Selected Federal Agency Announcements and Related for the Week of October 22, 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

Investment Incentives for Distressed Areas

NEW Treasury Department Releases Proposed Regulations on Opportunity Zones

The Treasury Department has issued proposed guidance related to the new Opportunity Zone tax incentive.  The tax benefit, created by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, is designed to spur economic development and job creation by encouraging long-term investments in economically distressed communities nationwide.

The proposed regulations released today clarify what gains qualify for deferral, which taxpayers and investments are eligible, the parameters for Opportunity Funds, and other guidance. The proposed regulations should provide investors and fund sponsors the information they need to confidently enter into new business arrangements in designated Opportunity Zones.  The Treasury Department plans on issuing additional guidance before the end of the year.

Treasury has certified 8,761 communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories, and nearly 35 million Americans live in areas designated as Opportunity Zones. These communities present both the need for investment and significant investment opportunities. Based on data from the 2011-2015 American Community Survey, the designated regions had an average poverty rate of over 32 percent, compared with the 17 percent national average. Additionally, the median family income of the designated tracts were on average 37 percent below the area or state median, and had an unemployment rate of nearly 1.6 times higher than the national average.

 

View the guidance.

See also, EIG Opportunity Zone Map: https://eig.org/news/opportunity-zones-map-comes-focus

Infrastructure

USDA FY19 Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) – Small Grant Applications Due Oct 31

USDA’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service is soliciting applications for financial assistance under Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). REAP offers funding assistance through grants and guaranteed loans to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements to their operations. Visit USDA’s website for more information: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-energy-america-program-renewable-energy-systems-energy-efficiency

Dpt of Energy Announces $46M Avail for Solar Energy Systems. Letter of Intent Due Nov 14

DE-FOA-0001987.  U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Solar Energy Technologies Office announced up to $46 million in research funding to advance holistic solutions that provide grid operators the situational awareness and mitigation strategies against cyber and physical threats. The Advanced Systems Integration for Solar Technologies (ASSIST): Situational Awareness and Resilient Solutions for Critical Infrastructure funding opportunity will strengthen the integration of solar on the electricity grid, especially at critical infrastructure sites, improve the resilience of the nation’s electricity grid, and streamline technology transfer challenges.

Approximately, 10 projects, varying from $2 to $10 million in size, will be funded over 3 years. These projects will develop and validate control strategies, real-time system monitoring, robust communications and other technologies to make solar power at the bulk power and distribution levels more resilient. Prior to submitting a full application for this opportunity, a mandatory letter of intent is due on November 14, 2018 at 5PM ET.

Key Dates

Letter of Intent Due Date: November 14, 2018 5:00pm ET
Submission Deadline for Full Applications: December 7, 2018 5:00pm ET

Download the full funding opportunity on the EERE Exchange website

 

USDA Announces Funding Opportunity under the Technical Assistance and Training Program – Water and Waste Water Systems. Apply by Dec 31.

The Department of Agriculture’s Technical Assistance and Training (TAT) Grant Program has been established to communities with water or wastewater systems through free technical assistance and/or training provided by the grant recipients. Under a grant solicitation announced on October 1, qualified private non-profit organizations are eligible to apply TAT grant funds to identify and evaluate solutions to water and waste disposal problems in rural areas, assist applicants in preparing applications for water and waste grants made at the State level offices, and improve operation and maintenance of existing water and waste disposal facilities in rural areas.Applications are due by December 31.

 

For details, see: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=309338

 

FHWA Announces Funding Opportunity under the Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects Program. First Round of Applications Due Dec 17.

The Federal Highway Administration (FWHA) requests grant applications for the Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects (NSFLTP) Program. The FHWA will award NSFLTP Program funds based on outlined selection criteria and policy considerations in the announcement, which include projects that:

·         Improve the condition of critical transportation facilities, including multimodal facilities, by considering the requirements the applicant communicates in the application. Examples may include but are not limited to: A bridge in poor condition that may be subject to closure in the absence of funds; primary transportation facility that provides access to critical community services, high use recreation destination areas and/or economic generators within Tribal and/or Federal lands. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and evaluated quarterly, until available funding has been exhausted. The first application deadline is December 17, 2018. After that, subsequent deadlines will be 11:59 p.m. on the last business day of the next fiscal quarter.

 

Applications must be submitted through Grants.gov at: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-10-05/pdf/2018-21826.pdf

Entrepreneurship and Government Contracting

Startup In Residence Program Now Accepting Applications – Apply by Nov 7

Government is the last major sector that has been relatively untapped by startups. The Startup in Residence program helps innovative organizations secure government contracts.

The 16 week, mostly remote program connects startups with government partners such as Portland, Miami, San Francisco, and Las Vegas to develop solutions for civic challenges.

 

Entrepreneurs can apply to solve one of 80+ challenges across areas such as data analytics, AR, geo services, mobility, and resiliency. Browse challenges on StartupinResidence.org.

Apply by November 7. For more information, visit: https://startupinresidence.org/program/

Innovation Partnerships

NEW NSF Seeks Grant Proposals for Partnerships in Innovation Program. Due Jan 17, 2019.

The Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) Program within the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP) offers researchers from all disciplines of science and engineering funded by NSF the opportunity to perform translational research and technology development, catalyze partnerships and accelerate the transition of discoveries from the laboratory to the marketplace for societal benefit. PFI has five broad goals:

  • identifying and supporting NSF-sponsored research and technologies that have the potential for accelerated commercialization;
  • supporting prior or current NSF-sponsored investigators, institutions of higher education, and non-profit organizations that partner with an institution of higher education in undertaking proof-of-concept work, including the development of technology prototypes that are derived from NSF-sponsored research and have potential market value;
  • promoting sustainable partnerships between NSF-funded institutions, industry, and other organizations within academia and the private sector with the purpose of accelerating the transfer of technology;
  • developing multi-disciplinary innovation ecosystems which involve and are responsive to the specific needs of academia and industry;
  • providing professional development, mentoring, and advice in entrepreneurship, project management, and technology and business development to innovators.

In addition, the PFI program is designed to support prototype or proof-of-concept development work by participants, including I-Corps participants, with innovations that because of the early stage of development are not eligible to participate in a Small Business Innovation Research Program or a Small Business Technology Transfer Program, and to enhance partnerships between academia and industry in the United States, and expanding the participation of women and individuals from underrepresented groups in innovation, technology translation, and entrepreneurship.

Current Closing Date for Applications:  Jan 17, 2019

Estimated Total Program Funding:  $20,000,000

Award Ceiling: $550,000

WEBINARS: Webinars will be held to answer questions about the solicitation. Registration will be available at https://www.nsf.gov/PFI. Potential proposers and their partners are encouraged to attend.

See grants.gov for application information: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=309683

 

Workforce

NEW HHS HRSA Announces Grants Avail for Nursing Workforce. Apply by Jan 8, 2019

 

Advanced Nursing Education Workforce (ANEW) Program. The ANEW program supports academic clinical partnerships to educate and graduate primary care Nurse Practitioners (NP), clinical nurse specialists (CNS) and nurse midwives (NM) who are academically and clinically prepared for the unique challenges of transitioning from nursing school to practice in rural and underserved communities, thereby increasing access to needed primary medical care for these populations.

Closing Date for Applications:                    Jan 08, 2019

Estimated Total Program Funding:            $37,250,000

Award Ceiling:                                                 $700,000

See Grants.gov for application details: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=309694

 

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 FY 2018 Economic Development Assistance Programs: Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance programs DOC-EDA 07/02/2018
693JJ319NF-NSFLTP Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects (NSFLTP) DOT-FHWA 10/04/2018  
IGSM-FY19 Inspire! Grants for Small Museums IMLS 08/16/2018 11/01/2018
AAHC-FY19 Museum Grants for African American History & Culture IMLS 08/16/2018 11/01/2018
2018-09 Agricultural Trade Promotion Program USDA-FAS-OTP 08/31/2018 11/02/2018
RDBCP-DHCS-2018 Delta Health Care Service Grant Program USDA-RBCS 09/07/2018 11/19/2018
DE-FOA-0001987 Advanced Systems Integration for Solar Technologies DOE-GFO 10/15/2018 12/07/2018
18-598 Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs NSF 09/20/2018 12/18/2018
HRSA-19-003 Advanced Nursing Education Workforce (ANEW) HHS-HRSA 10/19/2018 01/08/2019
19-506 Partnerships for Innovation NSF 10/19/2018 01/17/2019
DHS-18-MT-047-000-99 Fy 2018 Pre-Disaster Mitigation DHS-DHS 08/03/2018 01/31/2019
DHS-18-MT-029-000-99 FY 2018 Flood Mitigation Assistance DHS-DHS 08/03/2018 01/31/2019
19-501 Accelerating Research through International Network-to-Network Collaborations NSF 10/06/2018 02/28/2019

 

Recently Announced Awards:

 

EDA University Center Economic Development Program – 2018 Recipients in 13 States

The grantees under the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) 2018 University Center Economic Development Program Competition. EDA is providing a total of $2.5 million in grants to 20 colleges and universities in 13 states to run programs that will leverage their assets to promote American innovation and strengthen regional economies.

EDA holds University Center program competitions in two of its six regional offices on a rotating basis. In FY 2017, EDA held the competition in its Atlanta and Seattle Regional Offices. The 2018 competition was open to higher education institutions and consortia of accredited institutions in states supported by EDA’s Austin and Denver regional offices.

Project descriptions for the 2018 EDA University Center competition grantees, as well as a map showing the location of all 62 current EDA University Centers is available on EDA’s website at: https://www.eda.gov/programs/university-centers/

 

DRA Announces Grants- for Infrastructure, Economic Development and Workforce Development

The Delta Regional Authority has announced a number of new grants-in-aid to various communities in the DRA geography (AR, IL, LA, MO, TN) in recent days. The complete releases can be found on the DRA website newsroom at https://dra.gov/newsroom/main/.

 

The investments are targeted for a number of economic development and infrastructure purposes including “new business,” “business expansion,” “new manufacturing businesses, “health care services,” “water infrastructure/system improvements,” etc.  Cities receiving these grants are noted in the inset box.

 

Public Meetings, Events and Training

Oct 29 Presentation: Aspen Institute Unveils New Tool to Measure Good Jobs

On October 29, the Economic Opportunities Program’s Good Companies/Good Jobs Initiative, in partnership with Working Metrics, will unveil a new tool that assesses businesses’ job quality performance for frontline workers and benchmarks them against others. This tool is part of a unique nonprofit-for profit collaboration with Working Metrics to get this tool into the hands of investors and businesses’ procurement systems to help them include firms’ treatment of workers in their decision making – thereby creating strong incentives for business change.

The Working in America event will include a presentation on this innovative new tool and discussion with businesses who contributed to it and used it to improve their practices. Link to register for event: https://www.aspeninstitute.org/events/the-aspen-institute-launches-new-tool-to-create-business-incentives-by-measuring-good-jobs/

 

Also Upcoming:

 

 

 

  • SSTI’s 2018 Annual Conference (Dec. 3-5, 2018, Salt Lake City, UT) Explore the full conference agenda and register here

Reports, Tools and Data

NEW BLS Introduces Local Data App – Get Local Labor Market Info On the Go

The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics has released a new mobile app for iPhones that is now available for free in the App Store! Search “BLS Local Data.”

 

The BLS Local Data app is ideal for customers who want to know more about local labor markets, such as jobseekers and economic and workforce development professionals. You can search using your current location, a zip code, or a location name to find relevant data quickly without having to navigate through the huge BLS database. With one click, you can find data for states, metro areas, or counties.

 

Using the BLS API, the app quickly presents local data and national comparisons for unemployment rates, employment, and wages.  In the coming months, look for more features and data; future releases that will include industry and occupation drilldowns and comparisons between local areas.

 

NEW EPA’s Clean Energy Finance/Green Banking Primer

Curious about green banks and how they can help you leverage public funding to attract private capital for state and local clean energy projects? EPA’s new primer provides a basic explanation of green banks, the benefits they offer, how to decide if a green bank is right for your community, and insights on what it takes to establish and run a green bank.

 

We also offer brief profiles of existing green banks, describe other green banking opportunities, and point to key resources to help you learn more.

 

This primer is intended for state, local, and nonprofit sector staff with non-financial backgrounds interested in learning about innovative strategies to fund clean energy projects and programs.

 

Download Clean Energy Finance: Green Banking Strategies for Local Governments

 

Did you miss EPA’s October 1 webinar on Green Banking? The recorded presentation is now available online.

NADO Innovation Awards Highlight 90 Projects in 23 States

From NADO:  The recipients of this year’s Aliceann Wohlbruck Innovation Awards are featured in a new Story Map, designed in partnership with Esri.  These projects have made significant impacts on their regions and demonstrate the diversity of services and program delivery provided by regional development organizations across the country.  The 2018 class of awardees consists of 90 projects spanning 24 states.

 

A map is available on NADO’s site, showing geographic locations of the winners. Click here to access the Story Map and learn the stories behind these powerful projects. Contact Brett Schwartz at bschwartz@nado.org with any questions.

 

NEW SBA Releases State Rankings by Small Business Economic Indicators

 

The Small Business Administration has released new indicators at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/advocacy/State-Small-Business-RankingsTop-10-2018.pdf?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

along with a new infographic (https://s3.amazonaws.com/advocacy-prod.sba.fun/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/04164007/Whats-New-With-Small-Business-2018-.pdf?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

 

Resources to Support Appalachia’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

The Appalachian Regional Commission has released Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Appalachia, a suite of new research reports and resources to support entrepreneurial development in Appalachia. The research includes three reports which outline core elements necessary for a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem, analyze community case studies to provide insight into the unique challenges faced by communities in Appalachia, and offer recommendations to support future economic development across the Region.  The companion website, www.arc.gov/ecosystems, features a searchable inventory of over 1,000 technical support providers and community based resources available to Appalachian entrepreneurs. This research was conducted in partnership with EntreWorks Consulting, the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness, and the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship.

 

Department of Labor Announces Launch of Apprenticeship.gov to feature Apprenticeship Finder Tool and Other Resources

The U.S. Department of Labor announced the launch of a new digital platform, Apprenticeship.gov. Site contains the Apprenticeship Finder, a no-cost tool to employers or career seekers, is addressing a need shared by employers who are looking to promote their apprenticeship opportunities and career seekers searching to access them. Visit https://www.apprenticeship.gov/why-apprenticeship#step1 to learn more.

Disaster Recovery Resources & Info

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

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

 

Assistance for Recovery Efforts:

 

NEW DOL ETA’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification Issues Guidance on Hurricanes Florence and Hurricane Michael

The Employment and Training Administration’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification has published guidance regarding reasonable case-accommodations in light of the damage done by Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael.

  1. Will the Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) allow for extensions of response deadlines or other reasonable accommodations addressed below in light of the damage done by Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael?

 

Yes. We recognize that Hurricanes Florence and Michael generated significant damage to businesses in South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, and any other state for which a major disaster declaration is subsequently made. OFLC has established internal procedures that recognize, as a result of the storms, employers and/or their representative(s) may not be able to timely respond to a request for information or documentation, such as an audit, etc. Accordingly, OFLC will extend the time to respond for employers affected by the storms. Extensions will be granted for issues that arise from storm-related conditions, including delays caused as a result of the storms, as well as those delays that may have occurred as a result of storm preparations in the week before the storms.

Please see response with full details: https://www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/pdf/Guidance_for_Hurricanes_Florence_and_Michael.pdf

Department of Interior Requests Proposals for Technical Assistance Insular Areas; Includes Disaster Assistance. Apply by March 1, 2019

The Office of Insular Affairs within the Department of Interior is requesting proposals for its Technical Assistance Program (TAP) which provides grant funding for short-term projects intended to meet the immediate needs of the insular areas. Funding priorities include, but are not limited to, projects that foster the development of the insular areas in the following categories:

Accountability, financial management, economic development, education, energy production, management control initiatives, disaster assistance, natural and cultural resources, capacity building, public safety/emergencies, health initiatives, and invasive species management.

Applications will be accepted via Grants.Gov until March 1, 2019. Applications received later than March 1st may not receive consideration. See: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=309406

 

Sign Up for USDA Assistance for Agricultural Producers Affected by 2017 Hurricanes and Wildfires by Nov 16

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

 

EDA Has Supplemental Funding Available for Areas Impacted by 2017 Hurricanes, Wildfires and Other Disasters

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.  Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis. See the following links for details:

 

Deadlines Approaching: FEMA Disaster Mitigation Assistance Grants; Apply by Jan 31, 2019

 

DHS FEMA FY 2018 Pre-Disaster Mitigation $235 million

Applications Due: January 31, 2019

Eligible Entities: State governments, U.S. territories, and federally recognized Indian tribal governments

 

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

FEMA will provide allocations of $575,000 as required by the Stafford Act to states and territories; and a tribal set aside of $15 million for allocations up to $575,000 for Native American Indian tribal governments to support overall mitigation planning and projects. The remaining PDM funds will be awarded on a competitive basis with a focus on multi-state/tribal mitigation initiatives. For more information, visit the funding opportunity description.

 

DHS FEMA FY 2018 Flood Mitigation Assistance $160 million

Applications Due: January 31, 2019

Eligible Entities: State governments, U.S. territories, and federally recognized Indian tribal governments

 

The Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) Program makes available Federal funds to State, Local and Tribal Governments to reduce or eliminate the risk of repetitive flood damage to buildings and structures insured under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). In FY18, the FMA Program will prioritize proposals that address community flood risk by setting aside $70 million for this purpose. FEMA will seek to fund two types of community flood mitigation activities: Advance Assistance for flood mitigation design and development of community flood mitigation projects and mitigation projects that address community flood risk for the purpose of reducing NFIP flood claim payments. The remaining funding will be used for FMA technical assistance, mitigation planning, and mitigation projects reducing risk to severe repetitive loss (SRL) and repetitive loss (RL) properties.

For more information, visit the funding opportunity description.

Florida Launches Rebuild Florida

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) launched Rebuild Florida, a long-term recovery effort, which will provide $616 million to help Florida families whose homes were significantly damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Irma repair or rebuild their homes. Rebuild Florida is a program run by DEO in partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). For those whose homes were destroyed or are still damaged, please go online to RebuildFlorida.gov or visit a Rebuild Florida center opening near you to register for assistance. Begin registration at RebuildFlorida.gov or by calling the Rebuild Florida representatives at 844-833-1010. Rebuild Florida centers will also be opening in the hardest hit counties. Eligible Florida residents have until Dec. 23 to register for the Rebuild Florida Housing Repair and Replacement Program.

Economic Recovery Support

Also of Interest:

 

Hurricane Florence:  Employment, Wages, and Establishment Counts in Flood Zones

USDOL’s Bureau of Labor Statistics has maps and tables are available for areas in all of the states that may be affected by Hurricane Florence (https://www.bls.gov/cew/hurricane_zones/2018/florence/home.htm). The Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program has created a set of maps and data for hurricane flood zones on the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts. Where permitted by State regulations, maps include dots indicating the location of business and government establishments. This product is the combination of geocoded BLS establishment data and flood zones created by the U.S. Corps of Engineers and State emergency management authorities. For more information, see the flood zone FAQ page.

HUD Announces Expedited Process for Review of Requests from Presidentially-Declared Major Disaster Declarations

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has published a notice (https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-09-12/pdf/2018-19708.pdf) announcing an expedited process for review of requests for relief from HUD regulatory and/or administrative requirements for public housing agencies (PHAs) that are located in counties that are included in Major Disaster Declarations (MDDs). PHAs located in areas covered by MDDs issued for which a related disaster occurs during 2018 may request waivers of HUD requirements and receive expedited review of such requests utilizing the flexibilities and expedited waiver process set out in the notice.