Monday, October 20, 2014

FW: Publications, Learning, Tools, and Funding

From our colleagues at USDA-Rural Development. A couple of things caught my eye: NEA webinar on funding opportunities, Technical Assistance Funding for Rural Waste Systems, and a new mapping tool for assets & wealth measures.


From: Agans, Suzette - RD, Washington, DC []
Sent: Friday, October 17, 2014 2:35 PM
Subject: Publications, Learning, Tools, and Funding




Community Heart & Soul™ Field Guide, available as a free download, spells out step-by-step how to inspire residents to shape the future of their communities, based on what matters most to them.
Whether you are a city planner, elected official, or a resident concerned about your town’s future, I hope you will take a moment to download the Field Guide and start the conversation about strengthening the social, cultural and economic vibrancy of your town. Please join me and Director of Programs Alece Montez-Griego along with Golden, Colorado, City Manager Mike Bestor and Heart of Biddeford Executive Director Delilah Poupore for a free Heart & Soul Matters talk, Community Heart & Soul™: Building a Blueprint for Successful Small Towns, on Wednesday, Nov. 5.

Overcoming Patient Engagement Barriers: Urban And Rural Success Stories
Video highlighting successful patient engagement programs. Features the High Plains Research Network, which serves eastern rural Colorado, and describes how the network tailors its outreach to the community through the insights of the community members involved in the network. The section on the High Plains Research Network begins at 5:35 in the recording. Date: 09 / 2014

Family farms dominate U.S. agriculture - The United Nations has designated 2014 as the “International Year of Family Farming” to highlight the potential family farmers have to help feed the world. But what is a family farm? USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) defines family farms as those whose principal operator, and people related to the principal operator by blood or marriage, own most of the farm business. Under the ERS definition, family farms represent 97.6 percent of all U.S. farms and are responsible for 85 percent of U.S. farm production. Other definitions rely on who supplies the labor. Large farms often rely heavily on hired labor, but farm families who own the farm and provide most of the farm’s labor still account for 87.1 percent of U.S. farms, with 57.6 percent of farm production. Some farms also hire firms to perform some farm tasks. If we account for the labor provided by those firms, family farms that provide most of the labor used on the farm still account for 86.1 percent of farms and nearly half of production. A chart can be found in “Family Farming in the United States” in the March 2014 Amber Waves.


Improving Safety on Rural Local and Tribal Roads – Source: National Association of Development Organizations

County unemployment rates reflect patterns established during the recession - During the 2007-09 recession, unemployment rates rose fastest in the West, South, South Atlantic, and parts of the Midwest. States most reliant on manufacturing—including Michigan, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and North Carolina—were hit especially hard. Many of the States with the smallest increases in unemployment were located in the Great Plains and had relatively high employment shares in agriculture, which was largely unaffected by the recession. Similarly, States in the West South Central region (which includes Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas) saw their unemployment rates held in check by growth in oil and gas drilling. Since 2009, unemployment rates have fallen in all States, with large improvements in a few. In general, States that experienced the largest increases in unemployment rates during the recession have seen the largest reductions in unemployment rates during the recovery. Still, most of the hardest-hit States continue to have above-average unemployment rates. As a result, the current geography of county unemployment rates still reflects the patterns established during the recession. Many of the counties with the lowest unemployment rates (below 4.7 percent) are located in or near the Great Plains. The highest unemployment rate counties (above 8.7 percent) are concentrated in the West, South, and South Atlantic, as well as in Appalachia and parts of the Rust Belt. A chart is found in the October 2014 edition of Amber Waves.


The Shifting Economics of Global Manufacturing: How Cost Competitiveness Is Changing Worldwide
by Harold L. Sirkin, Michael Zinser, and Justin Rose
Four factors are most responsible for the dramatic shifts in manufacturing competitiveness from 2004 to 2014. The factors are now blurring the traditional boundaries between low-cost and high-cost regions.

  • Wages. The range of hourly pay differentials for manufacturing workers remains enormous. But rapidly rising wages have significantly eroded the competitive advantage of a number of major exporters. Although manufacturing wages rose in all 25 countries from 2004 to 2014, nations such as China and Russia have experienced more than a decade of annual increases ranging from 10 to 20 percent. In other economies, wages have only risen by 2 to 3 percent per year.
  • Exchange Rates. Changing currency values can make an economy’s exports either more expensive or cheaper in international markets. Currency shifts from 2004 to 2014 have ranged from a nearly 26 percent devaluation of the Indian rupee against the U.S. dollar to a 35 percent increase in the Chinese yuan.
  • Labor Productivity. Gains in output per manufacturing worker—or productivity—have varied widely around the world from 2004 to 2014 and explain some of the biggest shifts in total manufacturing costs. Manufacturing productivity rose by more than 50 percent in countries such as Mexico, India, and South Korea from 2004 to 2014 but shrank in others, such as in Italy and Japan. Some economies with low wage rates are not particularly competitive in terms of unit labor costs when wages are adjusted for productivity.
  • Energy Costs. Prices for natural gas have fallen by 25 to 35 percent since 2004 in North America because of large-scale production of shale gas resources. In contrast, they have risen by 100 to 200 percent in economies such as Poland, Russia, South Korea, and Thailand. This has had a significant impact on the chemicals industry, which uses natural gas as a feedstock for production. Likewise, the industrial price of electricity has risen sharply in manufacturing economies such as Australia, Brazil, and Spain. As a result, overall energy costs in many countries outside of North America are between 50 to 200 percent higher than they were in 2004. This has caused major changes in competitiveness in energy-dependent industries.

Of course, factors other than wage rates, productivity, exchange rates, and energy costs also weigh heavily on corporate decisions about where to focus supply chains. Logistics costs, the overall ease of doing business, and the presence of corruption—among other issues—can affect the attractiveness of potential locations. In our research, we have found that manufacturing growth in a number of countries that have very attractive direct costs is stunted because of weaknesses in these areas. (See Exhibit 5.) These factors are local in nature—and can vary widely in different locations even within countries. Therefore, we have not modeled them into our cost index. Wise manufacturers, however, must account for these factors when they make decisions.  Full report.




WEBINAR: Arts and Community: Funding Opportunities and Resources from the National Endowment for the Arts, October 20, 2014 (Monday) 1:00 PM – Eastern Time There is no registration and no fee for attending this webinar.

This webinar will explain funding and resources provided by the National Endowment for the Arts to support arts-based community development activities.  Through its programs the Endowment supports American communities in their efforts to engage the arts in making places more livable. It will explain Challenge America Fast Track, Art Works, and Our Town funding guidelines and walk through some new resources that provide technical assistance to communities.

About the Speaker: Jason Schupbach is the Director of Design Programs for the National Endowment for the Arts, where he oversees all design and creative placemaking grantmaking and partnerships, including Our Town and Design Art Works grants, the Mayor’s Institute on City Design, the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design, and the NEA's involvement in the HUD Sandy Recovery Taskforce Rebuild by Design Competition. 


Webinar: Potential Uses of the Business & Industry Program for Cooperative, October 23rd, 2014 1:00 PM through 2:00 PM  Register

Please join USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Services' Brenda Griffin and Bruce Reynolds for a presentation and discussion with NCBA CLUSA on cooperative trends in business and industry.

The recently proposed revisions published in the Federal Reserve will be explained:

  • Loan guarantees for farmer stock purchases are no longer limited to start-up cooperatives.
  • Loan guarantees for preferred stock issued by a cooperative or by a fund that invests primarily in cooperatives.
  • Loan guarantees for financing transfers of business ownership will no longer require a single purchase transaction when the purchased entity is in the process of converting to either an Employee Stock Ownership (ESOP) or to a worker cooperative.
  • Loan guarantees for the purchase of transferable stock between members of a cooperative.


WEBINAR: Free Heart & Soul Matters Talk, Nov. 5 is 4-5 p.m., Eastern, Wednesday, Nov. 5. The first 50 to register receive a free, bound copy of the Community Heart & Soul™ Field Guide

Don't miss Community Heart & Soul™: Building a Blueprint for Successful Small Towns. Find out about Community Heart & Soul and how the method has led to significant, measurable change in small towns and rural communities. You'll hear from Orton Executive Director David Leckey on how Heart & Soul leads to real, positive change, and Alece Montez-Griego, director of programs, with an overview of the method. Plus Mike Bestor, city manager, Golden, Colorado, and Delilah Poupore, executive director of Heart of Biddeford, Biddeford, Maine, on how Heart & Soul matters in their towns, with time for Q&A!  Register now»


GAME: New Community Planning Game Attracts Youth

As promotion for its new community planning game, CommunityPlanIt, Emerson College’s Engagement Game Lab highlights the frustration that can come with trying to get to a midweek town hall meeting where ideas are often at risk of getting lost in the crowd. As an alternative approach and as a way to engage a broader cross-section of community members in the planning process, the Engagement Game Lab presents Community PlanIt as an online game that is fun and also boosts offline engagement.

Already tested in Philadelphia, Detroit, and Salem, Massachusetts, the game is structured around local missions and challenges submitted by government agencies or community organizations. Individuals register to play online in either a stakeholder or observer role and their progress is evaluated by the administrating organization (as an example, in Philadelphia, staff from the mayor’s office held this role), which allocates “coins” for winning steps along the way. Players pledge their “coins” to one of a list of pre-selected nonprofits; the organizations with the most pledges are then able to convert their “coins” into cash. The project is funded nationally by the Knight Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation, along with a range of other local entities.

Just as the Lab promotes Community PlanIt’s “powerful data collection tool” that makes it possible for local planners and decision-makers to “analyze citizen input and truly incorporate it into the planning,” it has also been looking closely at who has been playing in each city, and doing related research. Participation in the last few cities has revealed that the game has had particular success drawing students under the age of 18. Referring to the individuals in this young demographic, Eric Gordon, director of Engagement Game Lab, told Co.Exist “This is their first introduction to anything to do with civic engagement. They provide really meaningful input into these issues.” Building on these findings and as a way to get Community Planit to even more local areas, Engagement Game Lab is now in the process of developing open-source curricula for students and adults.





Community Health Worker National Education Collaborative
Provides information to assist in the development of community health worker (CHW) college programs, including educational resources, curricula, credentialing, and promising delivery strategies.
Organization: Arizona Area Health Education Center Program


National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH)
Provides access to results for this annual survey focused on substance abuse and mental health issues. Includes information on prevalence and services. Rural-specific data is available in detailed tables that list "geographic characteristics." Data is also made available by state and for regions within states. Organization: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration


Assets & Opportunity Initiative Unveils Local Data Center

CFED, in partnership with Citi Community Development, unveiled the Assets & Opportunity Local Data Center. This new tool provides data and information on household financial security at the county and city level, including estimates of household wealth and financial access. The Local Data Center provides localized financial security data on four key measures: asset poverty, liquid asset poverty, unbanked and underbanked rates. Using the Local Data Center’s Mapping Tool, users can drill down to the county or city level to see how residents in their community are faring when it comes to their ability to absorb financial shocks or access safe and affordable financial products and services. For example, we found that the percentage of unbanked households in major U.S. cities (those with populations over 200,000) ranges from a low of 11% in Irvine, CA, to a high of almost 75% in Newark, NJ. With these key insights, policymakers, practitioners and assets advocates can better understand the deep levels of financial insecurity in the communities they serve.

To learn more about Family Assets Count, click here.

To view the Assets & Opportunity State and Local Data click here





National Environmental Education Foundation Requests Applications for Capacity-Building Grants - DEADLINE: October 30, 2014

Grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded to nonprofits working to improve and promote the responsible use of a public land or water site anywhere in the United States....


CHS Foundation Grants - Application deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.
Awards funding for projects and programs related to rural youth leadership, rural cooperative education, community leadership development, and farm and agriculture safety.

NBCCF Military Scholarship - Application deadline: Nov 15, 2014
Offers a scholarship to a master's-level counseling student who has experience with military communities and commits to serving military personnel for at least two years after graduation.

American Turkish Society Announce Spring 2015 Curriculum Development Grants - DEADLINE: November 15, 2014

Grants of up to $2,500 will be awarded to elementary and secondary school teachers in the United States to develop innovative curricula, projects, or other classroom activities about Turkey....


Community Assessment and Education to Promote Behavioral Health Planning and Evaluation Phase II (CAPE 2) - Application deadline: Nov 19, 2014
Awards funding to land grant institutions to develop and implement innovative early warning systems for emerging community behavioral health issues, such as substance use and abuse; relationship abuse; and mental illness or depression. Sponsor: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration


Service Area Competition Funding for Health Center Program (Areas Served with a Project Period Start Date of May 1, 2015) - Application deadline: Nov 19, 2014
Funding to provide comprehensive primary health care services to an underserved area or population. Sponsor: Bureau of Primary Health Care


ACHE Seeks Submissions for Student Essay Competition in Healthcare Management - DEADLINE: December 5, 2014

Prizes of up to $4,000 will be awarded to health administration students for essays that address an issue or issues they will face as future healthcare executives....


Wells Fargo and the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation Accepting Applications for Community Grants - DEADLINE: December 10, 2014

Grants of up to $100,000 will be awarded in support of highly visible projects that link economic development and community well-being to the stewardship and health of the environment....


Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries Accepting School Library Grant Applications - DEADLINE: December 15, 2014

Grants of up to $7,000 will be awarded to help libraries expand, update, and diversify their book collections at schools where 85 percent or more students qualify for free or reduced lunches....


Technical Assistance and Training Grant for Rural Waste Systems - Application deadline: Dec 31, 2014
Grants for organizations that assist communities with water or wastewater operations through technical assistance and/or training. Sponsor: USDA Rural Development


Agricultural Safety Grants - Application deadline: Jan 7, 2015
Awards funding to local- or regional-level agricultural health and safety intervention projects. Sponsor: Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America


Innovations for Healthy Living - Improving Minority Health and Eliminating Health Disparities (R43) - Letter of Intent (Optional): Dec 27, 2014, Application deadline: Jan 27, 2015

Awards funding to small business concerns (SBCs) to develop a product, process, or service for commercialization that would result in the reduction of disparities in healthcare access and health outcomes. Sponsor: National Institutes of Health


Middle School Students Invited to Submit Entries for Christopher Columbus Awards - DEADLINE: February 2, 2015

The program challenges students in grades six to eight to identify a problem in their community and apply the scientific method to create an innovative solution to that problem....


Foundation of the National Student Nurses' Association Accepting Applications for Leadership Grant - DEADLINE: February 13, 2015

A grant of up to $2,500 will be awarded to a nursing program in support of programs that foster the development of leadership skills in nursing students....



Suzette M. Agans

Community and Economic Development
Rural Development | U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., S.W. | Washington, D.C. 20250-3253
Phone: 202.401.1922 | Fax 202.401.7311


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


This electronic message contains information generated by the USDA solely for the intended recipients. Any unauthorized interception of this message or the use or disclosure of the information it contains may violate the law and subject the violator to civil or criminal penalties. If you believe you have received this message in error, please notify the sender and delete the email immediately.

No comments:

Post a Comment