Friday, March 29, 2013

FW: Publications, Tools, Learning and Funding

From our colleagues at USDA-RD; lots of opportunities for housing and self-employment.


Also, I will be providing similar, webinar based training on Entrepreneurial Communities as the Penn State opportunity below. Here’s the details on my webinar series:


April 11, 2013

Entrepreneurial Communities, Part 1: What are they?


April 25, 2013

Building Entrepreneurial Communities, Part 2: How do you build it?


May 13, 2013

Youth Entrepreneurship: Building a Pipeline


June 6, 2013

Entrepreneurial Communities Series: Program Evaluation


(As an alum of Penn State, I am in no way trying to compete with them! J Pick the topics/dates from either series which best fit the needs of your community.) No registration is necessary; to participate, go to on the day of the event and click on the webinar title for the day.


From: Agans, Suzette - RD, Washington, DC []
Sent: Thursday, March 28, 2013 3:45 PM
Subject: Publications, Tools, Learning and Funding




Farms involved in rural development related activities vary by type of activity - While rural development efforts generally focus on the nonfarm economy in the United States, over the last 10 years, several USDA Rural Development programs have put increased emphasis on funding farm-related business activities associated with renewable energy, local/regional food industries, and the use of farm and ranch natural resources. Using data from the 2007 Agricultural Resource Management Survey, the characteristics of farms involved in organic farming, value-added agriculture, direct marketing, agritourism, and energy/electricity production are compared in this chart. Household wealth and income are important indicators of financial capacity, or the ability to make financial investments in farm activities. Average farm household net worth was highest for agritourism farms ($2.0 million) and lowest for direct marketing farms ($631,000). Total household income exhibited a different pattern and was highest for energy/electricity farms ($165,000 annually) and value-added farms ($90,000 annually), on average. The income generated by these rural development-related activities is considered part of farm income (which was highest, on average, for energy/electricity and organic farms, and negative for agritourism farms). A chart from the ERS report is available at Farm Activities Associated With Rural Development Initiatives, ERR-134, May 2012.


1 in 3 Counties Now Dying, with Rural and Exurban Areas Hit Hard; Immigrants Help Avert Losses - Mar 15, 2013 -- Washington Post, (DC) article reports that a record number of U.S. counties — more than 1 in 3 — are now dying off, hit by an aging population and weakened local economies that are spurring young adults to seek jobs and build families elsewhere. Nearly 46 percent of all rural (nonmetropolitan) counties had more deaths than births from July 1, 2011 to July 1, 2012.


Deaths and Births in Rural Counties - Uses a map and chart to show that 46% of rural counties had more deaths than births from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012.
Organization: Center for Rural Strategies.  Date: 03 / 2013


Returning Home from Iraq and Afghanistan: Assessment of Readjustment Needs of Veterans, Service Members, and Their Families
Presents the IOM’s comprehensive assessment of the physical, psychological, social, and economic effects of deployment on service members, veterans, their families, and their communities. Chapter 9 focuses on access and barriers to care, particularly in rural areas. Organization: Institute of Medicine. Date: 03 / 2013


The Department of Labor has announced the launch of the Business Center, a suite of online resources for employers looking to recruit, train and retain a skilled work force through

the department's CareerOneStop Web site. The site includes tips about how to recruit qualified candidates through local American Job

Centers and provides employment projections. Additionally, the site offers access to local  training and educational institutions, a catalog of occupational certifications and a tool to

help employers translate the military training and skills of returning service members  into specific civilian occupations. The CareerOneStop Business Center is available

online at


The States Leading the U.S. Manufacturing Resurgence -

Manufacturing is the backbone of America. It’s in our blood. Americans know how to build — it’s how we forged a nation, won two world wars, put men on the moon, and shaped the “new economy.” American workers are among the most productive in the world. With new advances in technology, lean manufacturing techniques, and best practices, American manufacturing is becoming cost-competitive with offshore locations, resulting in more companies bringing their operations back to the United States (or near-shoring to Mexico). According to the Institute of Supply Management (ISM), American manufacturing continues to improve. The ISM recently reported that manufacturing activity expanded in January 2013 for the second consecutive month and that the overall national economy grew for the 44th consecutive month. The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) registered 53.1 percent, an increase of 2.9 percent from December’s value of 50.2 percent. All five PMI component indices registered above 50 percent in January — including employment, one of the most critical indicators.


Viva Dona Ana (NM) Takes its Show on the Road! - To make it as easy as possible for residents in Dona Ana County, NM, to weigh in on the county’s plan for the future, Viva Dona Ana launched a series of mobile workshops in places residents typically go.   Over two days the project team met with 250 residents in 10 locations – including grocery stores, restaurants, and flea markets! 





Self Employment Assistance Center

The Self-Employment Assistance Program (SEA) is designed to encourage and support unemployed workers in creating their own jobs by starting their own small businesses. (YE) is a large time-series establishment data set designed to be a practical tool for researchers, business and community leaders, and economic-growth professionals. It provides, detailed - yet quick and easy-to-access - information about businesses, agencies and organizations, and jobs at the national, state, MSA, and county levels. The site also gives policymakers and journalists the benefit of being able to look at regional economies and their business and industry activities in a new way.

Food Access Research Atlas - Provides access to downloadable county-level data and an interactive map presenting information on food access indicators for low-income and other subpopulations. Organization: USDA Economic Research Service


EPA Seeking Applicants for the National Smart Growth Achievement Award

EPA is seeking applicants for the 2013 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement. Through this award, EPA will recognize communities with outstanding projects in four categories:  (1) Built Projects; (2) Corridor and Neighborhood Revitalization; (3) Plazas, Parks, and Public Places; and (4) Policies, Programs, and Plans.  The 2013 application is due by April 12, 2013. 





WEBINAR: How to Recruit Young Adults, free webinar on April 23, 2013 at 12 pm -  

As rural communities age, leaders across the country are asking the same question--how can we attract young adults to our community? The Center has been working with communities to answer this question, and we have an upcoming opportunity for you to learn more.  Haley Hawthoorn and Jordyn Lechtenberg, two outstanding college students, are working with Craig Schroeder at the Center to help rural leaders more effectively recruit young adults. They will be conducting a free webinar on April 23, 2013 at 12 pm CST to share practical tips for involving young people in creating the future of rural communities. To register, click here.


Webinar: Riding the Rapids: Publicly Backed Accelerators in a Fast Flowing Market, Apr 04 • 2:00 Eastern

When does an accelerator make good policy sense? How is the field, largely dominated by private accelerators with an array of different and competing goals, changing for publicly backed accelerators? What does success look like for the public investment? Where is the model going in the future?

Jim Jen, Director of AlphaLab in Pittsburgh, PA and Allan Tear, Director of Betaspring in Providence, RI with RIAN Director Mark Skinner will hold an informal conversation on these questions.

Registration is free.  Click here to register


Webinar: Creating Entrepreneurial Communities is a three-part webinar series designed to provide economic and community development professionals, local leaders, business and industry representatives, small businesses, entrepreneurs, institutions and organizations with the background information, tools, considerations and best practices needed to create effective entrepreneurial communities. Participation in the series is FREE, but registration is required! Please register for any or all of the webinars of your choosing. Sponsored by Penn State Extension and Penn State’s Community and Economic Development (CEDEV) Graduate Program.

  • Session 1 - Introduction to Entrepreneurship, March 28, 2013 (12:00 - 1:00 p.m.)- What do we mean by an entrepreneurial community, what are the characteristics of an entrepreneurial community, what have learned about what makes them successful?
  • Session 2 - Creating an Entrepreneurial Community, April 25, 2013 (12:00 - 1:00 p.m.)- How does entrepreneurial development fit into broader community and economic development efforts, examples of success and approaches from around the country, how do you assess community readiness, how do you begin developing a strategy?
  • Session 3 - Making It Happen, May 23, 2013 (12:00 - 1:00 p.m.)- Who needs to be at the table, what engages them, how do you create a culture of entrepreneurship, what makes these efforts successful and sustainable in the long run, and how do you communicate about, evaluate and fund your efforts?



USDA ANNOUNCES THE AVAILABILITY OF GRANTS TO IMPROVE HEALTH CARE SERVICES IN THE DELTA REGION  - Washington, DC, Mar 26, 2013 --  Agriculture Undersecretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager today announced that USDA is accepting applications for funding to establish health care cooperatives and other health care projects to address needs in the Delta region. The United States Department of Agriculture remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. Today’s announcement is one part of the Department’s efforts to strengthen the rural economy.

“Today I am announcing the availability of $3 million that will be competitively awarded under the Delta Health Care Services Grant Program,” Tonsager said. “This funding can help improve the health of rural residents who live in the Delta region by helping to provide enhanced healthcare to patients or care for those residents that currently lack access to quality services.”

The grants, which were authorized under the 2008 Farm Bill, are intended to help communities with up to 50,000 inhabitants to address unmet health needs. Eligible applicants include consortiums or groups of regional institutions of higher education, health and research institutes, and economic development entities located in the Delta Region, which comprises 252 counties and parishes of the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.

The minimum grant award is $50,000. Funds may be used to develop health care cooperatives, services, educational programs and job training programs. For more information about how to apply for these grants, please see page 18308 of the March 26, 2013 edition of the Federal Register or by clicking here Applications are due May 28, 2013.


Housing Counseling Training Program - Application deadline: Apr 19, 2013
Funds for training activities designed to improve the quality of counseling provided by housing counselors.


Self Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) - Application deadline: Apr 24, 2013
Funding to be used to facilitate and encourage innovative homeownership opportunities.


Tribal Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalitions Program - Application deadline: Apr 25, 2013
Grants are available for the development and operation of tribal domestic violence and sexual assault coalitions in Indian country.


Resident Opportunity and Self-Sufficiency Service Coordinators Program - Application deadline: Apr 30, 2013
Grants for the salary and fringe benefits to hire a Service Coordinator to assist in the delivery and coordination of supportive services and other activities designed to help improve the living conditions of public and Indian housing residents who are elderly and/or disabled.


Small Rural School Achievement Program - Application deadline: May 31, 2013
Grants awarded to eligible local educational agencies (LEAs) to address the unique needs of small, rural school districts.


Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) - Application deadline: Jun 11, 2013
Grants to build capacity, conduct outreach, establish new fair housing enforcement organizations, and/or provide fair lending enforcement in underserved areas.


Planning Program and Local Technical Assistance Program - Application deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.
Provides grants to assist in the creation of regional economic development plans, designed to increase the economic development efforts of a community or region.


Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program - Application deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis. Offers loan forgiveness to individuals working in public service jobs.


National Storytelling Network Seeks Applications for Brimstone Award for Applied Storytelling - Grants of $5,000 will be awarded in support of storytelling projects that are service-oriented, based in a community or local organization, and replicable in other places and situations.... Deadline: April 30, 2013


Johnson & Johnson Community Health Care Program Invites Applications From Evidence-Based Childhood Obesity Programs - Approximately eight grants of $200,000 will be awarded to community-based education programs that improve the knowledge and healthy lifestyle choices of children between the ages of 8 and 12.... Deadline: May 15, 2013


Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Seeks Proposals that Apply Behavioral Economics Principles to Healthcare Problems - Grants of up to $200,000 will be awarded for two-year projects that test innovative solutions to the challenge of reducing the use of low-value services in health care.... Deadline: April 17, 2013 (Proposal brief)


MVAT Foundation Invites Applications From Military and Veteran Support Organizations - Grants are awarded to military and veterans organizations that support or provide services designed to promote and enrich the lives of active and retired military and their families.... Deadline: May 31, 2013 and October 31, 2013


RedRover Seeks Applications From Emergency Shelter Organizations to Help Victims of Domestic Abuse and Their Pets -As many as eight grants of up to $3,000 will be awarded to emergency shelter organizations to support the creation of space to house the pets of victims of domestic violence.... Deadline: May 15, 2013 and October 30, 2013


NOAA Sea Grant Climate Adaptation Funding - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is funding Sea Grant programs with the goal of enhancing climate adaptation efforts in coastal communities. Communities should contact their regional Sea Grant Program for potential partnerships for such funding.  Applications are due April 19. See funding synopsis for more information.


Make it in America Federal Funding Opportunity - The Obama Administration announced this week a new funding opportunity to encourage businesses to bring production and jobs back to the U.S. Up to 15 awards will be made to accelerate job creation by encouraging re-shoring of productive activity by U.S. firms, encouraging U.S. companies to keep or expand job opportunities at home, and train local workers to meet business needs. Click here for more information on the Make it in American Challenge; applications are due by May 31, 2013.



Suzette M. Agans
Rural Development | Community and Economic Development
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., S.W. Stop 3254 | Washington, D.C. 20250
Phone: 202.401.1922 | Fax 202.401.7311

"Committed to the future of rural communities"
"Estamos dedicados al futuro de las comunidades rurales"


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