Selected Federal Agency Announcements and Related for the Week of July 23, 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.


Contents


Funding & Resource Announcements

Announcements of Federal Funding & Assistance Available:

 

Economic – Access to Capital

NEW! CDFI Fund Opens 2018 Funding Round for Capital Magnet Fund

Objective to Finance Economic Development, Affordable Housing and Community Service Facilities in Economically Distressed Communities

The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund this week opened fiscal year 2018 funding round for the Capital Magnet Fund. The CDFI Fund will award approximately $142.9 million to CDFIs and qualified nonprofit housing organizations this year to finance affordable housing activities, related economic development activities and community service facilities, with the goal of attracting private capital to economically distressed communities. The two-part application and guidelines can be found on the CDFI Fund website. The deadline to file the SF-424 form is Aug. 20 at 11:59 p.m. ET and the Capital Magnet Fund application is due by Sept. 17 at 5 p.m. ET. The CDFI Fund expects awards will be announced winter 2019.

 

Economic – Workforce Development:

 

NEW! U.S. Department of Labor Announces Grant to Help Women Enter Apprenticeships, Expand Job Opportunities

The U.S. Department of Labor this week announced the availability of funding to help recruit, train, and retain more women in quality pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs, and pursue careers in manufacturing, infrastructure, cybersecurity, and healthcare, among other industries. The Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations (WANTO) grant helps to expand pathways for women to enter in, and lead in, all industries.

“Under President Trump’s leadership, we have seen a record number of job openings in the United States,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. “We must continue our efforts to maximize opportunities for women to enter apprenticeship programs and secure good, family-sustaining jobs.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2016, the year for the most recent data available, women accounted for more than half of all workers within several industry sectors, including education and health services (75 percent), financial activities (52 percent), and leisure and hospitality (51 percent). Women accounted for less than half in several industry sectors, including manufacturing (29 percent), agriculture (25 percent), transportation and utilities (24 percent), mining (13 percent), and construction (9 percent).

Women account for less than 10 percent of individuals enrolled in apprenticeship programs.

The WANTO grant program will award at least $994,000 to community-based organizations to encourage women’s employment in underrepresented occupations and pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs. Grants will be awarded to up to six recipients. Organizations applying must provide one or more of the following types of technical assistance:

  • Developing pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship, or nontraditional skills training programs to prepare women for those careers;
  • Providing ongoing orientations for employers, unions, and workers on creating a successful environment for women to succeed in those careers; and
  • Setting up support groups and facilitating networks for women to improve their retention.

The 2018 grants are administered by the Department’s Women’s Bureau and the Employment and Training Administration. Visit the Women’s Bureau for more information.

Other salient information from the solicitation document:

In awarding grants, the Department will give priority to applications that

  • Demonstrate experience preparing women to gain employment in A/NTO;
  • Demonstrate experience working with the business community to prepare them to place women in A/NTO;
  • Have tradeswomen or women in nontraditional occupations as active members of the organization, as either employed staff or board members; and
  • Have experience delivering TA specifically as defined above, including developing (establishing, expanding and/or enhancing) pre-apprenticeship or nontraditional skills training programs designed to prepare women for careers in A/NTO; providing ongoing orientations for employers, unions, and workers on creating a successful environment for women in A/NTO; and setting up support groups and facilitating networks for women in A/NTO to improve retention.

Between two (2) and six (6) grants of $250,000 to $500,000 each will be awarded.

Applications are due August 16.

NEW! U.S. Department of Labor Announces Funding Opportunity for Apprenticeship Expansion in Key Industry Sectors

The solicitation can be directly accessed at
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=307212

The U.S. Department of Labor today (July 18) announced $150 million in grants to support sector-based approaches to expand apprenticeships on a national scale in key industry sectors. When awarded, the grants will move a step closer to President Trump’s vision set forth in Executive Order on Expanding Apprenticeship in America, which calls for increasing the number of apprentices in the U.S. across all industries.

This grant program aims to accelerate the expansion of apprenticeships to new industry sectors, and to increase apprenticeship opportunities for all Americans. Veterans, military spouses, service members re-entering the civilian workforce, and underrepresented groups in apprenticeship, including women, people of color, and ex-offenders will benefit from their investments. As directed by the 2017 Executive Order, the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion released on May 10, 2018, its final report to the President, which provides detailed recommendations for meeting these goals.

“The expansion of apprenticeships makes the greatest workforce in the world – the American workforce – even stronger,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. “This funding is an investment in America’s workforce, will contribute to competitiveness by helping job creators meet increasing demands for skilled workers, and meets the nation’s need for family-sustaining careers.”

There are more than 6.6 million job openings in the U.S., many of which require advanced skills.

The Department will award up to $150 million in H-1B funds to approximately 15 to 30 apprenticeship programs, with awards ranging from $1 million to $12 million. The grant size will depend on the size of the targeted industry sector and the proposed scale of the apprenticeship projects. Funding will be awarded to projects designed to:

  • Expand apprenticeships to occupations that have not typically used apprenticeships to bring new entrants into the workforce. By focusing on information technology, advanced manufacturing, banking and finance, and healthcare, we can offer new job seekers opportunities and upskill those already employed in these industries to bolster the sector’s competiveness;
  • Increase the level of apprenticeship activity among a range of new employers within these industry sectors, particularly small and medium-sized businesses; and
  • Promote a sector-based approach to large-scale expansion of apprenticeships that include a paid, work-based learning component and a required educational or instructional component that results in the issuance of an industry-recognized credential and meet appropriate quality assurance standards.

Applications are due October 16.

Economic – Entrepreneurship & Technology Commercialization

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

https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-07-13/pdf/2018-14996.pdf

 

Infrastructure

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 www.grants.gov 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)

See: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=306735

 

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
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
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
NEW! CDFI-2018-BEA Bank Enterprise Award Program Application Treasury/CDFI 07/19/2018 08/23/2018

 


Other Funding of Interest

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.

 

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.

See:  https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-07-11/pdf/2018-14748.pdf

 


Public Meetings, Events and Training

NEW! BroadbandUSA Announces Upcoming Webinar Series with Focus on Deployment, Digital Inclusion, Workforce Skills, and E-Government

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration  (NTIA), as part of its BroadbandUSA program, will host a series of webinars on a monthly basis to engage the public and stakeholders with

information to accelerate broadband connectivity, improve digital  inclusion, strengthen policies and support local priorities. The Practical Broadband Conversations webinar series will provide an  ongoing source of information on a range of topics and issues being addressed by BroadbandUSA, including but not limited to best practices for improving broadband deployment, digital inclusion, workforce skills, and e-government.

BroadbandUSA will hold the webinars from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the third Wednesday of every month, beginning October 17, 2018 and continuing through September 18, 2019.

This is a virtual meeting. NTIA will post the registration information on its BroadbandUSA website https://broadbandusa.ntia.doc.gov under Events.

NTIA’s BroadbandUSA program serves as a trusted and neutral strategic advisor, collaborating with federal, state and local government, and industry leaders working to advance smart city and broadband initiatives designed to attract new employers, create quality jobs, improve educational opportunities, increase health outcomes and advance public safety.

BroadbandUSA convenes workshops on a regular basis to bring stakeholders together to discuss ways to improve broadband policies, share best practices, and connect state and local stakeholders to other federal agencies and funding sources for the purpose of expanding broadband infrastructure and adoption throughout America. Experts from NTIA’s BroadbandUSA program are available to provide technical assistance and to connect stakeholders with additional resources, such as best practices, guides and program models.

NTIA’s BroadbandUSA team convenes events around the country to bring together government, industry and non-profit personnel working to expand broadband connectivity and improve digital inclusion and workforce skills. These webinars are among the events BroadbandUSA uses to share broadband information with the public, broadband stakeholders, tribal, local and state governments and federal programs.

Details on specific webinar topics and webinar registration information will be posted on the BroadbandUSA website https://broadbandusa.ntia.doc.gov under Events. The presentation, transcript, and recording of the webinars will be posted on the BroadbandUSA website within 7 days following the live webinar.

The public is invited to participate in these webinars. General questions and comments are welcome at any time during webinars via email to broadbandusawebinars@ntia.doc.gov. The webinars are open to the public and press. Pre-registration is recommended. NTIA asks each registrant to provide their first and last name, city, state, zip code, job title, organization and email address for both registration purposes and to receive any updates on BroadbandUSA or via email at BroadbandUSA@ntia.doc.gov. Information on webinar content and how to register for one or more webinars will available on NTIA’s website at https://broadbandusa.ntia.doc.gov under Events. Individuals requiring accommodations, such as language interpretation or other ancillary aids, are asked to notify the NTIA contact listed above at least seven (7) business days before the meeting.

NEW! SOAR Summit to Discuss Plan for Appalachia Kentucky on August 30 – 31

 NADO provides this advisory on an upcoming conference

SOAR Summit 18 is scheduled for August 30-31 at the East Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville.  This year’s summit is a convening of organizations, businesses, and individuals who represent the best of Appalachia Kentucky.  This year’s Summit will feature inspiring keynote speakers who promote innovation and collaboration, economic and community development, and the alignment of the region’s work with the Blueprint for a 21st Century Appalachia, a visionary plan for Appalachia Kentucky that was created through the input of thousands of people from across the region.  Click here to learn more and to register.

Commitment to Building Evidence: MDRC and STRIVE Summarize Strategic Effort to Continuously Improve New Program Model Targeting Young Adults Involved in the Juvenile Justice System

(July 18 advisory from MDRC) As interest by policymakers in evidence-based programs has grown in recent years, so too has the interest of nonprofit leaders in learning how best to build evidence of their models’ effectiveness. STRIVE International (STRIVE) engaged MDRC to help the organization think strategically about how to continuously improve a new program model targeting young adults who are involved in the juvenile justice system. This Issue Focus describes the partnership and discusses some of the lessons learned that can be applied to any organization with a newly developed program.

The STRIVE Future Leaders Program

STRIVE is a nonprofit job training and career development services agency, based in New York City, which works in more than 20 cities across the country. Widely known for its adult workforce development programming, it began offering services in 2012 to young adults ages 14 to 24 who are involved in the juvenile justice system and live in high-poverty, high-crime neighborhoods. To serve young people, STRIVE loosely adapted the adult workforce model it has implemented for more than 30 years. Seven STRIVE affiliates implemented that first-generation model; from this experience STRIVE learned that the underlying premise of its adult programming did not fully translate to the youth population. STRIVE engaged the Youth Development Institute to support the development of a new program model called STRIVE Future Leaders (SFL), designed to better suit the needs of young people. The Institute prepared a manual documenting the curriculum for use beginning in 2016 by six STRIVE affiliates, each expected to serve an average of 122 young people over the entire program period, ending in April 2019.[1]

The SFL program model combines work readiness and work experience, educational enrichment, case management, mentoring, a financial incentive, and community involvement—all within the context of a positive youth development[2] environment. The goal of SFL is to increase the educational attainment and employment of its participants. Moreover, it seeks to increase self-efficacy and civic engagement as well as reduce criminal involvement. SFL has four phases, intended to be implemented in succession: (1) engaged enrollment, during which participants and staff get to know one another, (2) work-readiness training workshops, (3) opportunities for work experience and occupational skills training, and (4) follow-up supports. The first three phases take up to six months and the last phase lasts another six months. Within this framework, affiliates were able to exercise discretion about how to implement each component.

NEW! National Environmental Justice Advisory Council to Meet on August 14 – 16

References:DOL/ETA Environmental Justice plan and annual reports, Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) Grants, water sector competency model, environmental technology curricula on SkillsCommons …  The Charter of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council states that the body “will provide independent advice and recommendations to the EPA Administrator about broad, crosscutting issues related to environmental justice. The NEJAC’s efforts will include evaluation of a broad range of strategic, scientific, technological, regulatory, community engagement and economic issues related to environmental justice.” The National Environmental Justice Advisory Council will convene a public face-to-face meeting beginning on Tuesday, August 14, 2018, starting at 6:00 p.m., Eastern Time. The NEJAC meeting will continue August 15-16, 2018, from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time. NEJAC meeting will be held at the Boston Park Plaza, 50 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116-3912. The meeting discussion will focus on several topics including, but not limited to, environmental justice concerns of communities in Boston, MA and surrounding areas; discussion and deliberation of the final report from the NEJAC Environmental Justice and Water Infrastructure Finance and Capacity Work Group; and the proactive efforts of EPA Region 1 to advance environmental justice. Full background /pre-registration and registration / opportunity for public comment / contacts: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-07-20/pdf/2018-15621.pdf

 

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!


Reports, Tools and Data

NEW! Council of Economic Advisers Report: Addressing America’s Reskilling Challenge

Today, the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) released a report outlining the importance of reskilling America’s workers for the jobs of the future.  The following is the executive summary.  Read the full report here.

Renewed economic growth, a booming job market, and the evolving nature of work are transforming the face of the labor market, resulting in changes in the skills American employers need, as well as new and different opportunities for American workers.

In the United States, investment in skill development is largely “frontloaded” during the first 25 years of life. After that, public contributions to formal education are substantially smaller, and employer training represents the most sizable investment in further developing the skills of the American workforce. Restrictions on the use of Federal funds, which may have been appropriate when specific programs were designed to address the labor market challenges of another era may not be optimal for the future reskilling challenges, especially those linked to trade and technological change.

Additionally, there is an information gap between employers, workers, and educational institutions. While employers presumably know which skills they value in an employee, workers themselves and educational institutions have less up-to-date knowledge, and their response lags behind the changing demand. Lacking incisive data, workers and educational institutions are separated from employers by an information gap that makes it difficult to prepare the workforce with the skills employers seek.  The information gap is exacerbated by a dearth of data and weak comparability of skill requirements. Coordination among these parties will be crucial for addressing America’s reskilling challenge.

Conclusions

Reviving American economic growth has been a major accomplishment of the Trump Administration’s first year. However, continuing the momentum will depend on the availability of workers with the appropriate skills to take advantage of new job opportunities, and on the ability to draw potential workers out of non-participation and into employment. The dynamics of technological change and innovation will also drive reskilling needs in the future, particularly for workers without a college education. The concentration of investment in skill development and education among workers with a bachelor’s degree and those under age 25 is a strong indication that America’s reskilling effort is not optimized to address future challenges.

Tighter connections between participants in reskilling activities, and more coordination and information sharing, will be critical to success. American workers may have incentives to pursue retraining, but the information gap between workers, education institutions, and industry job creators remains a major hurdle. The Federal government has a unique role to play by re-examining current financial assistance spending, and redesigning programs to better serve anticipated needs.

NEW! Latest Coal Communities Economic Diversification Newsletter Now Available

The National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) reports:

The latest installment of “Growing Stronger Economies in Our Nation’s Coal Communities” is now available.  This curated bi-weekly newsletter is a joint resource from the National Association of Counties (NACo) and the NADO Research Foundation.  NACo and NADO are collaborating on a POWER technical assistance grant generously provided by the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Denver Regional Office.  The newsletter provides a national perspective on diversification efforts in coal communities, resources and funding opportunities, and upcoming events and trainings to support your work in a variety of areas to improve economic development, infrastructure, and quality of life.  It is delivered every other Wednesday.  Click here to read the July 18 issue.  E-mail Brett Schwartz at bschwartz@nado.org to join the mailing list.

NEW! HUD Announces Recipients of Grants-in-Aid

The Department of Housing and Urban Development today  (July 20) published a notice listing the recipients of  FY2017 Rural Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing Grants (RCB) grants; FY2017 Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) grants; and FY2017  Research and Evaluation, Demonstrations and Data Analysis and Utilization Program grantsThe full background and list of grantees can be found at https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-07-20/pdf/2018-15486.pdf.  The inset table shows the Rural Capacity and Research grant recipients.  The University of Idaho and The Woodstock Institute will explore the social and economic impact of Community Development Block Grants.

Excerpts:

The FY2017 Research and Evaluation, Demonstrations and Data Analysis and Utilization Program competition was announced in the NOFA published on grants.gov on August 16, 2017, FR-6100-N-29, and which closed on October 15, 2017. Applications were rated and selected for funding based on selection criteria contained in the NOFA. $890,661 was awarded to 3 recipients to focus on  (1) Child Trajectories in HUD-Assisted Housing where proposed projects should focus on secondary data analysis using administrative data, survey data, or linked data products (government or other sources) to assess long-term child  outcomes among children who reside or resided in HUD-assisted housing; and  (2) The Social and Economic Impacts of the Community Development Block Grant Program to develop a better understanding of the effects of specific Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) eligible activities.  Through this project, HUD seeks to identify objective, quantifiable outcome measures that can be attributed to specific CDBG activities to inform policymakers at the federal, state, and local levels.

NEW! HUD Awards $144 Million to Revitalize Five Neighborhoods

  1. S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson this week today announced five communities across the country will receive a combined $144 million to redevelop severely distressed public or assisted housing and to revitalize surrounding neighborhoods. Provided through HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, these grants, and the more than $1 billion they will stimulate from other sources, will transform long-struggling neighborhoods and distressed HUD-assisted housing.

HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative leverages significant public and private dollars to support locally driven strategies that address struggling neighborhoods with distressed public or HUD-assisted

housing through a comprehensive approach to neighborhood transformation. Local leaders, residents, and stakeholders, such as public housing authorities, cities, schools, police, business owners, nonprofits, and private developers, come together to create and implement a plan that revitalizes distressed HUD housing and addresses the challenges in the surrounding neighborhood. The program helps communities transform neighborhoods by revitalizing severely distressed public and/or assisted housing and catalyzing critical improvements in the neighborhood, including vacant property, housing, businesses, services and schools.

Choice Neighborhoods is focused on three core goals:

  1. Housing: Replace distressed public and assisted housing with high-quality mixed-income housing that is well-managed and responsive to the needs of the surrounding neighborhood;
  2. People: Improve outcomes of households living in the target housing related to employment and income, health, and children’s education; and
  3. Neighborhood: Create the conditions necessary for public and private reinvestment in distressed neighborhoods to offer the kinds of amenities and assets, including safety, good schools, and commercial activity, that are important to families’ choices about their community.

The five awardees will replace 1,788 severely distressed public housing units with 3,800 new mixed-income, mixed-use housing units as part of an overall effort to revitalize neighborhoods. For every $1 in Choice Neighborhoods funding they receive, the awardees and their partners will leverage an additional $9.40 in public and private funding for their project proposals. Together, these five communities are leveraging an initial $1.35 billion through other public/private sources to magnify their impact.

Read more about these communities’ transformation plans.

Awardee(s) Target Neighborhood Amount
City of Baltimore, Maryland/Housing Authority of Baltimore City Perkins, Somerset, and Oldtown Neighborhoods $30,000,000
City of Flint, Michigan/Flint Housing Commission South Flint $30,000,000
City of Phoenix, Arizona Edison-Eastlake Community $30,000,000
City of Shreveport, Louisiana/Housing Authority of the City of Shreveport Allendale, Ledbetter Heights, and West Edge Neighborhoods $24,214,284
City of Tulsa, Oklahoma/Housing Authority of the City of Tulsa Eugene Field Neighborhood $30,000,000

NEW! National Skills Coalition Releases Report Examining Partnerships between Businesses and Community Colleges

The National Skills Coalition has released a report examining the benefits of partnership between business and community colleges.

Introductory Essay: https://www.nationalskillscoalition.org/news/blog/new-report-makes-the-case-for-partnerships-between-businesses-and-community-colleges

Report:

https://www.nationalskillscoalition.org/resources/publications/file/Powerful-Partners-Businesses-and-Community-Colleges.pdf

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.

 

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 www.dol.gov/vets/. For more information about the Department’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS), please visit www.veterans.gov or follow on @VETS_DOL twitter.

Disaster Recovery Resources & Info

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

Funding Assistance for Recovery Efforts:

 

NEW! USDA Announces Nearly $2 Billion Now Available for Assistance for Eligible Producers Affected by 2017 Hurricanes and Wildfires

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today (July 16) announced that agricultural producers affected by hurricanes and wildfires in 2017 now may apply for assistance to help recover and rebuild their farming operations. Signup begins July 16, 2018, and continues through November 16, 2018.

See: https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2018/07/16/nearly-2-billion-now-available-eligible-producers-affected-2017

 

USDA Partners to Improve Rural Water Infrastructure for Nearly 250,000 People in 103 Communities in 35 States

Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today (July 16) announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $267 million in 103 infrastructure projects (PDF, 298 KB) to upgrade water and wastewater systems in rural communities.

“Robust, modern infrastructure is foundational for quality of life and economic opportunity – no matter what zip code you live in,” Hazlett said. “Under Secretary Perdue’s leadership, USDA is committed to being a strong partner in addressing rural infrastructure needs to support a more prosperous future in rural communities.”

USDA is making investments in 35 states through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. The funds can be used to finance drinking water, storm water drainage and waste disposal systems for rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.

For the complete release and listing of projects by community, see https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2018/07/16/usda-partners-improve-rural-water-infrastructure-nearly-250000

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: https://www.federalregister.gov/agencies/federal-emergency-management-agency#documents

Economic Recovery Support

Other Disaster Updates of Interest:

 

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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