, apprenticeship opportunities, and on-the-job training, as well as job search and placement assistance.

This year’s HVRP awards provide 40 first-year grants totaling nearly $13,000,000. Previous awardees will receive first and second option year grants totaling $34,600,000.

Grantees under the HVRP program will coordinate their efforts with other federal programs, such as the Veterans Affairs Supportive Services for Veteran Families program and the Department of Housing and Urban Development Continuum of Care program.

More information on the Department’s unemployment and re-employment programs for veterans is available at For more information about the Department’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS), please visit or follow on @VETS_DOL twitter.


Economic Development Administration Provides Its FY 2017 Report to Congress

The Economic Development Administration has provided the Congress with its FY 2017 report.

Some highlights from the transmittal:

  • In Fiscal Year 2017, EDA invested approximately $289.1 million in 815 locally-driven economic development projects nationwide. These investments included approximately $136.4 million in Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance construction projects that communities identified as critical infrastructure enhancements to ensure their long-term competitiveness. Grantees expect these investments will help create or retain approximately 25,233 lobs and generate over $3.4 billion in private investment.
  • EDA also supported economic development planning that helped communities make good decisions regarding their long-term economic growth. In FY 2017, EDA made 430 awards to regions and communities, providing them with close to $32.2 million to develop such plans. To ensure that our programs help entrepreneurs gain the tools they need to move their ideas and inventions from idea to market, we have also worked hard to solidify our Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program to foster greater entrepreneurship all across America in both urban and rural communities.
  • The 2017 RIS Program was appropriated $17 million to support two unique grant opportunities, the i6 Challenge and Seed Fund Support (SFS) Grants competition. The i6 Challenge is a leading national initiative designed to support the creation of centers for innovation and entrepreneurship that increase the rate at which innovation, ideas, intellectual property, and research are translated into products, services, viable companies, and ultimately, jobs. Through the SFS Grants competition, EDA provides funding for technical assistance to support the creation, launch, or expansion of equity-based, cluster-focused seed funds that invest regionally-managed risk capital in regionally-based startups with a potential for high growth.
  • EDA also plays a role helping communities to recover from sudden and severe economic dislocations whether from changes to the underlying economy or the shock of a natural disaster. In FY 2017, EDA began its response to the historic natural disasters impacting the country including Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and the wildfires in California among others.
  • At the core of EDA’s economic recovery approach is the concept of integrating economic development resources from across the Federal government to help communities to optimize actions and achieve better long-term economic development outcomes. EDA has formalized this integration process with the creation of the Economic Development Integration business practice.


Example of State “profile page” from the full report:

National Science Foundation Plans Launch of the “Idea Machine” in August 2018;

Participants Encouraged to Submit Recommendations on Research Questions and ‘Big Ideas”

The National Science Foundation has provided this July 5 advisory:

 The NSF 2026 Idea Machine is a competition to help set the U.S. agenda for fundamental research in science and engineering. Participants can earn prizes and receive public recognition by suggesting the pressing research questions that need to be answered in the coming decade, the next set of “Big Ideas” for future investment by the National Science Foundation (NSF). It’s an opportunity for researchers, the public and other interested stakeholders to contribute to NSF’s mission to support basic research and enable new discoveries that drive the U.S. economy, enhance national security and advance knowledge to sustain the country’s global leadership in science and engineering.

NSF plans to launch the Idea Machine competition in late August 2018.

The Idea Machine website:
The Idea Machine website:

Citi Foundation and LISC Commit $10 Million to Help Training American Workers for Growing Job Sectors

Many of the Selected Sites Expected to be in Treasury-Approved Opportunity Zones

FYI.  Note that many of the new LISC sites will be located in areas that have been designated Opportunity Zones.  (An interactive map showing the Treasury-confirmed sites nominated by the Governors for Zone designation is available at the EIG website at  The inset box shows a cross-section of Eastern states with Zone designations.)

With this new City Foundation funding, LISC will expand the Bridges model to a total of 40 communities across the U.S., and aim to serve 10,000 job seekers over the next three years. Over the next six months, LISC will begin selecting a mix of urban and rural communities across the country where the Bridges model will be expanded.

July 2 – The Citi Foundation is investing $10 million in the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to help connect unemployed and underemployed Americans with jobs in growth industries that need trained workers, including healthcare, transportation, technology, construction and other industries facing shortages of skilled workers.

The Citi Foundation’s investment in the Bridges to Career Opportunities initiative (“Bridges”) builds on a decades-long relationship between the foundation and LISC. It also signals an expansion of Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress initiative beyond youth-focused career readiness to provide adult job seekers the full range of services needed for long-term employment.

Through an expanded network of local sites across the U.S., job seekers will have access to a range of services designed to increase their incomes, improve their credit and raise their standards of living. These services not only include skills training and career development, but also personal finance coaching, continued education courses to strengthen math and reading skills, and resources to help job seekers secure child care and housing arrangements which can serve as impediments to career mobility.

Citi CEO Michael Corbat said, “It is important to recognize that globalization and technology, for all of their benefits, have also come at a cost to many in our country. The U.S. job market has changed and American workers need both new skills and a support system that allows them to participate in training programs. The Citi Foundation and LISC partnership will help American workers who have been or are in danger of being displaced, which in turn will help American businesses compete and the U.S. economy grow.”

Many of the new sites will be located in areas that have been designated Opportunity Zones, a new federal incentive to increase investments in low-wealth communities as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The foundation’s investment will help job seekers prepare to take advantage of job opportunities resulting from this new incentive.

“Every American should have the opportunity to reach their full economic potential regardless of their zip code,” said U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Michigan). “This investment from the Citi Foundation and LISC will work within the Opportunity Zone framework to help job seekers acquire the skills they need to advance to the next level in their careers, and support economic development and revitalization in communities across the country.”

“This is fantastic news that demonstrates the type of activity I was aiming to inspire with my Opportunity Zone legislation,” said U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R-South Carolina). “I grew up in poverty and have a firsthand understanding and appreciation of the difference job training and workforce development could have on a community. I am appreciative of Citi’s initiative to direct millions of dollars to workforce development programs in areas of high potential.”

“The Bridges approach is a powerful strategy combining financial empowerment, work supports, and industry-specific job preparation that equips unemployed and underemployed individuals for living wage jobs and careers,” said Maurice A. Jones, LISC’s CEO and president. “This new collaboration with the Citi Foundation helps us dramatically expand the Bridges program as part of a comprehensive effort to catalyze economic and financial opportunity so that people can earn more, save more and grow the economy.”

With this new funding, LISC will expand the Bridges model to a total of 40 communities across the U.S., and aim to serve 10,000 job seekers over the next three years.

Paulette Arnold is one of the many job seekers who have benefited from working with LISC. A single parent who served a total of 10 years in the Navy and Army, she worked a series of mostly part-time and seasonal jobs, ranging from corrections officer to school cook to support her four school-aged children. She happened upon a flyer advertising a pre-construction apprenticeship, and was soon enrolled in classes at a LISC center in San Diego, where she improved her math and reading skills, worked one-on-one with a financial coach to manage her debt and improve her credit score. Within five months, she applied and was accepted into a union apprentice job at leading construction company—a rigorous process Arnold’s career coach helped guide her through. With a starting wage of $15.80 an hour, Paulette will earn an increase of two dollars an hour every six months after completing her apprenticeship classes and on-the-job training. Additionally, in just one year, she has increased her credit score from 534 to nearly 600, and resolved six onerous debt collections that totaled some $40,000.

Over the next six months, LISC will begin selecting a mix of urban and rural communities across the country where the Bridges model will be expanded.


Disaster Recovery Resources & Info

Primary site for Disaster Recovery Assistance:

Funding Assistance for Recovery Efforts:


Disaster Resilience (DR) Research Grants Program Department of Commerce/ National Institute of Standards and Technology

The Disaster Resilience (DR) Research Grants Program seeks applications from eligible applicants to conduct research aimed at advancing the principles of resilience in building design and building codes and standards.  Research proposals must support the overall effort of developing science-based building codes by evaluating potential technologies and architectural design criteria to improve disaster resilience in the built environment.  Research projects must be aligned with existing NIST Engineering Laboratory (EL) Disaster Resilience programs, as described in Section I. of this NOFO/Full Announcement, and any application that is non-research related (such as developing a product) will be disqualified.

EDA Issues NOFO for $587M in Supplemental Funding for Areas Impacted by 2017 Hurricanes, Wildfires and Other Disasters

As noted above, 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:


Related Resources – NonFederal:

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:

Economic Recovery Support

Other Disaster Updates of Interest:


NEW! HUD Approves U.S. Virgin Islands $243 Million Disaster Recovery Plan

$5 Million Subvention under Economic Revitalization for Workforce Development Program to Train Low- and Moderate-Income Residents to Fill the Construction and Other Jobs Coming from Recovery Investments

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson today (July 11) announced he is approving a disaster recovery plan to help citizens in the U.S. Virgin Islands to recover from Hurricanes Irma and Maria. In November, HUD allocated $243 million to the U.S. Virgin Islands to support long-term recovery efforts.

The U.S. Virgin Islands’ action plan approved today is funded through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Program which requires grantees to develop a thoughtful recovery program informed by local residents. Learn more about CDBG-DR and the State’s role in long-term disaster recovery (en español).

“Planning is critical to recovery. Today, we begin the process of putting this plan to work,” said Secretary Carson. “HUD will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our partners on the ground to help the citizens of the U.S. Virgin Islands to recover and rebuild their homes and their lives.”

U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Ken Mapp said. “This is a great day for the U.S. Virgin Islands. HUD’s approval of our action plan marks a major milestone in our recovery. The approvals we received today will enable us to move forward quickly on major recovery activities across the Territory including the dredging of our harbors. I want to express my personal thanks to President Donald Trump and HUD Secretary Ben Carson for their tremendous support of the people of the Virgin Islands.”

To address unmet needs, the U.S. Virgin Islands identified several housing, infrastructure and economic development recovery needs arising from Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The following programs have been designed to address those unmet needs and assist in the recovery:

  • Homeowner Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Program ($10 million) – This program is available to eligible homeowners for properties that were damaged by Hurricanes Irma or Maria.
  • New Construction for Homeownership Opportunity and First Time Homebuyer Assistance ($10 million) – This program is designed to address post-disaster housing affordability challenges and enable renters to become homeowners.

Rental Rehabilitation and Reconstruction ($5 million) – This program provides funds for the repair or replacement of damage to rental housing owned by the Virgin Islands Housing Authority, Virgin Islands Housing Finance Agency, and private landlords.

  • Public & Affordable Housing Development ($32 million) – These funds are targeted for the redevelopment and creation of new affordable housing, including subsidized and mixed-income rental units.
  • Supportive Housing & Sheltering Programs ($15 million) – The U.S. Virgin Islands recovery plan includes an effort for the rehabilitation, reconstruction, and development of housing for vulnerable populations, particularly among low-income seniors and those persons and families experiencing homelessness. This program also includes the development of emergency shelters for individuals and families who cannot shelter in place during disasters. The emergency shelter housing would also serve persons who require short-term housing because they are temporarily displaced.
  • Infrastructure ($125,549,800) – These funds are targeted for three infrastructure activities: 1) Local Match for Federal Disaster Relief Programs ($50,549,800) to help finance educational facilities, energy, hospitals, telecommunications, transportation, waste management, and water/wastewater management; 2) Infrastructure Repair and Resilience ($30,000,000) and 3) Electrical Power Systems Enhancement and Improvement ($45,000,000).
  • Economic Revitalization ($33 million) – Through this program, the U.S. Virgin Islands seeks to revitalize the post-disaster economy, including ($23 million) for Ports and Airports Enhancements, including harbor dredging to allow for larger cruise ships; 2) a Workforce Development Program to train low- and moderate-income residents to fill the construction and other jobs coming from recovery investments ($5,000,000); and 3) the Tourism Industry Support Program ($5,000,000), which will require a waiver by HUD, for marketing to communicate that the USVI is open for business.

In April, HUD also allocated an additional $1.621 billion of CDBG-DR funding to the U.S. Virgin Islands for unmet need, infrastructure and mitigation purposes. HUD will shortly issue requirements governing those funds, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, along with other states, will be required to submit plans addressing their use. Read more about the additional disaster recovery/mitigation funding to the U.S. Virgin Islands.


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