Selected Federal Agency Announcements and Related for the Week of June 17, 2019

The following is a selection of recent announcements gleaned from various federal sources and colleagues, and is provided to EDA’s Economic Development Integrators to increase our awareness of complementary resources for economic development. Special thanks to ETA and other federal partners for sharing content included below.

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

ACCESS TO CAPITAL

New Guidelines and Resources for Opportunity Zones:

The Trump Administration announced several additional resources to help optimize the utilization of Opportunity Zones and other federal resources that can support economically distressed areas. New resources introduced recently include the following three items:

  • NEW: EDA Adds Investment Priority for OZs to its EDAP Programs.  This new  Investment Priority will significantly increase the number of catalytic Opportunity Zone-related projects that EDA can fund to spur greater public investment in these areas. See EDA’s June 12, 2019 press release for more information.
  • White House Opportunity Council Report Lists Federal Programs That Support Opportunity Zones Click here to see a list of over50 programs that federal agencies have already taken action to better target resources to Opportunity Zones.
  • IRS Proposed Guidance To Further Clarify OZ Tax Benefits. On April 17, the Internal Revenue Service issued a second set of  guidance (PDF)regarding investment in qualified opportunity zones.

 

INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP

CLOSING SOON: SBA Opens 2019 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition – Apply by June 20

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announces the 2019 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition, pursuant to the America Competes Act, to recognize the nation’s most innovative accelerators and award them cash prizes they may use to fund their operations costs focused towards helping entrepreneurs apply for Government R&D funding. Prize competition applications consist of a brief twelve slide presentation and an optional two minute video.

DATES: The submission period for entries begins 12:00 p.m. EDT, June 10, 2019 and ends June 20, 2019 at 4:59 p.m. EDT. Winners will be announced no later than Fall 2019.

Registration and Entry Submission Process for Contestants: Contestants must submit their 2019 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition applications online using the link designated for that purpose on www.sbir.gov/accelerators, where the link will be posted on June 10, 2019.  See the webpage for more details.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Williams, Office of Investment and Innovation, U.S. Small Business Administration, 409 Third Street, SW, 6th Floor Washington, DC 20416, accelerators@sba.gov.

SBA Invites Applications for 2019 FAST Program. Closes June 28.

SBA has issued a Funding Announcement for its 2019 Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program (Funding Opportunity No. FAST-2019-R-0013). FAST provides one-year funding to organizations to execute state/regional programs that increase the number of SBIR/STTR proposals leading to an increase in the number of SBIR/STTR awards. FAST awards build the SBIR/STTR ecosystem through:

  1. Outreach: increase the pipeline of possible applicants and build the capacity of partner organizations and individuals to refer possible SBIR/STTR applicants through train-the-trainer activities.
  2. Technical and business assistance: programs or services that improve proposal development and team creation; provide assistance that leads to the commercialization of technology; and form mentoring networks to provide business advice and counseling.
  3. Financial support: make grants or loans to applicants to pay a portion or all the cost of developing SBIR/STTR proposals, attend conferences, and bridge gaps between phases.

Closing date for proposals is June 28, 2019. Projects are projected to start September 30, 2019.

A synopsis of the FAST Opportunity is available here: synopsis. For more information, visit: https://www.sbir.gov/about-fast.

 

INFRASTRUCTURE

USDA Rural Broadband Opportunities –June/July deadlines for loans.

USDA offers several resources to support expansion of rural broadband under is Rural e-Connectivity Pilot Program: ReConnect Grants and Loan program. The program will furnish loans and grants for the costs of construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service in eligible rural areas. Up to $200 million in loan and grant combinations, and $200 million in low-interest loans will be available; applicants must select one of these options – deadlines vary based on type of financial assistance requested.

  • June 21, 2019, for loan/grant combinations; and
  • July 12, 2019, for low-interest loans.

Attend an application workshop or request technical assistance from USDA by filling out the contact form at https://www.usda.gov/reconnect/contact-us.

 

USDA/RUS Announces Funding Opportunity to Support Rural Energy Services. Due June 24.

The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), has announced the availability of up to $10 million in competitive grants to assist communities with extremely high energy costs, projecting the award of 10 grants.  Applications are due by June 24.

Grant funds may be used to acquire, construct, extend, upgrade, or otherwise improve energy generation, transmission, or distribution facilities serving eligible communities.  All energy generation, transmission, and distribution facilities and equipment, used to provide electricity, natural gas, home heating fuels, and other energy service to eligible communities are eligible.  Projects providing or improving energy services to eligible communities through on-grid and off-grid renewable energy projects, energy efficiency, and energy conservation projects are eligible.  A grant project is eligible if it improves, or maintains energy services, or reduces the costs of providing energy services to eligible communities.

USDA Technical Assistance Grants for Rural Transportation Systems. Due June 25.

The Department of Agriculture’s Rural-Business Cooperative Service is inviting applications for grants to provide Technical Assistance for Rural Transportation (RT) systems under the Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) to provide Technical Assistance for RT systems and for RT systems to Federally Recognized Native American Tribes’ (FRNAT) (collectively “Programs”) and the terms provided in such funding. Successful applications will be selected by the Agency for funding and subsequently awarded from funds appropriated for the RBDG program.  The full announcement can be found in the March 27 FEDERAL REGISTER.  Note references to funding projects that benefit Opportunity Zones and communities responding to impacts from Opioid Misuse.

 

EPA Credit Assistance Available for Water Infrastructure. Submit LOI by Jul 5.

EPA has published a Notice of Funding Availability on April 5, soliciting letters of interest (LOIs) from prospective borrowers seeking credit assistance for projects eligible under the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) Program. WIFIA program is accepting letters of interest until July 5, 2019. See links below to access further details:

DOT FY20 Applications for BUILD Grants – Due July 15.

The Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Grants 2019 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is available at www.transportation.gov/buildgrants/build-nofo.

See below for links to pages with helpful information about the new round of BUILD:

 

MANUFACTURING AND INNOVATION

Department of Energy Announces $89M for Innovative Manufacturing Technologies. Concept Papers due June 20.

The DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office will lead this initiative. DOE anticipates making up to 55 awards for up to three years. A cost-share of at least 20% will be required for research and development projects.

The FOA requests proposals in three areas that will improve the global competitiveness of the U.S. by catalyzing innovation around manufacturing of key energy technologies and by reducing industrial process energy intensity.

  • Topic 1 – Innovations for the Manufacture of Advanced Materials:
  •  Topic 2 – Lower Thermal Budget Processes for Industrial Efficiency & Productivity:
  •  Topic 3 – Connected, Flexible and Efficient Manufacturing Facilities and Energy Systems:

View the funding application and submission requirements HERE. Concept papers are due on June 20, 2019.

NIST Seeking Economic Research on the Need for Technology Infrastructure to Support the IoT. Apply by July 24

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is seeking applications from eligible applicants for activities to assess the potential economic impacts, resulting from Federal research investments, of meeting the Nation’s need for technology infrastructure to support the Internet of Things (IoT). By identifying technological and economic trends in IoT research and assessing critical gaps in the Nation’s IoT technology infrastructure, the recipient will produce an economic study to help guide industry, academia, and federal researchers in their efforts to accelerate the critical research needed for timely IoT development.

NIST has identified $400,000 for investment in a cooperative agreement.  The solicitation is available here.  Applications are due by July 24.

 

WORKFORCE

NEW: DOL Announces $1.5M Available for Women’s Apprenticeship Programs

19-0938-NAT   U.S. Department of Labor has announced $1.5 million in grant funding available to recruit, mentor, train, and retain more women in quality apprenticeship programs and pursue careers in manufacturing, infrastructure, cybersecurity, and health care, among other industries, through the Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations (WANTO) grant program.

Applicants must provide one or more of the following types of technical assistance:

  • Developing pre-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, facilitating networks, and/or providing supportive services for women to improve their retention.

For information about the program see the Department’s WANTO page.

 

NEW: DOL Increases Bonding Program for Workers Recovering from Opioid Abuse

U.S. Department of Labor announced funds available to increase the usage of fidelity bonds, through the Federal Bonding Program (FBP), to secure employment opportunities for workers recovering from the misuse of opioids. The Department is committed to helping those recovering from opioid use find family-sustaining jobs, informing employers about opportunities to provide second chances, and advancing strategies to address barriers to employment that may exist.

  • In March 2018, the Department awarded $22 million in National Health Emergency demonstration grants to Alaska, Maryland, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Washington to combat the workforce-related challenges caused by widespread abuse of opioids. These States now have the opportunity to pilot the Federal Bonding Program (FBP) as an additional tool to decrease employment barriers for recovering opioid users. Learn more here: https://www.dol.gov/newsroom
  • Additionally, DOL announced increased awards to 24 states, for use of fidelity bonds to assist formerly incarcerated individuals. These grants will enable states to expand their use of fidelity bonds to help persons with criminal records with employment opportunities. See awards per state here: https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/eta/eta20190613-1

The Federal Bonding Program (FBP) was created in 1966 by the U.S. Department of Labor and issues free-of-charge fidelity bonds to employers as a job placement tool to assist formerly incarcerated individuals and other at-risk applicants. The FBP provides fidelity bond insurance, issued free-of-charge to employers, as a unique job placement tool that assists hard-to-place job applicants in obtaining employment.

  • For additional information on the Federal Bonding Program, visit http://bonds4jobs.com/
  • Organizations assisting eligible individuals with the hiring process should contact their state bonding coordinator for more information.  Contact information for state bonding coordinators is available at http://bonds4jobs.com/our-services/directory.

 

SBA’s MaTCH Competitive Will Award $1M in Prizes to Help Makerspaces Create or Expand Job Training. Apply by July 8.

Through its Makerspace Training, Collaboration, and Hiring (MaTCH) Pilot Competition, SBA challenges individual organizations or teams to use existing makerspaces to create or expand skills training programs, including industry or trade certification when feasible, with a goal to immediately place all program graduates in positions with previously-identified employers that are in need of skilled labor.

The SBA will award up to $1 million in total prizes to fund winning program proposals.

To enter, individuals or organizations should submit a business plan detailing their qualifications, experience, and resources; the proposed training curriculum; the nature and length of the training/certification program; and the number of trainees that will be accommodated.

  • Submission Period: May 21, 2019 to July 8, 2019
  • Entry Review and Judging Period: July 9, 2019 – August 5, 2019
  • Winners Announced: August 6, 2019

Review the MaTCH competition rules and the FAQs for more detail on how the prizes are disbursed. Applicants should review all the MaTCH competition rules and the FAQs before entering the competition.

DOL-ARC-DRA Grant Initiative for Rural Workforces. Apply by July 15

US DOL’s Employment Training Administration (ETA), in partnership with the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the Delta Regional Authority (DRA), announce the available funds for demonstration grant projects supporting  alignment of workforce development with existing strategies and plans for economic development and diversification in rural communities from the following areas hard hit by economic transition and recovering slowly: 1.) The Appalachian region, and 2.)  The Lower Mississippi Delta (Delta) region,. The Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC) is posted on Grants.gov at https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=315986.

Applicants must identify, cite, and describe how their project aligns with any strategic or economic development plans for the geographical area the applicants propose to serve. Alignment with these plans is crucial because these local plans most likely will have the closest, ground-level assessment of the challenges and strengths of the applicant’s proposed service areas. See ETA Funding Announcement FOA-ETA-19-08  for full details, eligibility and application requirements.

DOL Funding for State Apprenticeship Expansion

The Employment and Training Administration has issued Training and Employment Guidance Letter 17-18, to  announce the availability of $73 million in Program Year (PY 18) funds to States to increase the number of apprentices in Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAPs). The TEGL also  provides the state and territory allotment levels and application procedures, and  guidance on the use of funds.

The TEGL also addresses the phasing out of State Apprenticeship Expansion grants (FOA-ETA-16-13) and plans to further support statewide apprenticeship expansion by granting PY 18 apprenticeship funds appropriated under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 (P.L. 115-141) to States, as defined at 29 CFR Section 29.2.

 

 

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
EDAP2018 FY18 Economic Development Assistance Programs: Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance DOC-EDA 07/02/2018 Open
693JJ319NF-NSFLTP Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects (NSFLTP) DOT-FHWA 10/04/2018 Open
 

RD-RUS-HECG19

Assistance to High Energy Cost Communities USDA-RUS 04/26/2019 06/24/2019
FOA-WB-19-01 Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations (WANTO) Technical Assistance Grant Program DOL-ETA 06/06/2019 07/08/2019
693JK319NF0010 Assistance for Local Emergency Response Training Grants DOT-PHMSA 06/12/2019 07/12/2019
 

DTOS59-19-RA-BUILD

FY 2019 National Infrastructure Investments DOT 04/16/2019 07/15/2019
 

 

FOA-ETA-19-08

Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC): A Grant Initiative for the Appalachian and Delta Regions DOL-ETA 05/15/2019 07/15/2019
MBDA-OBD-2019-2006126 Virtual Business Center DOC 06/14/2019 07/26/2019
FOA-ETA-19-04

 

YouthBuild DOL-ETA 06/06/2019 08/06/2020
2019-NIST-TPO-02 Enabling Federal Technology Transfer Program (EFTT) DOC-NIST 06/17/2019 08/16/2019
 

DE-FOA-0001980

FY19 Advanced Manufacturing Office Multi-Topic FOA DOE-GFO 05/07/2019 08/29/2019
FAST-2019-R-0013 Federal and State Technology Partnership Program (FAST) SBA 05/24/2019 06/28/2019
2019-NIST-TPO-IOT-01 Economic Research and Analysis of the National Need for Technology Infrastructure to Support the Internet of Things (IoT) DOC-NIST 05/22/2019 07/24/2019

 

Public Meetings, Events and Training

NEW: June 18th – EPA Webinar on Area-Wide Planning and Equitable Development

June 18, 1 PM (ET) – Using Comprehensive Area-Wide Planning Approaches to Promote Equitable Development

This is the third webinar in a training series launched by the EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice to build the capacity of environmental justice practitioners working at the state level. In this webinar, presenters will share lessons for achieving community involvement, revitalization and resilience from area-wide planning approaches used to address brownfields or other community challenges and discuss how states can support such comprehensive collaborative approaches. They will apply these lessons to addressing significant current challenges, such as displacement and gentrification.

 

Speakers:

  • Cate Mingoya, Director of Capacity Building, Groundworks USA
  • Drew Curtis, Senior Equitable Development Manager, Ironbound Community Corporation
  • Frank McLaughlin, Community Collaborative Initiative, Office of Brownfield Reuse, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
  • Riche Outlaw, Coordinator, Environmental Justice Program, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

Register

 

NEW: June 19-20: Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness to Meet; Workforce Development an Expected Topic

The Department of Commerce has announced that the Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness will meet on June 19 – 20  at 1401 Constitution Avenue, NW, Research Library (Room 1894), Washington, DC 20230.

Committee members are expected to continue to discuss the major competitiveness-related topics raised at the previous Committee meetings, including trade and competitiveness; freight movement and policy; trade innovation; regulatory issues; finance and infrastructure; and workforce development. The Committee’s subcommittees will report on the status of their work regarding these topics. The agenda may change to accommodate other Committee business.

The Office of Supply Chain, Professional & Business Services will post the final detailed agendas on its web site, http://trade.gov/td/services/oscpb/supplychain/acscc/ at least one week prior to the meeting.

The meetings will be open to the public and press on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

NEW: June 20: HUD to Host Discussion of Opportunity Zones

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has invited individuals to a meeting in person or via webcast, on June 20 (2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.), that will feature experts from the investment, research, and philanthropic sectors in a discussion of how to maximize beneficial impacts of public and private investments in Opportunity Zones and ensure that existing residents, businesses, and community organizations benefit from the expected influx of investment.

Discussion: Opportunity Zones

  • Erika Poethig, Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer, Urban Institute, Moderator
  • Frank Dickson, Director, Strategic Business Initiatives, Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development
  • Michael Kressig, Partner, St. Louis office of Novogradac
  • Rachel Reilly, Director of Impact Strategy, Economic Innovation Group
  • Fran Seegull, Executive Director of U.S. Impact Investing Alliance, Ford Foundation
  • Robert Stoker, Professor of Political Science, George Washington University

Registration at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/event/opportunity-zones-registration.php

 

SBA’s SBIR Road Tour Continues Southwest, East Coast and Caribbean

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is continuing its 16-stop road tour connecting entrepreneurs working on advanced technology to the country’s largest source of early stage funding – the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

The SBIR Road Tour plays an important role in increasing engagement with entrepreneurial ecosystems across the country and building out greater networks to support the creation of small businesses focusing on high-impact research.

Each SBIR Road Tour stop will be hosted by a local organization involved in supporting entrepreneurs in next generation R&D. Program managers from the participating federal agencies will conduct one-on-one meetings with attendees, take part in targeted panels, discuss technology areas, and share insights into how the agencies make funding decisions.

  • The Central Plains Tour was held May 20-24, with stops in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Kansas City, Kansas; Des Moines, Iowa; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and Fargo, North Dakota.
  • The Southwest Tour will run from August 12-16, with stops in Tucson, Arizona; El Paso, Texas; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Boulder, Colorado.
  • The Eastern Tour will run from September 16-20, with stops in Burlington, Vermont; Albany, New York; New Brunswick, New Jersey; State College, Pennsylvania; and College Park, Maryland.
  • Caribbean: the SBIR Road Tour will stop in Miami, Florida on November 13 and in Puerto Rico on November 15.

Small technology firms, innovators, scientists or researchers seeking more information on the SBIR Road Tour, including a schedule of stops and participating agencies should visit: www.sbirroadtour.com.

For more information about SBIR/STTR programs, please visit www.sbir.gov.

 

SBA Funding Programs Webinar

SBA has posted a series of 7 webinars presented during the recent Small Business Week that can be viewed at the www.score.org  website. In addition to webinars for businesses on cash flow, marketing, disaster preparedness and contracting with the federal government, the following provides an overview of SBA’s loans and other funding programs:

 

  • SBA Funding Programs Explained, This insightful webinar, sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration, explains the SBA funding programs and how small businesses can benefit from them.

 

NEW Economic Resilience Conference – August 26-29 in Denver, CO

Registration is now open for Economic Brilliance and Resilience, an economic development conference for the EDA Denver region. With support from EDA’s Denver Regional Office, the NADO Research Foundation is coordinating Economic Brilliance and Resilience, an economic development conference for Economic Development Districts (EDDs), university centers, tribal planning grantees, Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) programs, Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) grantees, and other stakeholders from the 10-state region.

  • The conference will be held from August 26-29, 2019 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Denver, Colorado. Click here to register online.

 


Reports, Tools and Data

Searchable Database of 50 Federal Broadband Programs

NTIA has developed a new searchable database of 50 federal broadband programs, spanning a dozen federal agencies with billions of dollars for broadband grants, loans and other resources. The database, created with help of participating federal agencies, fulfills a goal set out in the American Broadband Initiative announced in February to make it easier for community leaders to find federal funding and permitting information.

Applicants can search for programs by agency, program purpose and eligible recipients. The inventory includes well-known infrastructure efforts at USDA and FCC, as well as other programs from ARC, EDA, HUD and other agencies that offer grants and loans for targeted purposes or specific regions of the country. To search or download the guide visit: https://broadbandusa.ntia.doc.gov/new-fund-search

 

Disaster Recovery Resources & Info

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

Where to Find Federal Disaster Declarations

 

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

Funding and other Assistance Available for Recovery:

EDA Disaster Supplemental Funding for Areas Impacted by 2017 Disasters

In 2018, EDA received supplemental funding to provide Economic Adjustment Assistance grants to support economic recovery in federally declared disaster areas impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and wildfires and other 2017 natural disasters. Please contact your EDA regional office for more information about eligibility and availability of these funds. See the following links for details:

Guide to SBA’s Disaster Assistance Programs

Small businesses can prepare for disasters by launching SBA’s FREE self-paced online training that provides an overview of SBA’s Disaster Assistance Programs. Launch the course

Economic Recovery Support & the National Disaster Response Framework

Read more about the Economic Recovery Support Function and the National Disaster Response Framework here: https://www.eda.gov/programs/disaster-recovery/