Weekly summary of selected federal resources and info – August 7, 2017 edition

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.

Click here to view all weekly federal announcement posts.


Funding & Resource Announcements


USDA Announces Prize Competition to Develop and Implement the Innovations in Food and Agricultural Science and Technology (I-FAST Program)

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within the Department of Agriculture has today (August 3) announced the I-FAST prize competition to develop and implement the Innovations in Food and Agricultural Science and Technology (I-FAST) Program. USDA NIFA will partner with the National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovation Corps (I-Corps) to provide entrepreneurship training to USDA NIFA grantees under this I-FAST pilot program.

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

Full background / eligibility / prize description / rules / submission process / contacts


DOL ETA Announces Availability of Funding for Dislocated Worker Opportunity Grants

The Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration has issued Training and Employment Guidance Letter 01-17.  This TEGL announces the availability of up to $35 million, for Dislocated Worker Opportunity Grants (DW Opportunity Grants) for Program Year 2016, with awards based on an applicant’s share of the Civilian Labor Force and unemployment. These grants will enable eligible applicants to serve dislocated workers with career services and training to help them identify and be more competitive for opportunities in growing or high-demand occupations and industries. Goals of these DW Opportunity Grants are to:

  • Expand opportunities for Dislocated Workers to upgrade skills that lead to employment or industry-recognized credentials in growing or high-demand industries and occupations; and
  • Address the skill gaps in a state or local area that have been identified by employers in growing or high-demand industries.

Department of Energy Announced Investment in Projects to Unlock Private-Sector Resources for Energy Investment

August 1 — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced $7.8 million in support of eleven projects to unlock private-sector resources for energy innovation. The projects, part of DOE’s Innovative Pathways program, are designed to address the systemic barriers currently preventing the private sector from more fully supporting energy innovation and bringing new energy technologies to market. The projects will develop and test new ways to integrate emerging technologies into the energy industry and new models to unlock private capital in support of American energy innovation.

Through Innovative Pathways, DOE will bolster U.S. economic growth and competitiveness by creating a more efficient pathway to market for American energy technologies. The eleven new projects will enable an increased reliance on the private sector for applied research, development, and commercialization, as outlined in the Administration’s budget request.

Department of Education Extends Native American Career and Technical Education Program Grantees

For the 24-month projects originally funded in fiscal year (FY) 2013 and extended for an additional 24-months in FY 2015 under the Native American Career and Technical Education Program (NACTEP), the Secretary of Education today has published a waver in its regulations that generally prohibit project extensions involving the obligation of additional Federal funds. The Department extends the project period for the current 30 NACTEP grantees for an additional 12 months under the existing program authority. This waiver and extension will allow the 30 current NACTEP grantees to seek FY 2017 continuation awards for the project period through FY 2018. Please see the August 1 FEDERAL REGISTER notice for full background.


Public Meetings, Events and Training


USPTO Hosts Aug 9 Twitter Chat on Trademarks: Avoiding Common Mistakes

Wednesday, August 9 | 2:00 p.m. ET | 11:00 a.m. PT

The United States Patent and Trademark Office is hosting a Twitter chat event to answer your questions about trademarks and trademark registration. @SBAgov is participating in the event and you can too. Join the conversation using #USPTOChat.

USDA Seeks Stakeholder Input on Education and Workforce Programs- August 15th  Virtual Listening Session Includes Women and Minorities in STEM Fields

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture within the Department of Agriculture has announced a virtual listening session on August 15 to gather stakeholder input regarding programs and initiatives with education and workforce preparation objectives:

  • Capacity building grants for Non-Land-Grant Colleges of Agriculture (NLGCA)
  • The Secondary Education, Two-Year Postsecondary Education and Agriculture in the K-12 Classroom Challenge Grants Program (SPECA)
  • The Women and Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Fields Program (WAMS)
  • The Higher Education Challenge Grants Program (HEC)

The listening session begins at 1:30 p.m. on https://zoom.us/j/735656274. The audio conference call capabilities can be accessed at 1-888-844-9904, participant code 7923533#.


SBA and SCORE hosts Free Webinar on Scaling Up Service Based Small Businesses –  Aug 16:

Add More Revenue Streams to Your Service-Based Business
Wednesday, August 16 | 1:00 p.m. ET | 10:00 a.m. PT  >Register Here

Trading “hours for dollars” is an easy way for small business owners to make money, but not the smartest way to leverage your time. In this webinar produced by SCORE, a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration, attorney John Corcoran will teach you how to “scale up,” including:

  • How to add $50-100K in new revenue streams with your existing clients and network
  • How to get off the “time for dollar” roller coaster
  • 10 income streams you can implement in your business today
  • How you can get paid in advance to create your first one-to-many group program or offering (so you can build a more scalable business you love)

>Register Here


NTIA to Hold September 19 Technical Assistance Workshop in West Virginia

National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), through the BroadbandUSA program, will hold a Technical Assistance Workshop to share information and help communities build their broadband capacity and utilization. The workshop will present in-depth sessions on planning and funding broadband infrastructure projects. The session on planning will explore effective business and partnership models. The session on funding will explore available funding options and models, including federal funding.

The Technical Assistance Workshop will be held on Tuesday, September 19, 2017, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time, in Charleston, West Virginia at the Law Firm of Jackson Kelly PLLC, 500 Lee Street East, Suite 1600, Rooms A and B, Charleston, WV 25301. More ..


ITA Announces Upcoming Trade Missions to Austria, Brazil, Caribbean Region, and India

The United States Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration (ITA) is announcing four upcoming trade missions that will be recruited, organized and implemented by ITA. These missions are:·

  • 10th Annual U.S. Industry Program at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference Trade Mission to Vienna, Austria–September 18-19, 2017
  • Smart Grid and Energy Storage Business Development Trade Mission to India–March 5-9, 2018
  • Horizontal Trade Mission to the Caribbean in Conjunction with Trade Americas–Business Opportunities in the Caribbean Region Conference–May 6-11, 2018
  • Oil and Gas Trade Mission to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil–September 19-21, 2018

The fee for each additional representative (large company, trade association, university/research institution, or SME) is $900.

The August 1 FEDERAL REGISTER provides complete background on each mission.Application information and more detailed mission information, including the commercial setting and sector information, can be found at the trade mission Web site: http://export.gov/trademissions.


More Upcoming Economic Development Conferences


Reports, Tools and Data


Information to Help Determine Best Practices, Benchmarking, and Industry Trends –  Solicitations for Dataset Sought by August 16

August 3 advisory from SSTI: SSTI encourages organizations dedicated to serving entrepreneurs to participate in the creation of a new primary data set on the impacts resulting from your efforts. The deadline for participation is August 16.

The International Business Innovation Association (InBIA), with funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, is currently conducting the IMPACT Index Survey to measure the impact of entrepreneurial support organizations in their communities and industry sectors. The dataset helps organizations and policymakers determine best practices, benchmarking, and industry trends. The survey is open to all relevant organizations, such as incubators, accelerator programs, economic development centers, maker spaces, tech transfer offices, venture development organizations, and more.

Participants will receive a personalized report based on their organization’s comparative metrics by the end of Q3 this year.

To begin the IMPACT Index Survey, or for more information, please visit impactindex.inbia.org, or contact the InBIA research team via email at [email protected]. Responses are requested by Wednesday, August 16, to ensure timely delivery of personalized reports.


Federal Reserve and USDA Publish “Harvesting Opportunity: The Power of Regional Food System Investments to Transform Communities”

Harvesting Opportunity: The Power of Regional Food System Investments to Transform Communities, published as a partnership between the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s agencies of Rural Development and the Agricultural Marketing Service focuses on regional food systems as a means for enhancing economic opportunity.

Harvesting Opportunity explores recent findings, highlights models for collaboration between policymakers, practitioners and the financial community, and discusses research, policy and resource gaps that, if addressed, might contribute to the success of regional food systems strategies. The publication includes a foreword by Lael Brainard, Governor, Federal Reserve Board of Governors, and James Bullard, President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

The publication can be viewed separately by article or downloaded in its entirety.


GAO Releases Report on the Internet of Things

In a recent report issued July 26, titled: Internet of Things: Communities Deploy Projects by Combining Federal Support with Other Funds and Expertise (GAO-17-570), GAO reviewed documents and interviewed officials from 11 federal agencies identified as having a key role in supporting IoT in communities, including agencies that support research or community IoT efforts or that have direct authority over IoT issues. Communities are increasingly deploying IoT devices generally with a goal of improving livability, management, service delivery, or competitiveness. GAO was asked to examine federal support for IoT and the use of IoT in communities. This report describes: (1) the kinds of efforts that selected federal agencies have undertaken to support IoT in communities and (2) how selected communities are using federal funds to deploy IoT projects.

Click the links below to access GAO’s reports and/or abstract:

Brookings Releases New Toolkit for Building Community College – Employer Relationships

Amid persistent concerns about the well-documented skills gap, community colleges have the potential to provide low-cost, high-quality education and training to students. Robust relationships between colleges and local industry partners are critical to building strong workforce development programs for students. In this context, this toolkit offers practical advice on how community college leaders can take a deliberate approach to communication with potential partners in their community, including local businesses and industry leaders. You may also download a PDF of the full set of recommendations, which contains additional information as well as suggestions for further reading

Also of Interest


Manufacturing Institute Announces Opening of the 2018 STEP Ahead Awards  to Highlight Success of Women in the Industry

The STEP Ahead initiative is designed to showcase the impact of women in manufacturing to help attract and retain the talent manufacturers need to succeed. This national honor identifies the best of the best women in manufacturing, and further encourages women to mentor and support the next generation of female talent to pursue manufacturing careers.  The Manufacturing Institute has opened the nomination process today.

The nominations for the 2018 STEP Ahead Awards open today and will close Sept. 29, 2017.

Additional background / nomination webpage

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