Friday, November 22, 2013

FW: Publications, Learning, and Funding

From our friends at USDA-RD plus an OK specific learning opportunity from the Oklahoma Conservation Commission on “green” community planning.




USDA Releases Annual Rural America at a Glance Report

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service recently released the Rural America at a Glance, 2013 report, which highlights the most recent indicators of social and economic conditions in rural areas throughout the country. The study found job growth in nonmetro counties has stalled, poverty has spread, and the rural population shrank for the first time since the federal government started tracking this statistic. Click here to view the full report.


Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's    

Economists Willem Van Zandweghe and John Carter Braxton highlight one reason the current economic recovery has been slower than expected, despite record-low interest rates: the boost from low rates to consumer purchases of durable goods has diminished compared with past recoveries. The authors assess how much this change may have reduced GDP growth.

To read the Macro Bulletin article, visit:

To read the Economic Review article, visit:

Recent employment growth in U.S. nonmetro areas remains flat


Employment fell by roughly 5 percent in both rural and urban areas during the Great Recession of 2007-09. In 2010, the first year of the economic recovery, metro and nonmetro employment levels grew at comparable rates. Since the start of 2011, however, net job growth in nonmetro areas has been near zero while employment in metro counties has grown at an annual rate of 1.4 percent. The stagnation in nonmetro job growth overlaps with the first recorded period of nonmetro population loss, between 2010 and 2012, which was driven by a decrease in net migration to rural areas. This lack of population growth, combined with a falling labor force participation rate, has permitted the nonmetro unemployment rate to fall slowly but steadily despite the lack of employment growth. A chart is found in Rural America at a Glance, 2013 Edition, released November 2013.





WEBINAR:  Transportation Limitations:  Mobility Strategies, and Social Consequences: The Experience of Latino Immigrants, December 4th, 2013,  Wednesday, 11am CST and 12pm EST

Latino immigrants disproportionately face transportation limitations in the United States.  Access to transportation affects where we live, work, and socialize, and impacts our ability to get to job interviews, visit the doctor’s office, and purchase healthy groceries.  Lack of access to transportation—which, in the United States, typically means lack of access to a personal vehicle—serves to block individuals from job locations and educational options, preventing upward economic mobility and therefore perpetuating poverty.  This webinar will focus on understanding the implications of the transportation limitations faced by the Latino immigrant population in the United States, with an emphasis on the new Latino destination of Atlanta, Georgia.


Sarah Hendricks currently teaches at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. She received her PhD in May 2013 from the University of Tennessee in Sociology. Her work extends from her time working as a community organizer in a diverse immigrant-receiving neighborhood in Chicago, and from serving as an AmeriCorps Volunteer in Southwest Virginia for a community development and service learning nonprofit organization. Her work focuses on how spatial distribution of resources impacts social life and on the complexities of the incorporation of Latino immigrants.

Questions and the webinar link regarding the upcoming webinar contact: Pilar Horner


RECORDED WEBINAR:  Rethreading a Textile Heritage: One Stitch at a Time - here's the link to the webinar recording. It was a great webinar featuring Prezi technology! A link to the Prezi presentation will be provided as soon as we can.


WEBINAR: EcoTrust Canada's case study for the Citizen-Led Sustainable Change, December 5, 2013, 1-2 pm ET.  You'll learn more about their innovative economic model "at the intersection of conservation, community economic development, and community service." Click here to register or here to learn more. Share the links with your networks!


DOT Presentation from Formula Grants for Rural Areas Webinar Available

On November 7, the U.S Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) hosted a webinar to discuss changes to the Formula Grants for Rural Areas The federal surface transportation law, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), which was signed into law on July 6, 2012, made changes to this program. The webinar discussed these changes and the proposed rule. Click here to access the webinar presentation.

On September 26, FTA released its guidance and program application instructions for the Formula Grants for Rural Areas, which can be found here. Concurrent to the webinar, FTA is accepting comments on the guidance for this program. The comment period is open until November 25. For program questions or questions concerning the webinar please contact Lorna Wilson with the Office of Transit Programs at FTA by phone at 202–366–0893 or email at


The Oklahoma Conservation Communication, Water Quality Division is hosting a Workshop: Planning and Building Better Communities.

December 9th

8:30 – 4:00, lunch included

Norman, OK

The Workshop will focus on changing municipal ordinances to allow increased green infrastructure.

The registration/agenda brochure can be found at

Attached is a detail of each presentation.





Free Technical Assistance from Smart Growth America Applications Due December 6

Smart Growth America, through a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Sustainable Communities' Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program, is offering free technical assistance to help communities implement smart growth strategies to build stronger economies while protecting human health and the environment. Any unit or subdivision of local, tribal, or regional government is eligible to apply.   Smart Growth America technical assistance is free of charge and offers 12 “ready-to-go” technical assistance tools that facilitate economic growth, encourage government savings, protect clean air and water, and improve local quality of life. This assistance is in the form of one or two-day workshops in the topic areas detailed in the application. The assistance is being competed through this open request for applications. The deadline for applications is December 6 at 5:00 pm EST. Applications may be submitted via Smart Growth America’s website at or emailed (digital copy available here) to Smart Growth America at by this time.


Global Green USA's technical assistance is based on the LEED for Neighborhood Development standard, which provides a nationally recognized method for creating neighborhoods that are walkable, bikeable, resource-efficient, and equitable.   At the conclusion of the assistance, the team provides recommendations for both physical and policy changes that can enhance neighborhood sustainability.   The application can be found on the web at  and is due to Global Green on Friday December 20, 2013 at 6pm PST.


Dayton Foundation Invites LOIs for New Social Innovation Award
The award will support unduplicated, systemic, and highly collaborative projects that enhance the quality of life for older adults or address trends affecting the region's aging population.... Deadline: January 15, 2014 (Letter of Intent)


CEC ArtsLink Announces Grant Opportunities for Artists & Arts Managers for Independent Projects
Grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded in support of independent projects by artists and arts managers from thirty-seven eligible countries working in the performing, design, media, literary, or visual arts.... Deadline: December 3, 2013


Wells Fargo, National Fish & Wildlife Foundation Accepting Applications for Environmental Solutions for Communities Grant Program
Grants of up to $100,000 will be awarded in support of highly visible projects in regions where Wells Fargo operates that link economic development and community well-being to the stewardship and health of the environment.... Deadline: December 16, 2013

The Department of Commerce today announced it will begin accepting applications for the International Buyer Program (IBP) for calendar year 2015 (January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015). The announcement also sets out the objectives, procedures and application review criteria for the IBP. The purpose of the IBP is to bring international buyers together with U.S. firms in industries with high export potential at leading U.S. trade shows. Specifically, through the IBP, the DOC selects domestic trade shows which will receive DOC assistance in the form of global promotion in foreign markets, provision of export counseling to exhibitors, and provision of matchmaking services at the trade show.


International Buyer Program - Applications for the 2015 IBP must be received by Friday, December 20, 2013.

The Department of Commerce today announced it will begin accepting applications for the International Buyer Program (IBP) for calendar year 2015 (January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015). The announcement also sets out the objectives, procedures and application review criteria for the IBP. The purpose of the IBP is to bring international buyers together with U.S. firms in industries with high export potential at leading U.S. trade shows. Specifically, through the IBP, the DOC selects domestic trade shows which will receive DOC assistance in the form of global promotion in foreign markets, provision of export counseling to exhibitors, and provision of matchmaking services at the trade show.

The November 15, 2013 FEDERAL REGISTER notice covers  selection for IBP participation during calendar year 2015.


Youth CareerConnect Grants: Building America's Next Generation Workforce - To apply for funding, please visit

WASHINGTON — To compete in today's global economy, America's students need deep knowledge and skills that will prepare them for college and the jobs of the future. Yet far too many of America's students are not meaningfully engaged or motivated in their academic experience while in high school. Many high school graduates lack exposure to learning that links their work in school to college and careers — especially in the critically important fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Moreover, many of America's international competitors offer students a more rigorous and relevant education in their middle and high school years.


In his 2013 State of the Union address, the President laid out a new vision for America's high schools, proposing funding to scale up innovative high school models and partnerships with colleges and employers so that all students graduate better equipped for the demands of a high-tech economy. Today's global economy requires new approaches to teaching and learning in America's high schools to foster problem solving and analysis, to support creativity and collaboration, and to connect student learning directly to the real world. A 21st century education and workforce system must challenge students to do meaningful work inside and outside of the classroom, encouraging the persistence, engagement and achievement that will put all students on track for college and careers.


Today, as part of achieving the President's goal of redesigning high schools to ensure students are prepared to succeed in post-secondary education and in a competitive workforce, the U.S. Department of Labor is collaborating with the U.S. Department of Education to make $100 million available for Youth CareerConnect grants to provide high school students with the industry-relevant education and skills they need for a successful future.


The Youth CareerConnect grant program is designed to encourage America's school districts, institutions of higher education, the workforce investment system and their partners to scale-up evidence-based high school models that will transform the high school experience for America's youth. Youth CareerConnect schools will strengthen America's talent pipeline through:


Integrated Academic and Career-Focused Learning: Grants will provide students with education and training that combines rigorous academic and career-focused curriculum to increase students' employability in in-demand industries and prepare them for employment, post-secondary education, long-term occupational skills training or registered apprenticeships.

Work-Based Learning and Exposure to the World of Work: Strong partnerships will provide work-based learning opportunities. In addition to actual work experience, youth participants will also participate in field trips, job-shadowing or other types of opportunities that provide students with exposure to different career paths and prepare them for the world of work.

Robust Employer Engagement: Employer partners will provide work-based learning and mentoring, creating a path for students to in-demand industries and occupations including those in information technologies, advanced manufacturing and other science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. Employers will also work closely with schools on professional development and training for staff to drive the sustainability of the program over the long term.

Individualized Career and Academic Counseling: As an integral part of the program design, students will be provided with individualized career and academic counseling experiences to strengthen their career and post-secondary awareness and explore opportunities beyond high school.

Integration of Post-secondary Education and Training: Students will participate in education and training, while they are still in high school, that leads to credit toward a post-secondary degree or certificate and an industry recognized credential, where appropriate.


The Department of Labor will use up to $100 million in revenues from the H-1B visa program to fund approximately 25 to 40 grants for individual or multisite projects. Grants will be awarded to local education agencies, public or nonprofit local workforce entities, or nonprofits with education reform experience. All grantees will have to demonstrate a strong public/private partnership, and must include, at a minimum, a local education agency, a local workforce investment system entity, an employer and an institution of higher education. Applicants are encouraged to reach out to employers, foundations and others in building their applications and leveraging the federal investment. At a minimum, applicants will also be required to provide a match of 25 percent of the grant award. Awards are anticipated to be made in early 2014 for program implementation to align with the 2014-15 school year.




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