Selected federal resources and info – September 4, 2017 edition

Listed below is this week’s summary of selected federal grant announcements, info and related news to support economic development in your manufacturing communities. In this issue, we have forwarded some newly updated resources created by EDA and our federal partners to provide disaster assistance support for Hurricane Harvey impacted areas.  In addition,  NSF announced funds available for research to support future disaster assistance/recovery efforts.

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

Click here to view all weekly federal announcement posts.



Funding & Resource Announcements


New Announcements re: Funding Available:


NSF Accepting Proposals Related to Hurricane Harvey. FY17 Requests Due Sept 13.

Through its recent Dear Colleague Letter (NSF 17-128), NSF announced that it will accept submission of proposals that seek to address the challenges related to Hurricane Harvey. NSF also will support fundamental science and engineering research projects whose results may enable our country to better prepare for, respond to, recover from, or mitigate future catastrophic events. Research proposals relating to a better fundamental understanding of the impacts of the storm (physical, biological and societal), human aspects of natural disasters (including first responders and the general public), emergency response methods, and approaches that promise to reduce future damage also are welcome.

Multiple types of proposals may be submitted to conduct new research related to Hurricane Harvey, as follows:

  • Rapid Response Research (RAPID): Proposals focusing on projects with severe urgency with regard to availability of, or access to, data, facilities or specialized equipment, including quick-response research on natural disasters. RAPID proposal project descriptions are expected to be brief and may not exceed five pages, with a maximum request of $200K for up to one year, although many are much smaller. See the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) Chapter II.E.1 for instructions on preparation of a RAPID proposal.
  • Early-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER): Proposals to conduct fundamental research representing exploratory work in its early stages on untested, but potentially transformative, research ideas or approaches. This research may be considered especially “high risk-high payoff” in the sense that it, for example, involves radically different approaches, applies new expertise, or engages novel disciplinary or interdisciplinary perspectives. EAGER proposal project descriptions are expected to be brief, and may not exceed eight pages. Requests may be up to $300K and with a maximum award duration of two years. See PAPPG Chapter II.E.2 for instructions on preparation of an EAGER proposal.
  • Supplemental funding requests to existing awards: Small amounts of supplemental funding and up to six months of additional support may be requested. See PAPPG Chapter VI.E.4 for instructions on preparation of a supplemental funding request.

To submit a RAPID, EAGER or supplemental funding request, investigators must contact the NSF Program Officer most closely related to the proposal topic before submitting. Contacts for each NSF directorate are listed here and can help investigators identify the appropriate Program Officer.

Proposals may be submitted at any time. To be considered for Fiscal Year 2017 funding, proposals must be received by submitter’s local time of 5 p.m. on September 13, 2017.


NEA Extends Art Works Application Deadlines due to Harvey: Now Due Oct 17

National Endowment for the Arts has extended The Research: Art Works application deadline due to Hurricane Harvey. Revised deadlines are: Step 1 – Submit SF-424 to October 17, 2017 by 11:59 p.m., ET; Step 2 – Submit Materials to Applicant Portal from October 20, 2017 at 9:00 a.m., ET to October 27, 2017 at 11:59 p.m., ET.

Visit NEA’s webpage for more information and application details regarding the Art Works research grant programs:


Recently Announced Awards:


EDA Announces FY17 Awards Across the Country

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has announced the grantees under the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) 2017 University Center Economic Development Program Competition. EDA is providing a total of $2.7 million in grants to 22 colleges and universities in 16 states to run programs that will leverage university assets to promote American innovation and strengthen regional economies.

In addition, through its competitive grant process EDA makes investments based on strategic priorities that promote sustainable job growth and durable regional economies throughout the United States. To view more information on recently announced FY17 awards, visit EDA’s newsroom:


DOL’s ETA Provides Final FY17 Funding Allotments to States for WOTC Program

The Employment and Training Administration has issued Training and Employment Guidance Letter 02-17 which provides the State Workforce Agencies (SWAs) with final funding allotments for the administration of the WOTC program through September 30, 2017.

CDFI Fund Announces over $18M in Bank Enterprise Awards for Low-Income Communities

In August 2017, U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) announced more than $18.6 million in awards to 102 FDIC-insured financial institutions serving economically distressed communities across the nation. These funds, awarded under the fiscal year (FY) 2016 round of the Bank Enterprise Award Program (BEA Program), will support community and economic development activities in census tract areas where at least 30 percent of the population lives at or below the national poverty level and where the unemployment rate is at least 1.5 times the national average.

The Bank Enterprise Award Program (BEA Program) rewards FDIC-insured depository institutions for making investments in certified CDFIs as well as in the most distressed communities in the country. In order to receive an award, these banks and thrifts must demonstrate an increase in their investments with at least 30% of their residents having incomes less than the national poverty level and 1.5 times the unemployment rate. The BEA awards help offset some of the risk associated with investing in these distressed communities and provide an incentive to invest. For more information about the BEA Program, please view the Fact Sheet or visit the CDFI Fund’s website at

Find the financial institutions that received the 2016 and prior year BEA awards here:

To learn more about the CDFI Fund and its programs, please view the Fact Sheet or visit the CDFI Fund’s website at



Public Meetings, Events and Training


September 20 Webinar: Using Quarterly Workforce Indicators for Insight into Shifting Demographics of Industries and Regions

September 20, 2017
1:30 PM – 2:30 PM EST
Pricing: FREE

The U.S. Census Bureau and the Local Employment Dynamics (LED) Partnership in collaboration with the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER), welcomes Cameron Macht as he presents, “Using QWI to Quickly Write Interesting Articles.” In this webinar Mr. Macht demonstrates how Quarterly Workforce Indicators (QWI) data are an excellent resource for greater insight into the shifting demographics of industries and regions. Workforce and economic development agencies can use the data to better understand the present and plan for the future. Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economics Development (DEED) Labor Market Information office has written a wide variety of articles using QWI data to explore the aging and changing diversity of the workforce by industry and geography; including new hire trends; generational differences in earnings and turnover; educational attainment; and racial disparities.


Select USA Conference Call on Sept 21: The Role of FDI in High-Tech Industries

Are you interested in learning about high-tech industries in your state and how international firms play a role in the growth of those industries? We encourage and invite you to join SelectUSA for a conference call on September 21, 2017, at 12:00 p.m. ET., where Research Analyst Maureen Book will discuss SelectUSA’s upcoming report: “High-Tech Industries: The Role of FDI in Driving Innovation and Growth (link coming soon).

This conference call will discuss how we identify and define high-tech industries, provide a snapshot of the geography of high-tech industries and highly concentrated high-tech clusters in the United States, and explain how foreign direct investment supports the growth of U.S. high-tech industries through employment, R&D expenditures, contributions to U.S. exports, and value-added activities. To register for this call, please contact Maureen Book.


Video Tutorial – How to Use CDBG for Public Facilities and Improvements

Do you wonder what activities qualify as public facilities and improvements, and how they can improve quality of life in your community? Are you interested in exploring what’s involved in planning and implementing infrastructure investments? Do you want to know how to extend the reach of your CDBG funds?  Find the answers to these questions in the latest CDBG video tutorial, How to Use CDBG for Public Facilities and Improvements, now available on HUD Exchange. View it now, or bookmark it to watch later.

In this six-module video you will learn how to integrate infrastructure activities into your overall community development strategy and why that’s important from both federal and local perspectives. You will also learn ways to leverage other CDBG activities and non-CDBG resources to install and improve infrastructure systems.

To learn more about the CDBG program, check out the full collection of Explore CDBG technical assistance products and project profiles. Also, be sure to visit the CDBG Project Profiles Website to learn about how your peers in other communities are using the CDBG program to invest in their communities in innovative ways.


Upcoming Economic Development Conferences



Reports, Tools and Data

ARC Releases FY 2018 County Economic Status Data and Maps

The Appalachian Regional Commission’s annual county economic status analysis designates Appalachian counties as economically distressed, at-risk, transitional, competitive, or attainment, based on their ranking in an index-based economic classification system. Resources available include county-level data on key indicators and an interactive map feature.  The FY 2018 became recently available. Grant applicants can use these tables and maps when completing ARC project forms.

The Commission designates as “distressed areas,” those census tracts in at-risk and transitional counties that have a median family income no greater than 67 percent of the U.S. average and a poverty rate 150 percent of the U.S. average or greater. Designations are revised annually using the latest five-year estimates from the American Community Survey.


Apprenticeship Partnership Models in Action

Partnerships are an integral component of successful and strategically sustainable apprenticeship programs. Today’s ApprenticeshipUSA programs frequently feature mutually beneficial collaboration among many partners, including business, labor, education, workforce, and other community organizations. These partnerships are catalysts for ApprenticeshipUSA innovation, growth, and achievement.

DOL’s report on Apprenticeship Partnership Models in Action illustrates three distinct models of partners performing leadership roles in successful apprenticeship programs at Harper College, IL, Washington Technology Industry Association, WA, and Valley to Virginia Initiative in VA.  Follow this Link for a copy of the full report.

Webinar Available on Using Census Tools for “Understanding Your District’s Economy and Workforce Using Statistics Data”

Dr. Marty Romitti of the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness presented a webinar — Understanding Your District’s Economy and Workforce Using Federal Statistics Data — to U.S. Congressional staffers on August 15, 2017.  The American Statistical Association and the Association of Public Data Users partnered with the Congressional Management Foundation to sponsor this webinar. The webinar covered data and web tools available from the Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and Bureau of Economic Analysis that help participants learn to find key economic information about their states, districts, and cities.

The presentation was posted this week to


Also of Interest – Disaster Assistance

Disaster Recovery and Resilience Resources on EDA’s Website

Large Scale Disasters such as Hurricane Harvey require an all hands approach, with many federal agencies playing significant roles in response and recovery. For the latest information about Harvey, log onto FEMA’s Hurricane Harvey website. You can also download the FEMA Mobile App.

EDA’s role in disaster recovery is to facilitate delivery of Federal economic development assistance to local governments for long-term community economic recovery planning, reconstruction, redevelopment and resiliency. EDA’s Economic Recovery Support Function, and the roles of other federal agencies are set forth in The National Disaster Recovery Framework (PDF),which is a guide that enables effective recovery support to disaster-impacted States, Tribes, Territorial and local jurisdictions.

EDA will continue to update our webpage at to include more information about federal disaster assistance including post-disaster economic recovery resources, fact sheets, data tools and planning guides that can support your community’s recovery and rebuilding process.

In addition, information about several different types of disaster recovery assistance is available at, including:

  • How to Apply for Disaster Assistance
  • Help Survivors of a Natural Disaster
  • How to Replace Lost or Destroyed Vital Documents
  • Health and Safety
  • Travel and Transportation
  • Citizenship and Immigration
  • Money and Taxes


More Hurricane Harvey Resources

SBA Shares the Top 5 Steps to Hurricane Harvey Recovery:

  • Register for federal assistance with FEMA online at, or call FEMA at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).  This gets you quickly connected with a  variety of recovery resources available from our federal partners, which includes housing assistance, grants and SBA disaster loans.
  • Check out SBA’s Hurricane Harvey page, where you can get information about how to apply for low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private nonprofit organizations.
  • The SBA is offering loan deferments on existing loans to businesses and individuals in the counties affected by Hurricane Harvey. Read this policy notice for more details.
  • Beware of scams!  If someone tells you they’ll help with your SBA disaster loan application or other forms of federal recovery assistance “for a small fee,” they’re running a scam. Federal assistance programs are available to the public at no cost. Ask for identification. Protect yourself from fraudulent building contractors by asking for appropriate licenses and local references.


HUD Provides Updated Information and Resources on Hurricane Harvey Support


DOL Offers Dislocated Worker and Additional Assistance:

The U.S. Department of Labor is assisting in the recovery efforts in communities affected by Hurricane Harvey. General DOL information and resources available here:

1-866-4-USA-DOL (1-866-487-2365)’s National Contact Center

The Department of Labor support also includes the following workplace safety, income, and job assistance:

  • A total of $30 million in Dislocated Worker Grants have been awarded to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). A grant for $10 million was awarded on Monday, August 28, 2017, and an additional grant for $20 million was awarded on Thursday, August 31, 2017.
  • The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) is assisting Texas in administering Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA).
  • The Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA) is temporarily waiving certain requirements and deadlines related to retirement and health insurance plans for employers, employees and others who may have trouble meeting them due to Hurricane Harvey.
  • EBSA is working with the Internal Revenue Service to make it easier for workers to get loans and distributions from 401(k) and other retirement plans, and is temporarily waiving certain employer requirements and deadlines related to employee benefit plans.
  • The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) is temporarily suspending select federal contractor requirements, allowing businesses involved in hurricane relief the ability to prioritize recovery efforts.
  • The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is sending personnel and equipment to assist FEMA in recovery efforts.
  • The Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) is working with its grantees to identify flexibilities requested or additional funding needs for its programs, including the Texas Veterans Commission, which administers the Jobs for Veterans State Grants program; affected Homeless Veterans Reintegration Programs (HVRP) grantees; and affected military bases where Employment Workshops are taught.
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is helping employers keep their workers safe during cleanup and recovery operations by providing a number of
  • Programmed OSHA enforcement actions will cease in the affected areas to avoid disrupting recovery operations. An OSHA Emergency Response Team (ERT) will provide compliance assistance.
  • OSHA is actively engaged with the National Response Team and the interagency response to the hurricane and flooding. It is working with the FEMA, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, and other federal agencies to coordinate strategies for the recovery.
  • Public Service Announcements in English and Spanish will be broadcast in Texas during recovery efforts.

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