Smart Growth America is a national nonprofit that brings smart growth practices to communities across the country. We first told you about them in our post about their Transit-Oriented Development Technical Assistance opportunities. They are currently offering workshops for economic capacity building in their Small-Scale Manufacturing and Place-Based Economic Development Technical Assistance program.Read More
In fairy tales, a journey into the wilderness often represents a rite of passage. Our favorite character enters and metamorphosis occurs. The Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program wants to help forests be catalysts for transformation in the real world as well. It enables communities to buy woodlands that are threatened with development in order to protect their traditional uses and create new opportunities for environmental education, economic development and ecological stewardship. In saving the forests, rural communities especially can reawaken with the very characteristics that defined them in the first place.Read More
The season to eat, drink and be merry is just around the corner. Unfortunately, there are still too many people scrimping, sacrificing and doing without. According to the USDA, an estimated 12.7% of all U.S. households (15.8 million people) experienced food insecurity in 2015. Simply put, that means they did not know if they could prevent those under their roof from going hungry at some point during the year. The good news is things are improving. Food insecurity was down 14% from 2014. Yet, there is still more to be done. Which is why we are bringing you two different federal programs, The Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program and Local Foods Local Places, that both encourage communities to explore healthy self-sufficient food systems as a path to broader economic revitalization.Read More
Every day Erica drives past the impressive new high-tech park on her way to work. A job there could net her several times what she makes now at her part-time fast food job, with better benefits and advancement opportunities. With her current skill set, however, she simply can not hope to qualify for such an opportunity. Today there are one million openings in health care, business, and education. Yet, many Americans lack the skills and training to even be considered. Some industries have resorted to bringing in guest workers from other countries on H-1B temporary work visas to meet their staffing needs. A new federal program aims to change this, by equipping U.S. workers with the exact qualifications their local industries need to stay competitive in the global market.Read More
There is a long list of American ideas and inventions that have changed the world, from the telephone to the television. The Economic Development Agency (EDA) is dedicated to making sure the U.S remains a matrix for cutting-edge enterprise. The EDA is the only agency in the federal government whose exclusive focus is economic development, particularly for distressed areas. Part of the Department of Commerce, it promotes innovation and regional collaboration to enhance the health of local economies. Not all funded projects have to be as revolutionary as the light bulb, the point is to support viable new companies that create jobs. The EDA’s Regional Innovation Strategies Program (RIS) is accepting applications for two separate competitions for capacity building:Read More
Several years ago, when I was asked to write my first Economic Development Administration (EDA) Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance grant for a client, my first step was to learn as much as I could about those who would read and evaluate the application. I searched the EDA website, where I found a treasure trove of statistics, studies, demographics, economic indicators, and other information that helped make me a mini-expert on the subject.
As cities strive to recover from the nation’s most recent recession, projects that create new jobs, retain existing ones, and attract new businesses are in high demand. Economic development is the buzz term of the day and communities are constantly seeking grants and other funding sources that will support their employment goals. However, one area is often overlooked in the discussion—parks. Yes, parks!
Several years ago, when I started in my new position as intergovernmental relations manager for the City of Raleigh, my boss handed me a HUD Economic Development Initiative (EDI) grant for a streetscape project and told me to manage it. Having zero experience with grants management, I was tasked with working with the construction manager, who was the project lead on rebuilding the streetscape. Each quarter, the project manager of the streetscape effort was late with the details that I needed in order to complete the programmatic report. I submitted those reports to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and I worked with the finance contact to ensure that the financial reports were submitted in a timely fashion.