Selected Federal Agency Announcements and Related for the Week of June 25, 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.



Economic – Access to Capital

Economic Development Administration Announces Funding Opportunity for the University Center Economic Development Program for Austin and Denver Region Geographies

References: Federal funding opportunities, Federal strategic plans, regional economic development, entrepreneurship, STEM, workforce training, distressed communities, broadband, supply chains, technical assistance… 

The purpose of the Economic Development Administration University Center Economic Development Program is to enable institutions of higher education and consortia of institutions of higher education to establish and operate University Centers specifically focused on using university assets to build regional economic ecosystems that support innovation and high-growth entrepreneurship. University Centers collaborate with other EDA partners by providing expertise and technical assistance to develop, implement and support regional strategies which result in job creation, high-skilled regional talent pools, and business expansion in a region’s innovation clusters.  Expertise and technical assistance may address, for example, applied research centers, technology commercialization, feasibility studies, market research, economic impact analyses training, and other technical assistance to help communities foster vibrant economic ecosystems.

EDA recognizes that institutions of higher education are critical players in the development of vibrant economic ecosystems. Universities are sources of significant economic development assets—such as faculty, staff, students, research and proof of concept centers, laboratories, and high-speed broadband networks—that can support regional economic growth. In addition, universities create significant knowledge spillovers and possess broader and deeper networks of expertise that can assist innovators and entrepreneurs. Potential university-based support for economic growth includes the commercialization of research, the conversion of intellectual property and ideas into products and services, and the support of regionally-owned strategies that support business expansion and job creation.

Since FY 2004, EDA has administered the University Center program as a competitive multi-year program.

In FY 2018, EDA has announced it is holding the competition for its Austin and Denver Regional Office geographies.  An accredited institution of higher education, including a community college or junior college, or a consortium of accredited institutions of higher education is eligible to apply for and to receive funding under these competitions.


EDA encourages the submission of applications that will create and nurture regional economic ecosystems through science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skill developmentworkforce training opportunities, applied research and development, technology commercialization, and targeted activities that cultivate entrepreneurship and improve regional economic development. A regional economic ecosystem supports innovation clusters through three main components

  • A highly networked regional talent pool, with specialized expertise relevant to the region’s innovation clusters (including connections along the supply chain and across disciplines so that researchers, academics, investors, suppliers, and entrepreneurs can efficiently share ideas and best practices);
  • A support system for turning discoveries into marketable goods and services, including business counseling, incubation programs, and proof-of-concept centers; and
  • Innovation infrastructure (which includes both tangible and non-tangible types) necessary to support innovation such as education, workforce development, and financial infrastructure.
In addition, EDA encourages University Center program applications that:

  • Align with the DOC Strategic Plan 2018-2022, with a focus on advancing STEM skills and capabilities, supporting workforce training opportunities in accordance with the needs of local and regional employers, and/or enhancing manufacturing capacities within the region.
  • Benefit distressed communities by linking these communities to larger, more vibrant regional economies, including rural-urban linkages; Present a clear plan for collaborating with and assisting other EDA investment partners, recipients, and stakeholders, including EDA-funded Economic Development Districts (EDDs) and Indian Tribes;
  • Encompass regional, Statewide, and multi-State programs, and create synergies within EDA’s Public Works, Economic Adjustment Assistance, and Partnership Planning programs;
  • Offer services within a well-defined geographic region in the States and territories covered by the Denver and Austin Regional Offices, and provide a full range of economic development research and technical assistance services to EDA regional partners; and
  • Tailor services to the region’s needs and each sponsoring institution’s (or consortium’s) strengths.

Economic – Workforce Development:


ETA Publishes Program Year 2018 Planning Instructions and Allotments for Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) State, Territorial, and National Grantees


The Employment and Training Administration has released Training and Employment Guidance Letter 17-17.  This TEGL provides current Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) state, territorial, and national grantees with the application instructions, allocations, and the process and procedures for the PY 2018 grant submission.



Economic – Entrepreneurship & Technology Commercialization


Department of Energy Launches $3 Million Prize Competition to Boost Domestic Solar Manufacturing

June 7 — Today, U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced the launch of the American-Made Solar Prize, a competition to revitalize U.S. solar manufacturing. The program will support entrepreneurs as they develop transformative ideas into concepts and then into early-stage prototypes ready for industry testing.

Entrepreneurial individuals and teams will compete through a series of three successive prize contests designed to develop new products to be made in America. Competitors will have access to mentoring and other supportive resources through a network of national labs, incubators, investors, and industry experts.

“The Administration is fully committed to strengthening America’s manufacturing competitiveness,” said Secretary Perry. “The Solar Prize brings together the nation’s best-in-class research resources, unparalleled entrepreneurial support system, and competitive, American spirit to create new innovations primed for private investment.”

“We share this administration’s desire for strong American solar manufacturing, and this prize competition is a good way to spur innovative ideas,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association. “The U.S. solar industry is a leader in entrepreneurship and ingenuity, and we support efforts like these that can pave the way to competitiveness for American companies.”

To win the final prize, participants must identify an impactful solution that addresses critical challenges related to American solar competitiveness, create a proof of concept, and secure a committed partner to test a prototype. Competitors will also participate in demo days, where they will pitch their idea to a team of expert reviewers, who will evaluate competitors based on the quality of their solution and the progress made during the contest period. The $3 million in funding from the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) will be distributed through a series of three contests:

  1. Ready! Contest (up to $50,000 prize per winner): Winners will be selected after identifying an impactful idea or solution addressing a critical need in America’s solar industry.
  2. Set! Contest (up to $200,000 prize per winner): Competitors will work to substantially advance their technology solution toward a viable and promising proof of concept.
  3. Go! Contest ($500,000 prize per winner): Competitors will work to substantially advance their solution from proof of concept to a refined prototype and find a partner to perform a pilot test of the prototype.

Participants in this program can be entrepreneurial individuals, representatives of a company, university students or professors, small business owners, or researchers at a national laboratory, as long as they are based in the U.S. and have the desire to bring an impactful solution to advance U.S. solar competitiveness. Competitors must submit applications HERE by October 5, 2018 to participate.

The solar community is encouraged to submit business challenges to the competition HERE. Through this online portal, the community can comment on ideas and connect with contestants so that potential solutions can be ready for market impact by the end of the competition.

The DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has partnered with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to administer the American-Made Solar Prize. Sign up to participate in an informational webinar HERE.

Learn more about DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy HERE.


Economic- Technical Assistance

Small-scale manufacturing Technical Assistance

Smart Growth America is once again soliciting applications for a new round of free technical assistance for communities interested in using small-scale manufacturing as a strategy to create economic opportunity, boost the prospects of Main Street, and build great places.Small-scale manufacturers such as woodworkers, fabricators, hardware prototypers, microbrewers, and coffee roasters (to name but a few) with regional and national distribution have emerged as a significant force in today’s urban economy. This emerging sector can serve as a powerful tool in the effort to revitalize downtown and other core neighborhoods—while also creating well-paying jobs and connecting more residents to economic opportunity.In partnership with the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) and Recast City, this program will provide assistance to six communities, helping them take full advantage of their small-scale manufacturers.




Department of Education Announces Funding Opportunity under the Full-Service Community Schools Program


 Identifies Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness (Job Training, Internships, Career Counseling) among “Pipeline Services”

The Department of Education has announced a funding opportunity under the Full-Service Community Schools (FSCS) Program.

The FSCS program is newly authorized by sections 4621-4623 and 4625 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESEA). This program provides support for the planning, implementation, and operation of full-service community schools that improve the coordination, integration, accessibility, and effectiveness of services for children and families, particularly for children attending high-poverty schools, including high-poverty rural schools.

Community school strategies hold considerable promise for creating good schools for all students, but especially those living in poverty. This is of particular relevance in the face of growing achievement and opportunity gaps at a moment in which the Nation faces a decentralization of decision making about the use of Federal dollars

The growing interest in community schools, also known as full-service community schools, coupled with this competition, present an opportunity for nationwide school improvement. While earlier versions

of the ESEA authorized community schools as a strategy and allowable activity, the reauthorized ESEA offers continued flexibilities at the State and district levels to implement strategies supported by community schools, such as coordination of school and community resources (ESEA sections 1114(b)(5) and 1115(b)(2)) and afterschool

programming and support for a community school coordinator (ESEA section 4108(a)(5)(H)). If a State or district lacks the resources to implement community schools at scale, it can productively begin in neighborhoods where community schools are most needed and, therefore, students are most likely to benefit. The Department, through the FSCS program, provides catalytic support for the planning, implementation, operation, and coordination of effective services for children and families, particularly those in high-poverty urban and rural areas at

the local level. According to a 2017 report, “a well-implemented community school leads to improvement in student and school outcomes and contributes to meeting the educational needs of low-achieving

students in high-poverty schools. Strong research reinforces the efficacy of integrated student supports, expanded learning time and opportunities, and family and community engagement as intervention strategies.”


The Department of Education had identified the availability of $7,500,000 for investment in the FSCSC with the expectation of 14 to 17 awards.  The solicitation is available at


In the definition section, the Department defines “pipeline services”


Pipeline services means a continuum of coordinated supports, services, and opportunities for children from birth through entry into and success in postsecondary education, and career attainment. Such services shall include, at a minimum, strategies to address through services or programs (including integrated student supports) the  following:

(a) High-quality early childhood education programs.

(b) High-quality school and out-of-school-time programs and strategies.

(c) Support for a child’s transition to elementary school, from elementary school to middle school, from middle school to high school, and from high school into and through postsecondary education and into the workforce, and including any comprehensive readiness assessment determined necessary.

(d) Family and community engagement and supports, which may include engaging or supporting families at school or at home.

(e) Activities that support postsecondary and workforce readiness, which may include job training, internship opportunities, and career counseling.

(f) Community-based support for students who have attended the schools in the area served by the pipeline, or students who are members of the community, facilitating their continued connection to the community and success in postsecondary education and the workforce.

(g) Social, health, nutrition, and mental health services and supports.

(h) Juvenile crime prevention and rehabilitation programs.


The absolute priority is: Eligible entities that will serve a minimum of two or more full-service community schools eligible for a schoolwide program (as defined in this notice) under section 1114(b) of the ESEA as part of a

community- or district-wide strategy.


There are four competitive preference priorities:

1–Rural Districts-Small and Rural or Rural and Low-Income. 2–Broadly Representative Consortiums.3–History of Effectiveness.4 — Evidence-Based Activities, Strategies, or Interventions (the term is found in the “definition” section).


A pre-appplication webinar will be held on June 20, 2018. For information about the pre-application webinar, visit the FSCS website at:


Applications are due by July 13.

For the addresses for obtaining and submitting an application, please refer to the Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the February 12, 2018 FEDERAL REGISTER and available at


Department of Education Announces Funding Opportunities under the GEAR UP Program


Absolute Priority Categories Contain References to WIOA, Skills Attainment, Work-Based Learning, Apprenticeships, Postsecondary Credential Attainment, Industry Sectors, STEM, Financial Literacy, and Civic Education  

The GEAR UP program is a discretionary grant program that encourages eligible entities to provide support, and maintain a commitment, to eligible low-income students, including students with disabilities, to assist the students in obtaining a secondary school diploma (or its recognized equivalent) and to prepare for and succeed in postsecondary education.   (See:

Under the GEAR UP program, the Department of Education awards grants to two types of entities: (1) States and (2) partnerships consisting of at least one institution of higher education (IHE) and at least one local educational agency (LEA).

The Department has announced two funding opportunities today:

Partnership Grant Applications Due: July 13

Type of Award: Discretionary grants.    Estimated Available Funds: The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 provided $350,000,000 for the GEAR UP program for FY 2018, of which we intend to use an estimated $129,666,000 for new GEAR UP awards. The estimated funding available for the new GEAR UP Partnership awards is $64,833,000.    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in subsequent years from the list of unfunded applications from this competition.

Estimated Range of Awards:              $100,000-$7,000,000.

Estimated Average Size of Awards:                    $1,200,000.

Maximum Award: We will not fund any application for a partnership grant above the maximum award of $800 per student for a single budget period of 12 months. Applications that request more than the maximum amount, except in the case of minimal technical or rounding errors, may be penalized. Additionally, no funding will be awarded for increases in an approved budget after the first 12-month budget period. As described in 34 CFR 694.1, the Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education may change the maximum amount through a notice published in the Federal Register.

Estimated Number of Awards: 54.


State Grant Applications Due: July 13

Type of Award: Discretionary grants.    Estimated Available Funds: The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 provided $350,000,000 for the GEAR UP program for FY 2018, of which we intend to use an estimated $129,666,000 for new GEAR UP awards. The estimated funding available for the new GEAR UP State awards is $54,833,000.

Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in subsequent years from the list of unfunded applications from this competition.

Estimated Range of Awards:               $2,500,000-$3,500,000.

Estimated Average Size of Awards:                         $3,000,000.

Maximum Award: We will not fund any application for a State grant above the maximum award of $3,500,000 for a single budget period of 12 months. Applications that request more than the maximum amount, except in the case of minimal technical or rounding errors, may be penalized. Additionally, no funding will be awarded for increases in budget after the first 12-month budget period. As described in 34 CFR 694.1, the Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education may change the maximum amount through a notice published in the Federal Register.

Estimated Number of Awards: 18.


The absolute priority has four categories:

Category 1: Fostering Flexible and Affordable Paths To Obtaining Knowledge and Skills

Projects that are designed to address one or more of the following priority areas:

(a) Developing or implementing pathways to recognized postsecondary credentials (as defined in section 3(52) of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA)) focused on career and technical skills that align with in-demand industry sectors or occupations (as defined in section 3(23) of WIOA). Students may obtain such credentials through a wide variety of education providers, such as: IHEs eligible for Federal student financial aid programs, nontraditional education providers (e.g., apprenticeship programs or computer coding boot camps), and providers of self-guided learning;

(b) Providing work-based learning experiences (such as internships, apprenticeships, and fellowships) that align with in-demand industry sectors or occupations (as defined in section 3(23) of WIOA);

(c) Creating or expanding innovative paths to a recognized postsecondary credential or obtainment of job-ready skills that align with in-demand industry sectors or occupations (as defined in section 3(23) of WIOA), such as through career pathways (as defined in section 3(7) of WIOA). Such credentials may be offered to students through a wide variety of education providers, such as providers eligible for Federal student financial aid programs, nontraditional education providers, and providers of self-guided learning; or

(d) Creating or expanding opportunities for students to obtain recognized postsecondary credentials in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or computer science (as defined in this notice).

Category 2: Promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM) Education, With a Particular Focus on Computer Science 

Category 3: Protecting Freedom of Speech and Encouraging Respectful Interactions in a Safe Educational Environment, or Fostering Knowledge and Promoting the Development of Skills That Prepare Students To Be Informed, Thoughtful, and Productive Individuals and Citizens….

(b) Fostering knowledge of the common rights and responsibilities of American citizenship and civic participation, such as through civics education consistent with section 203(12) of WIOA.

Category 4: Fostering Knowledge and Promoting the Development of Skills That Prepare Students To Be Informed, Thoughtful, and Productive Individuals and Citizens
Projects that are designed to address supporting instruction in personal financial literacy, knowledge of markets and economics, knowledge of higher education financing and repayment (e.g., college savings and student loans), or other skills aimed at building personal financial understanding and responsibility.



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
NEW! USDA-NIFA-OP-006611 RREA – National Focus Funds USDA 05/31/2018 07/20/2018
NEW! USDA-NIFA-FASLP-006610 Food and Agriculture ServiceLearning Program USDA 05/31/2018 07/09/2018
NEW! FTA-2018-004-TPE Pilot Program for Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Planning DOT/FTA 05/24/2018 07/23/2018
NEW! RDBCP-RCDG-2018 Rural Cooperative Development Grant USDA 05/20/2018 07/24/2018

Other Funding of Interest


NEW! Institute for Museum and Library Services Announces Funding Opportunity under the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program

Seeks Proposals with Emphasis on Lifelong Learning, Partnerships with Workforce Development and Economic Development Organizations, Contributions to Communities, National Digital Infrastructures and Initiatives, and Expanded Broadband Use


Reference: In June 2010, the Employment and Training Administration announced a partnership with IMLS with the issuance of Training and Employment Notice 50-09 (Encouraging Partnerships between the Workforce Investment System and Public Libraries to Meet Career and Employment Needs), and reaffirmed that partnership encouragement in May 2016 with the publication of Training and Employment Notice 35-15.

The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program (LB21) supports developing a diverse workforce of librarians to better meet the changing learning and information needs of the American public by: enhancing the training and professional development of library and archives professionals, developing faculty and library leaders, and recruiting and educating the next generation of library and archives professionals.

The Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has announced the opening of the application process for the LB21 program.  All applications must designate one of the following project categories:

Lifelong Learning:


We are interested in proposals that will have a significant impact on the capacity of library and archives professionals to foster attitudes of discovery and cultivate critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration. Work in this category may include exploring, piloting, enhancing, or scaling education and training programs, services, and partnerships focused on developing library and archives professionals’ skills and expertise in facilitating learning to help patrons gain literacies and skills and enable hands-on and self-directed learning. Proposals should address substantial opportunities in library and archival practice and ensure that proposed outcomes exemplify library principles and values.


Proposals in this category may focus on expanding professionals’ capacity for:


·         Fostering collaborations between library staff and formal or informal learning organizations to address issues of shared concern and reinforce library staff as facilitators of lifelong learning. Possible partners might include, but are not limited to, staff at museums, school systems, universities, extension programs, youth serving organizations, departments of correction, and workforce and economic development organizations.

·         Developing, implementing, and evaluating programming models and tools that provide cross-disciplinary and inquiry-based learning opportunities for users of all ages. Programs may, but are not limited to, address informal STEM learning; early learning; workforce development; and digital, information, health, financial, media, civic, and other types of literacies.

·         Investigating questions related to how library services, resources, and programs impact patron learning that are informed by current library and archival practice. They should develop mutually beneficial relationships between researchers and practitioners and communicate findings in ways that will lead to demonstrable improvements in library services.

Community Catalysts:


We are interested in proposals that build the capacity of library and archives professionals to contribute to the well-being of communities. Work in this category may include exploring, piloting, enhancing, or scaling training or educational programs related to professionals’ skills and expertise in strengthening civic and cultural engagement, fostering community health, promoting digital inclusion, increasing equity and access, supporting economic vitality, or decreasing social isolation. Proposals should address substantial opportunities in library and archival practice, and ensure that the proposed outcomes exemplify library principles and values.


Proposals in this category may focus on expanding professionals’ capacity for:


• Identifying community opportunities, addressing community needs, providing community-based programs, establishing or deepening strategic relationships, and enhancing services that support and engage the community.


• Integrating into library theory and practice approaches and techniques including, but not limited to, design thinking, data analytics, impact assessment, leadership development, organizational change, asset mapping, and collective impact (see IMLS Community Catalyst and Community Salute Initiatives).


• Developing, implementing, assessing, and scaling programs, services, tools, and partnership models focused on enhancing opportunities and well-being in communities. Topics may include, but are not limited to, workforce and economic development; financial, health, or legal services; and increasing equity and access.


• Investigating widespread community challenges and opportunities that are informed by current library and archival practice, and feature mutually beneficial relationships between researchers and practitioners. Findings should be communicated in ways that could lead to demonstrable improvements in library services, sustained community engagement, and increased reach to new and existing library and archives users and underserved audiences.

National Digital Infrastructures and Initiatives:


We are interested in proposals that will have a broad impact on library and archives professionals’ capacity to provide access to digital content, collections, and services to a wide range of users. Work in this category may include exploring, piloting, enhancing, or scaling training or educational programs related to professionals’ skills and expertise in open source digital library infrastructures, efforts to engage communities with digital library content and collections, and other activities related to shared tools and services. This work may also involve assessing opportunities for and impact of investments in education and training to support digital libraries and archives. Proposals should address substantial opportunities in library and archival practice and ensure that the proposed outcomes exemplify library principles and values.


Applicants are encouraged to reference National Digital Infrastructures and Initiatives: A Report on the 2017 NDP at Three Forum (PDF 139KB) when developing their proposal.


Proposals in this category may focus on expanding professionals’ capacity for:

• Designing, developing, implementing, and maintaining digital tools and services.

• Providing access to digital content and collections at scale for users of all interests and skill levels.

• Assessing barriers to the adoption of tools and services, and increasing the accessibility of content and collections to a wide range of users.

• Integrating shared resources and collaborative networks for public access to and preservation of digital library content and collections.

• Investigating the sustainability, interoperability, and long-term value and impact of digital content and collections to diverse user communities.

• Curating new or complex content types or digital formats.

• Enabling the ethical stewardship of diverse or culturally sensitive digital content and collections.

Enhancing information literacy and digital inclusion efforts through expanded broadband connectivity, data privacy and security, or civic data use.

• Engaging communities in the co-creation, interpretation, and stewardship of digital library content and collections.

The application process for the LB21 program has two phases. In the first phase (Preliminary Proposal phase), all applicants must submit a two-page preliminary proposal by the deadline listed above. Selected applicants will be invited to submit full proposals in the second phase (Invited Full Proposal phase) of the process. Only invited full proposals will be considered for funding.

Invited full proposals will be due March 20, 2019.


NEW! SAMHSA Announces $930 Million Funding Opportunity to Combat the Opioid Crisis


In response to an inquiry from the Office of Workforce Investment, SAMSHA indicates it is planning to make awards by the end of September.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is now accepting applications for $930 million in State Opioid Response Grants. SAMHSA will distribute funds to states and territories in support of their ongoing efforts to provide prevention, treatment and recovery support services to individuals with opioid use disorder.

The State Opioid Response Grants aim to address the opioid crisis by increasing access to evidence-based medication-assisted treatment, reducing unmet treatment need and reducing opioid-related overdose deaths. “This large new grant program reflects President Trump’s deep commitment to fighting the opioid crisis, and will provide extra support for the hardest-hit states,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “It demonstrates the emphasis we place on expanding access to treatment that works, especially medication-assisted treatment with appropriate social supports.”

The grants will be awarded to the states and territories using a formula specified in the funding announcement. Fifteen percent of the total funds will be set aside to provide extra support to states that have been hardest hit by the crisis. States and territories will use the grants to design plans and conduct activities across the spectrum of prevention, treatment, and recovery.

These prevention, treatment, and recovery activities represent a comprehensive response to the opioid crisis and include action at the federal, state and local levels. “The State Opioid Response Grants were designed to meet the specific needs of communities within each state and territory,” explained Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Dr. Elinore F. McCance-Katz. “The grants will expand capacity to provide much needed evidence-based care to people who haven’t yet been reached.”

Under President Trump, in April 2017, HHS unveiled a new five-point Opioid Strategy. The Strategy prioritizes efforts in five areas: 1) Improving access to prevention, treatment and recovery support services, including medication-assisted treatment; 2) Promoting the targeted availability and distribution of overdose-reversing drugs; 3) Strengthening public health data reporting and collection; 4) Supporting cutting-edge research on addiction and pain and 5) Advancing the practice of pain management. Over fiscal years 2017 and 2018, HHS will invest over $4 billion in opioid-specific funding, including funds to state and local governments as well as tribal, public, and nonprofit organizations to support treatment and recovery services, target availability of overdose-reversing drugs, train first responders and more.


Minority Business Development Publishes Solicitation to Promote and Ensure the Inclusion and Use of Minority Enterprises


Proposals Due August 11

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) within the Department of Commerce has announced it will provide Federal assistance to support innovative projects seeking to promote and ensure the inclusion and use of minority enterprises.

A solicitation published on June 11 is designed to encourage new activities, education, outreach, innovative projects or sponsorships that are not addressed through other MBDA programs.

Eligible applicants may be for-profit entities (including but not limited to sole-proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations), non-profit organizations, institutions of higher education, commercial organizations, state and local government entities, quasi-government entities, Indian Tribal governments, Tribal entities, and Native Hawaiian entities.

MBDA has identified $11,650,000 for investment with an award flor of $200,000 and a ceiling of $850,000.  Applications are due by August 11.




Public Meetings, Events and Training

NEW! June 29 Webinar Rural Communities Opioid Response Planning Program: Strategies for Appalachian Applicants

Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) Rural Communities Opioid Response Program is now accepting applications for planning grants to support treatment for and prevention of substance use disorder, including opioid use disorder, in rural counties at the highest risk for substance use disorder, including the 220 counties identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as being at risk for HIV and Hepatitis C infections due to injection drug use. Along with the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH), ARC will host a webinar for potential applicants from the Appalachian Region to learn more about strategies to prepare and present a successful application. The webinar will be held on Friday, June 29 (10:00 a.m.)

Learn more about the grant opportunity and register for the webinar.

Registration is required to join this event.


Reports, Tools and Data

NEW! The National Governors Association (NGA) released a comprehensive report, Aligning State Systems for a Talent-Driven Economy: A Road Map for States.


The road map highlights the current disparities in the U.S. between the high number of jobs requiring advanced technical education and the dwindling population of workers with the skills to fill them. The report also identifies the process for governors to solve this challenge by aligning education and training with the needs of states’ economies.

Today’s fastest-growing industries demand not only new skills but a higher level of overall education. An inability to increase the attainment of postsecondary education will result in unfilled jobs and unrealized economic gains for millions of Americans. In response to this challenge, NGA has worked with states to identify solutions. NGA’s Aligning State Systems for a Talent-Driven Economy: A Roadmap for States, is designed to show the process by which states align education, workforce development, and economic development to meet the modern needs of state economies.

 The road map studies the results of 13 state participants in the NGA’s 2014 “Talent Pipeline Policy Academy.” The pipeline was formed in response to economic projections that 65% of future jobs will require some higher education credential. States are not currently situated to meet this minimum, as only 45.8% of working-age adults holding a certificate, associate, bachelor’s, or advanced degree. This sizeable gap between required skills and future employees presents a major challenge to economic growth prospects.

NEW! NASWA and NAWB Release “A Changing Workforce Development Landscape: The Current State of Data Technology Systems and Preparing for What Lies Ahead”

An advisory from NASWA

Today (June 19)  the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) and National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB), with funding from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, released a report sharing insights into common successes, challenges, and lessons learned from a multi-year workforce data project that compares the various technology implementation and upgrade experiences of state and local workforce systems required by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).


The report, A Changing Workforce Development Landscape: The Current State of Data Technology Systems and Preparing for What Lies Ahead, explores how emerging data-driven information technologies can help align workforce program processes within the parameters of WIOA mandated reforms. The report offers an assessment of the current state of workforce data systems and examines processes currently in place to meet the data innovation challenges of state workforce agencies and local workforce boards as they work to meet policy reforms. Additionally, NASWA and NAWB offer a set of recommendations to help prepare the workforce technology ecosystem for both the immediate and long-term future (summarized from page 17 below).


“The future is today and state workforce agencies have begun to develop new technology systems to adapt for the coming wave of automation and artificial intelligence,” said Scott B. Sanders, Executive Director, NASWA. “NASWA and its members recognize the foundational role that technology, particularly data, will play in helping states navigate the changing world of work, deploy workforce investments most appropriately, and lead the transformations in both policy and technical programming necessary to advance the system and align the shared goals of its users and leaders.”


“The U.S. has seen a massive shift in its business landscape over the last two decades due in large part to the rapid technology boom of the 21st century,” said NAWB CEO Ron Painter. “A growing number of middle-class jobs are becoming automated using artificial intelligence. While old jobs become obsolete, new job demands are forming, which is why the role of local workforce development boards is more important than ever. Workforce development boards are the last mile in job creation, and we are excited to help American workers learn the skills they need to thrive in the new world of work that we live in.”

NASWA and NAWB will utilize these findings to build upon existing efforts of the workforce system to identify and promote newfound practices in data, information technology, and performance management. The findings of this report should serve as a foundational base of evidence that can serve to align the coordinated effort among a diverse set of stakeholders interested in advancing technological innovations within the workforce system. The report and other supplemental materials can be accessed at

NEW! EDA and ARC Announce Investments in Four Communities


The following grants-in-aid announcements were made today (June 21) by the Economic Development Administration and the Appalachian Regional Commission.

  • $500,000 grant to the Technology Entrepreneur Center, Inc., (T-REX) of St. Louis, Missouri, to develop a Locational Intelligence Resource Center (LIRC) that will support existing and start-up Advanced Information and Intelligence Technology companies. According to grantee estimates, the project is expected to create 475 jobs.


The St. Louis Advanced Information and Intelligence Technology sector is a large business cluster with unique strengths in locational intelligence. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership (STLEDP). EDA funds STLEDP to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment, and create jobs.


  • $875,048 grant to Dixie State University (DSU) of St. George, Utah, to purchase equipment and support networking activities for the launch of DSU’s Innovation Plaza. According to grantee estimates, the project is expected to create 260 jobs.


Innovation Plaza will boast a 10,000 square-foot laboratory for biotechnology, medical, and environmental training research. It will also house a 6,000 square-foot entrepreneurial makerspace to create a hub for skills training, with a focus on expanding biotechnology innovation in the region. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Five County Association of Governments. EDA funds the Five County Association of Governments to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment, and create jobs.


  • $738,425 grant to the city of Fremont, Michigan, to make roadway improvements needed to support current businesses and encourage additional economic growth. According to grantee estimates, the project is expected to create or retain more than 100 jobs and generate $4.4 million in private investment.
  • $1.2 million in grants ($720,135/EDA, $462,544/ARC) to the city of Chickamauga, Georgia, to make critical water improvements needed to protect the local business community from fire and other threats. The improved infrastructure will serve a major flooring manufacturing company and will encourage business expansions and recruitment to the region. According to grantee estimates, the project will help protect 1,000 jobs and $100 million in private investment.

NEW! New Report: Renewing the Water Workforce – Improving Water Infrastructure and Creating a Pipeline to Opportunity

Reference : Water Sector Competency Model at


Building off previous workforce research, the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program has released a first-of-its-kind analysis of jobs involved in the construction, operation, and maintenance of the country’s water infrastructure. Nearly 1.7 million workers fill jobs in utilities, construction firms, and numerous other employers across the water sector, while facing lower educational barriers to entry and earning more competitive pay.


The report, “Renewing the water workforce: Improving water infrastructure and creating a pipeline to opportunity,” emphasizes the vast scope of the U.S. water workforce, which employs workers across 212 different occupations.


The release notes, in part:


At a time when many Americans are struggling to access stable economic footing and many of the country’s infrastructure assets are at the end of their useful life, infrastructure jobs offer considerable promise in tackling the widening inequalities that persist in the U.S. economy. The water sector is emblematic of this opportunity, especially given the strategic location of many water utilities as anchor institutions in the country’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods.


Notably, the report finds that jobs in the water sector pay well–not only on average, but also up to 50 percent more to workers at the lower end of the income scale. Many of these positions do not demand as much formal education either; 53 percent of water workers have a high school diploma or less, compared to 32.5 percent of all workers nationally. Finally, like other workers in the skilled trades, water workers boast high levels of on-the-job training and develop transferable skill sets, offering long-term career pathways in an age when technologies and other labor market shifts are upending other economic sectors.


The research shows there is a clear opportunity for these infrastructure jobs to draw from a younger, more diverse workforce. Thousands of water workers, including water treatment operators, are almost four years older than the national median age (42.2 years old) across all occupations; women make up only 14.9 percent of the water workforce, compared to 46.8 percent of all workers nationally; and black and Asian workers only represent 11.5 percent of the water workforce, compared to 18 percent of all workers nationally.


In addition to measuring the sizable economic impact of infrastructure jobs, the report also offers a new policy playbook that local, state, and national leaders should use in future water workforce development efforts. This playbook calls for several actions:


  1. Utilities and other water employers need to empower staff, adjust existing procedures, and pilot new efforts in support of the water workforce.
  2. A broad range of employers and community partners need to hold consistent dialogues, pool resources, and develop platforms focused on water workers.
  3. National and state leaders need to provide clearer technical guidance, more robust programmatic support, and targeted investments in water workforce development.


“The timing of this research could not be more important,” said Adie Tomer, fellow at the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program and co-author. “With Congress considering new workforce strategies and metropolitan areas of all sizes debating new hiring and recruitment practices, the country can get more people in good paying jobs that help protect our health and environment for generations to come.”


Read the report:

NEW! Census Bureau Releases New Population Estimates; Midwest Home to Most of the Counties with Decreases in Median Age


June 21 — Approximately half (51.4 percent) of the nation’s 531 counties that were getting younger between April 2010 and July 2017 were in the Midwest, according to newly released 2017 population estimates. Out of the counties that were getting younger, the South also had a high proportion (32.4 percent) of the counties that experienced a decrease in median age — the age where half of the population is younger and the other half is older— followed by the West (14.1 percent), and the Northeast (2.1 percent).

“Nationally, almost 17 percent of counties saw a decrease in median age from April 2010 to July 2017. The majority of the counties getting younger were in the Midwest, and of these counties with 10,000 people or more in July 2017, some of the largest decreases were in North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska,” said Molly Cromwell, a demographer at the U.S. Census Bureau. “Williams County, N.D., had the largest decrease in median age, declining by 7.1 years.”

Despite the decrease in median age in many of the Midwest’s counties, a majority of counties in the country continued to grow older. The nation as a whole experienced a median age increase from 37.2 years to 38.0 years during the period 2010 to 2017. This continued aging of the country is consistent with the projected changes to the nation’s population through 2060.

“Baby boomers, and millennials alike, are responsible for this trend in increased aging,” Cromwell said. “Boomers continue to age and are slowly outnumbering children as the birth rate has declined steadily over the last decade.”
Last year, Florida had the largest percentage of seniors (age 65 and older) with 20.1 percent, followed by Maine (19.9 percent) and West Virginia (19.4 percent). Maine also saw its median age increase to 44.7 from 42.7 years old in 2010, making it the state with the highest median age.
On the other hand, Utah had the smallest percentage of its population age 65 and older (10.8 percent), followed by Alaska (11.2 percent) and the District of Columbia (12.1 percent). Utah is also the state with the lowest median age (30.9 years).

View graphics on change in median age from 2010 to 2017 at the county level and the median age in 2017 to see how the nation has changed.

At the same time that the U.S. population becomes older, it also is becoming more diverse by race and ethnicity. Nationally, the population of all race and ethnic groups, except for the non-Hispanic white alone group, grew between July 1, 2016, and July 1, 2017. View our graphic on the age and race distribution from 2010 to 2017 to see how the nation has grown more diverse. References below to the race and ethnic compositions of county populations apply only to those counties with a total population of 10,000 or more.

  • The Hispanic population increased 2.1 percent to 58.9 million.
  • The black or African-American population increased 1.2 percent to 47.4 million.
  • The Asian population increased 3.1 percent to 22.2 million.
  • The American Indian or Alaska Native population increased 1.3 percent to 6.8 million.
  • The Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander population increased 2.1 percent to 1.6 million.
  • The population of those Two or More Races increased 2.9 percent to 8.7 million.
  • The white alone-or-in-combination population increased 0.5 percent to 257.4 million.
  • The non-Hispanic white alone population decreased .02 percent to 197.8 million.

NEW! Monitoring and Evaluation of the POWER Initiative: Appalachian Regional Commission Seeks Proposals from Qualified Researchers and Evaluators


The Appalachian Regional Commission invites proposals from qualified researchers and consultants to monitor and evaluate the impacts to date of the Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative.


POWER is a congressionally funded initiative that targets federal resources to help communities that have been affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of America’s energy production.


Proposals are due June 28, 2018.   Request for proposals


NEW! Department of Transportation Announces $7.7 Million for First Round of Regional University Transportation Center Grants


As part of the University Transportation Centers (UTC) program, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has recently announced it has  selected the University of Maine, Rutgers University, and Pennsylvania State University for regional grants authorized under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act for fiscal years 2016-2020.  All three UTCs will receive their first-year funding now.

In all, thirteen UTCs applied to the re-competition for the three regions. The centers focus on improving and extending the life of the transportation infrastructure. UTCs advance U.S. technology and expertise in the many modes and disciplines comprising transportation, and address vital workforce needs for the next generation of transportation leaders.

Increasing Private Investment in Low Income Areas with Opportunity Zones

The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the IRS have announced the final round of Opportunity Zones, with designations in Florida, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Utah. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created Opportunity Zones to spur investment in distressed communities throughout the country. New investments in Opportunity Zones can receive preferential tax treatment. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, States, D.C., and U.S. possessions nominate low-income communities to be designated as Qualified Opportunity Zones, which are eligible for the tax benefit.  Opportunity Zones have now been designated in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five territories. Nearly 35 million Americans live in the communities designated as Opportunity Zones. According to data from the 2011-2015 American Community Survey, the designated census tracts had an average poverty rate of over 32 percent, compared with a rate of 17 percent for the average census tract. Furthermore, the median family income of the designated tracts was on average 37 percent below the area or state median, and those census tracts had an unemployment rate 1.6 times higher than the average census tract. Treasury and the IRS recently released Opportunity Zones Frequently Asked Questions  to provide additional information on this new tax incentive.  View designated Opportunity Zones.


Disaster Recovery Resources & Info

Primary site for Disaster Recovery Assistance:

Funding Assistance for Recovery Efforts:

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

HUD Awards Nearly $20 Million to Support Homeless Programs in Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today (June 4) awarded nearly $20 million to support to dozens of local homeless housing and service programs in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Continuum of Care grants announced today provide critically needed housing and support services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness across the territories, including those impacted by Hurricanes Maria and Irma.

News Release / Listing of Grants

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:



Funding will target long-term housing, infrastructure and economic development recovery

WASHINGTON – U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson today approved a disaster recovery plan to help Texans recover from Hurricane Harvey. In November, HUD Deputy Secretary Pamela Hughes Patenaude announced the allocation of more than $5 billion to the Lone Star State to support long-term recovery efforts.

The Texas plan 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).

“The Trump Administration is committed to helping Texans impacted by Harvey to rebuild their homes and their lives,” said Secretary Carson. “As the State now turns to the long-term recovery of its communities, Texans can be sure that HUD will be there to help in any way we can to make the state whole again.”

To address remaining needs in hard-hit areas of the state, the Texas recovery plan includes:

  • Single-Family Homeowner Assistance Program ($1.1 billion): Provides assistance to help homeowners with rehabilitation and reconstruction after Hurricane Harvey.
  • Buyouts and Acquisitions ($275 million): To allow certain eligible homeowners to sell their damaged home to a local government.
  • Affordable Rental ($250 million): Provides funding for rehabilitation, reconstruction and new construction of affordable multi-family rent properties.
  • Homeowner Reimbursement ($100 million): Homeowners may be reimbursed up to $50,000 for certain out-of-pocket expenses incurred for home repairs, including reconstruction, rehabilitation or mitigation.
  • Partial Repair and Essential Power for Sheltering ($73 million): Provides immediate, temporary repairs to homes that sustained less than $17,000 in FEMA-verified loss. CDBG-DR will be used as matching funds to FEMA expenditures.
  • Local Infrastructure ($413 million): Supports infrastructure repairs and enhancements for local communities as part of a comprehensive long-term recovery program along with FEMA funding.
  • Economic Revitalization ($100 million): Offers interim assistance up to $250,000 to small businesses in exchange for job creation or retention.
  • Local, Regional and State Planning ($137 million): The State will fund planning studies on disaster mitigation in the impacted areas to promote sound long-term recovery.
  • Allocations to City of Houston and Harris County ($2.3 billion): The State of Texas will provide approximately $1.1 billion each to the City of Houston and Harris County, allowing these jurisdictions to address their unmet recovery needs. Plans for use of these funds will be submitted by the city and county to the State for approval.
  • State Administration ($251 million): Funding set aside for the State’s program costs, including contract administration, compliance monitoring, the provision of technical assistance to applicants and subrecipients, etc.

In April, HUD also allocated an additional $4.726 billion of CDBG-DR funding to Texas for unmet need and mitigation purposes. HUD will shortly issue requirements governing those funds, and Texas, along with other states, will be required to submit plans addressing the use of those funds. Read more about the additional disaster recovery/mitigation funding to Texas.


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