January 2017- Volume XV, Number 1

Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard

This newsletter is also available online:

  • –FUNDING
  • –TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • –OPPORTUNITIES
  • –MISCELLANEOUS
  • –CORRECTIONS

ACROSS THE FIELD – A milestone reached; learning from our past – by Jane Leonard

Wow! Fifteen years straight publishing the MRP Rural Round-Up e-newsletter, all thanks to the talent and dedication of volunteers Ann Treacy and Deb Miller Slipek, my co-editors/compilers since the beginning of this one-stop compendium for rural-related info that helps you help your community be and stay strong.

Agricultural and rural journalism have figured in my background since I was a little kid, in awe of my Dad’s collection of USDA yearbooks, which went back to the 1840s, before there was even an official USDA, when the function of reporting on agricultural improvements and collecting seeds fell somewhere between the U.S. Patent Office and the State Department.

Agricultural journals, books, experimental and showcase farms and fairs were the lifeblood of information exchange and knowledge development in those early years before the 1862 creation of USDA and even after. The first several Secretaries of Agriculture were farm journalists.

I wrote my master’s thesis comparing the USDA yearbooks and the ag journals as agenda-setters and/or reporters of agricultural and rural trends. The American Agriculturist stood out for me as an exemplar in the comprehensive exchange of both agricultural and rural life know-how for when I began my life’s work in rural journalism and eventually community, rural, and economic development.

Thirty-eight years since that start, I still come back to a quote I found in the March 1856 issue of the Agriculturist. It’s a timeless reminder of how to be a helpful person in a world sorely needing wisdom, grace and compassion:

“GENTILITY is neither in birth, wealth, manner nor fashion – but in the mind. A high sense of honor, a determination never to take a mean advantage of another, an adherence to truth, delicacy, and politeness towards those with whom we have dealings, are its essential characteristics.”

FUNDING

–The MISSION CONTINUES is seeking applications for Post-9/11 Veteran Nonprofit Fellowships. Service fellowships, which include a cost-of-living stipend, are awarded to post-9/11 veterans to enable them to volunteer with nonprofit organizations in their community as an extension of their service to the country. Deadline: 1/17/2017. Visit the website here to review program guidelines.

— The UNFI Foundation funds nonprofit organizations across the United States that support the development of healthy, organic foods and food practices, and promote the health of the planet. The focus is on organizations that work to increase organic agriculture, provide research and science to develop organic farming practices, protect the biodiversity of our seed supply and the stewardship of genetic resources of organic seed, teach organic farming practices that promote conservation of resources, and foster the next generation of organic farmers. The first two letter of intent deadlines in 2017 are 1/19 and 4/27. Visit the Foundation’s website here to review guidelines and learn more about the application process.

–BIG READ is accepting grant applications from nonprofit organizations for programs that encourage reading and participation by diverse audiences. Grants of up to $20,000 each will be awarded to nonprofit organizations for community-wide reading programs. Deadline: 1/26/2017. Click here to review program guidelines.

–U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is offering grants for projects that address local environmental and public health issues within an affected community. Grants will be awarded to programs that support activities designed to empower and educate affected communities to understand environmental and public health issues and to identify ways to address these issues at the local level. Approximately 40 one-year projects will be awarded $30,000 each. Deadline: 1/31/2017. Click here to review application guidelines.

Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Program provides grants for school improvement projects, including school gardens, physical fitness areas, walking trails, and meeting the basic needs of students. Application Deadline: Feb 9, 2017.

— The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is offering grants through Art Works 1 for FY 2018. An organization may submit only one application through one of the following two FY 2018 categories: Art Works 1 or Challenge America. An organization may submit one additional application under the FY 2018 Art Works category for a Creativity Connects project. Deadlines: Art Works 1; 2/16/2017; Challenge America; 4/13/2017. Click here to review application guidelines for an Art Works 1 grant. Click here for guidelines on Challenge America grants.

2017 Day of Service Grants  for day of service projects in observance of September 11th and/or Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Projects may focus on child welfare, safety, and health; healthcare access; assistance to veterans and active duty military families; and human services such as the provision of housing and emergency food.
Letter of Intent (Optional): Feb 8, 2017. Application Deadline: Feb 22, 2017.

— DNR Park and Trail Grants. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has announced grant funding opportunities for park and trail projects across Minnesota.  Go to: http://www.exploreminnesota.com/industry-minnesota/news/emt-express/emt-express-details/?nid=1379&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

–Applications for the fourth year of the Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program are open until Feb. 28, 2017. The 10-year, $150-million program helps fund new solar electric and solar thermal systems for Minnesota residents, businesses, and communities. The program is administered by the Minnesota Department of Commerce. During the first three years of the program, funding was awarded for 1,048 solar electric projects and 36 solar thermal installations. The solar electric projects equal about 15 megawatts (MW) of electric capacity. Read more (pdf) for information on how to apply, application guidelines, and more.

— Blandin Foundation Broadband Grants: Broadband Innovation and Robust Network Feasibility Fund grant award amounts range from $1,000 to $25,000, and matching funds are required. Grant application deadlines for 2017 are April 7, June 23 and September 22. http://wp.me/p3if7-3M7

–The Department of Health and Human Services is offering grant funds to CDCs for community-based efforts to improve the economic and physical health of people in areas designated as food deserts or where applicants can point to indicators of need, such as poor access to a healthy food retail outlet, a high percentage of individuals with low-income, incidence of diet-related health conditions, or high concentrations of persons eligible for food assistance programs. Through the Community Economic Development (CED) program and within the framework of the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), the Department seeks to fund projects that implement strategies to increase healthy food access, foster self-sufficiency for individuals and families with low income, and create sustained employment opportunities in communities with low incomes. Deadline: 4/28/2017. Click here to review funding guidelines and download an application package.

— Asthma Friendly Schools The Minnesota Department of Health’s Asthma Program in partnership with the American Lung Association in Minnesota is offering mini-grant funding to create asthma friendly schools. Grant money up to $1,500 is available to implement a variety of school-based projects in elementary, middle or high school settings. The funds are available to public schools, charter schools, and private schools and can be applied to individual schools or across districts. Six project areas are available to choose from: Asthma Data; Environmental Policy; Partnering with Parents and Caregivers; Teaching an Asthma Self-Management Curriculum; Linking Schools and Health Care; and Health Office Staff Training. Applications are currently being accepted through June 30, 2017. For more information, go to the Minnesota Asthma Program–Asthma Friendly Schools Mini-Grant Program to learn how to submit your application. You may also contact the MDH Asthma Program at 651-201-5909 or asthma@health.state.mn.us

Developing Healthy Places.  The Kresge Foundation provides funding to improve the places that shape health, including programs that promote healthy housing and neighborhoods, food systems for low-income communities, and equitable transportation and land use. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis

–The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced a new funding opportunity announcement for up to $6 million to install energy efficiency measures and deploy clean energy systems on Indian lands. The Office of Indian Energy is soliciting applications from Indian tribes and tribal energy resource development organizations to install energy efficiency measures and clean energy systems on tribal buildings and deploy clean energy systems on a community scale.

–The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) FY17 solicitation of applications. REAP offers two types of funding assistance: (1) Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses, and (2) Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants to state, tribal, or local governments; institutions of higher education; rural electric cooperatives; or public power entities. The Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Assistance provides grants of $20,000 or less and guaranteed loans to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. For assistance with applications, interested parties in Minnesota should contact Ron Omann, Rural Development Energy Coordinator, at 651-602-7796 or ron.omann@mn.usda.gov.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

— Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI) will host a webinar, “Broadband Opportunity Council (BOC): Accomplishments and Outlook,” Wednesday, January 18th, 2017, 2:00-3:00 PM ET. Click here to register.

— Lobbying? Yes! You Can!  Join this FREE webinar on Friday, January 20th from 10-11a.m. to learn the rules that govern advocacy and lobbying, how advocacy can further your organization’s mission, and the ingredients for a successful legislative lobby visit. Participants will learn important definitions, the federal and state laws related to lobbying, understand reporting requirements and engage with peers across the state. Learn more

Registration Now Open for the 2017 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference  You are cordially invited to join us Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 2017, at the Intercontinental Hotel in St. Paul for the 2017 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference: The Next Big Event!

–The 27th annual Energy Design Conference & Expo being held Feb. 20-22, 2017, in Duluth, Minn.  For more information go to: https://www.eiseverywhere.com/eSites/206400/Login

— 2017 Nonprofit Communications & Technology Conference will be held on Tuesday, February 21st in Minneapolis! You’ll dive into nonprofit strategies for everything from branding to cloud computing, from podcasting to website redesigning and much, much more.  Learn more

–Minnesota Campus Compact Annual Summit and Awards Ceremony will be April 5, 2017 at the University of St. Thomas. Join colleagues from across the state both to celebrate good work and to discuss opportunities for advancing our civic commitments even more powerfully together. Campus selections for the Presidents’ Awards for community partners, student leaders, and faculty/staff civic engagement stewards will be due February 24, 2017. Questions or to sponsor a team with a designated table at the awards luncheon, contact Julie or go to:

http://mncampuscompact.org/event/2017-state-summit-and-awards-luncheon/

— MCN and Nonprofits Assistance Fund will be hosting the sixth-annual Nonprofit Finance & Sustainability Conference on Thursday, April 13 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center. This year’s conference will feature a keynote addressing charitable endowments by Alan Cantor, consultant and frequent contributor to The Chronicle of Philanthropy; 20 timely breakout sessions and opportunities to network with sector peers.  Early Bird rates for MCN members are available until February 24. Scholarships and team registrations specials are also available. Learn more!

–SAVE THE DATE!  The National Housing Conference will host “Solutions for Housing Communications 2017” will be April 27-28, 2017, in Minneapolis.

— SAVE THE DATE!  Springboard for the Arts, the Center for Small Towns, and the Forum of Regional Arts Councils of Minnesota will host the 2017 Rural Arts & Culture Summit, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the University of Minnesota, Morris.

— SAVE THE DATE!  2017 Nonprofit Leadership Conference to be held at the University of MN in Minneapolis on Tuesday, June 13, 2017.

OPPORTUNITIES

Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference Sponsorships Now Available for the 2017 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference that will be held Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 2017, at the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront in downtown St. Paul.

— Morris K Udall and Steward L Udall Foundation is offering a 10-week fully funded summer internship for Native American and Alaska Native students who wish to learn more about the federal government and issues affecting Indian country. Deadline to apply: 1/31/2017. Visit the Foundation website here for guidelines and an application.

2016‒2017 Student Essay Contest  The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis sponsors this contest for high school students in the Ninth Federal Reserve District. Students answer the question: “Can the U.S. economy still grow the way it once did?” to win monetary prizes. Essays are due by March 31, 2017.

— The Energy Department released a request for proposal (RFP) for colleges interested in participating in the U.S. Department of Energy Collegiate Wind Competition 2018. The organizers will select 10 to 12 teams of students to compete in the challenge, co-located with the American Wind Energy Association’s WINDPOWER Conference in Chicago on May 7–10, 2018. Interested students and faculty can learn more about the RFP and its requirements by visiting the FedBizOps listing and watching an informational webinar.

Submit Your Location for Possible Film, Television or Commercials Do you have a one-of-a-kind Main Street in your town, a neighborhood of beautiful homes or picturesque parks, or even spooky abandoned buildings?

Show Off Your Postcard-Worthy Destination or Attraction  Explore Minnesota is actively seeking postcards from tourism destinations and attractions to show off our picturesque state.

MISCELLANEOUS

— The U.S. Census Bureau released its five-year American Community Survey data with a major focus on rural America. The data shows that people who live in rural areas are more likely to own their own homes, live in their state of birth, and have served in the military than their urban counterparts, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Read the press release from the Census Bureau here, and access the data here.

–Minnesota City profiles now provide updated and more in-depth information

Geographic profiles across the state for cities with populations of 1000+ have been redesigned and updated. Now find more in-depth information on residents, housing, poverty, workforce, and how people get around. Check out your city of interest.

–The White House recently announced the creation of a network of 48 charging corridors on the nation’s highways. The network will cover 25,000 miles and include 55 different interstate highway systems, including I-94 in Minnesota, spanning 35 states. It is designed to place a charging station approximately every 50 miles. The Administration is partnering with 28 companies and organizations on the project, and the Federal Highway Administration will manage the devices. Read more.

–Report documents the benefits of renewable energy for Midwest states. The Center for Rural Affairs has released “Link to Rural Development and a Renewable Future,” a report authored by Rural Affairs Climate Program Associate Lucas Nelsen. The report looks at the benefits of wind energy for the Midwest and Great Plains regions and discusses the need to update the transmission system to accommodate the new wind capacity. Read the report (pdf).

A Quiet Crisis: Minnesota’s Child Care Shortage. The Center for Rural Policy and Development analyzes child care need and capacity by Minnesota region and discusses the implications of a child care shortage.

Access to Care for Rural People with Disabilities Toolkit This new toolkit, developed by the University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center, provides information, strategies, and resources to help rural communities improve access to care for people with disabilities. Browse program models and examples, and learn how to implement, evaluate, and sustain a program in your community and disseminate program results.

–The Minnesota Department of Health has published a Community Paramedic (CP) Toolkit (PDF) for prospective employers.

The purpose of the toolkit is to assist employers and organizations who are planning to hire Community Paramedics. The CP role leverages the medical and community expertise of paramedics and, through additional training, applies their skills to primary care settings. CPs are able to:

  • reduce overall health care costs by helping patients avoid more acute care such as hospital readmissions,
  • improve health outcomes for specific populations, and
  • improve patient experience.

The toolkit and background resources are available on our Toolkit webpage at http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/orhpc/toolkit.html

–Economic Impact Reports sponsored by the National Center for Rural Health Works   provide a broad overview of the impact the healthcare sector has on rural communities, along with two studies that examine specific aspects of the rural healthcare system:

Safely Aging in Place in Rural America discusses the health challenges faced by older Americans as they age in place in rural communities, including issues such as limited access to care, social isolation, and higher rates of chronic illness and poverty. Going forward, providing individually tailored support, connecting to local resources, and offering services via telehealth will be necessary to meet the healthcare needs of America’s aging rural population.

— New Minnesota Broadband Maps.  The Office of Broadband Development published a heat map of broadband availability in Minnesota. The map indicates that Statewide availability of broadband at speeds of 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up is 90.15%, while rural availability within the state is 78.04%. http://wp.me/p3if7-3Mb

— Broadband is Different Market in Urban than Rural Markets.  A recent report from the FCC indicates that cable is the dominant broadband in urban areas and DSL is dominant in rural areas. http://wp.me/p3if7-3M1 Optimistic predictions for wireless technologies, such as 5G, say faster speeds may be available as early as 2020 in urban areas but with increased cost and limited reach, 5G will not be a major player in rural areas. http://wp.me/p3if7-3LY

— HUD had released a new CDBG technical assistance product, “How to Use CDBG for Housing Activities.” In this six-module video, HUD explains the kinds of housing activities that can be funded with CDBG, how to use CDBG to meet the housing needs of the community, and the key elements to be considered in housing program design. Access the video modules here.

— The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has published “How to Do Creative Placemaking: An Action-Oriented Guide to Arts in Community Development.” The book features 28 essays from thought leaders active in arts-based community development as well as 13 case studies of projects funded through the NEA’s creative placemaking program, Our Town, and is intended as a primer for those interested in bringing the arts to the community development table as a tool – along with housing, transportation, public health and other sectors – to advance revitalization efforts in an authentic way. Download the pdf of the book from the NEA website here.

— The National Association of Development Organizations has published “Measuring Rural Wealth Creation: A Guide for Regional Development Organizations.” The paper presents concepts and samples to assist in the creation of a plan for measuring progress in rural wealth creation for rural development organizations (RDOs) involved in community and economic development. Get the paper here.

Corrections

Using the ERS County Economic Types To Explore Demographic and Economic Trends in Rural Areas (Amber Waves article) On December 15, 2016 a correction was made to a chart in the Amber Waves article “Using the ERS County Economic Types To Explore Demographic and Economic Trends in Rural Areas.” In the chart “Rural median household incomes were highest in recreation counties,” the correction fixes the colors for the lines corresponding to recreation counties and Government dependent counties, which were inadvertently reversed.

Rural America at a Glance, 2016 Edition on December 21, 2016, Rural America at a Glance, 2016 Edition was reposted to correct the classifications of some counties in the map.

December 2016- Volume XIV, Number 11

Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard

  • –FUNDING
  • –TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • –OPPORTUNITIES
  • –MISCELLANEOUS

Across the Field: Our nation, our destiny; a shared responsibility to “Do Good”

By Jane Leonard UMd ’79 & UM ‘85

Some of you know that I am a proud “Gopher” – a graduate of the University of Minnesota for my masters in mass communication. I am also a proud “Terp” – my undergraduate degree being in journalism and agriculture from another “UM” – the University of Maryland (let’s call it UMd for short). Back in October, I received an alumni update from UMd, letting us know that our alma mater was aiming to be the nation’s first “Do Good” campus, rooted in the Land Grant mission of putting knowledge into practice for social and economic betterment.

I love this idea as I’ve been pegged as a “Do Gooder” more than once in my life (proud of it, too!) and now “Do Good” is a bona fide, officially-sanctioned strategy of a leading public university. I couldn’t be more proud of UMd, expanding what was a trial run in the Center for Philanthropy and Non Profit Leadership in the School of Public Policy, into system-wide values and actions aimed at ensuring every student will be informed and motivated to “do good” in their communities, both local and worldwide. And it’s not something “done unto” the students. Students want to do this. UMd is seeing a 50-year high in the percentage of students today who say that helping others is a “very important” priority.

According to its website, the new Do Good Institute “serves as the campus-wide hub of social innovation and as a center of research and thought leadership in philanthropy and social change. From orientation to graduation and beyond, the  institute builds on the tenet that learning is not a passive activity, but instead requires active participation and deep, practical application.”  http://dogood.umd.edu/

The Do Good initiative brings to my mind and heart the idealism of the 1960s, facing head-on the great upheavals in industry, society, and urban-rural tensions (sound familiar?). In May, 1968, then-USDA Secretary & former Governor of Minnesota Orville Freeman spoke to representatives of rural-oriented industries from across the country who were meeting in Washington D.C. I find good counsel for our times in his nearly 50-year-old message:

“We are met here today to discuss this portion of America [rural America] in a period when almost all of the national conscience is focused on yet another segment of land, the great cities.

“It is almost as if we were two Nations; one rural, one urban, with separate problems, separate solutions, separate destinies.

“But in fact – as well as in rhetoric – we are still one Nation, indivisible, with indivisible problems, indivisible solutions; with but one destiny.

And unless we recognize this, we shall never overcome the terrible strains that threaten to rend the social fabric of our land.

In 2016, we’ve all experienced a difficult, divisive election. And in just over one month, at the highest levels of government, we will witness not only a transfer of power, but a transfer of responsibility: a profound, solemn, and humbling responsibility.

And yet, ultimately, it is “We the People of the United States” who hold the highest power and responsibility, to bridge the divides we see at every level of community, state, region, and world, step by step, person by person, to Do Good wherever we can.

In this holiday season, it is my hope and prayer that we reach out to one another, to rural folk if you are urban folk, to urban folk if you are rural folk. Reach out to people everywhere to Do Good, for we are still one nation, indivisible, with but one destiny, according to the opening words of our United States Constitution, “to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessing of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity….

Let’s get to work. Help one another. Do Good in this season of giving, and for all time.

FUNDING

–The Environmental Protection Agency is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies for either: 1) developing inventories of brownfields, prioritizing sites, conducting community involvement activities, and conducting site assessments and cleanup planning related to brownfields sites, or 2) cleaning up contaminated brownfields sites. Deadline: 12/20/2016. Click here for program guidelines and to apply.

–THE HOME DEPOT Foundation Community Impact Grants Program provides support to nonprofit organizations and public service agencies in the U.S. that are using volunteers to improve the physical health of their communities. Proposals for the following community improvement activities will be considered: repairs, refurbishments, and modifications to low-income or transitional veteran’s housing or community facilities (schools, community centers, senior centers, etc.); weatherizing or increasing energy efficiency of low-income or transitional veteran’s housing or community facilities; engaging veterans as volunteers to help other veterans in their community through service projects focusing on the renovation, repair, and improvement of homes and other properties serving veterans; and planting trees or community gardens or landscaping community facilities that serve veterans. Requests will be accepted through 12/31/2016. Visit the Foundation’s website here to submit an online application.

— KATIE’S KROPS is accepting applications for youth garden grants. Gift cards of up to $500 and other support will be awarded for youth-planted vegetable gardens created in support of local community needs. Deadline: 12/31/2016. Click here to review application guidelines.

–Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants through the Rural Health Network Development Planning Grant Program. This program supports the development of integrated healthcare networks, specifically for entities that do not have a history of formal collaborative efforts. DEADLINE: 1/3/2017. Click here to review funding guidelines.

— Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP). The Office of Rural Health and Primary Care coordinates a state application to the federal Health Resources and Services Administration, Office of Rural Health Policy on behalf of Minnesota’s small rural hospitals (49 or fewer beds). The Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP) grant funds may be used to purchase items from the SHIP Purchasing Menu in the following funding categories: value based purchasing, accountable care organization, payment bundling or care transitions. Applications are to be returned to judith.bergh@state.mn.us via email by January 8, 2017.

–The National Institutes of Health is offering grants to rural nonprofit and public agencies for programs that help control the opioid epidemic in the United States. Deadline: 01/10/2017. Click here for grant materials.

–THE MISSION CONTINUES is seeking applications for Post-9/11 Veteran Nonprofit Fellowships. Service fellowships, which include a cost-of-living stipend, are awarded to post-9/11 veterans to enable them to volunteer with nonprofit organizations in their community as an extension of their service to the country. Deadline: 1/17/2017. Visit the website here to review program guidelines.

— THE UNFI Foundation funds nonprofit organizations across the United States that support the development of healthy, organic foods and food practices, and promote the health of the planet. The focus is on organizations that work to increase organic agriculture, provide research and science to develop organic farming practices, protect the biodiversity of our seed supply and the stewardship of genetic resources of organic seed, teach organic farming practices that promote conservation of resources, and foster the next generation of organic farmers. The first two letter of intent deadlines in 2017 are 1/19 and 4/27. Visit the Foundation’s website here to review guidelines and learn more about the application process.

–BIG READ is accepting grant applications from nonprofit organizations for programs that encourage reading and participation by diverse audiences. Grants of up to $20,000 each will be awarded to nonprofit organizations for community-wide reading programs. Deadline: 1/26/2017. Click here to review program guidelines.

–U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is offering grants for projects that address local environmental and public health issues within an affected community. Grants will be awarded to programs that support activities designed to empower and educate affected communities to understand environmental and public health issues and to identify ways to address these issues at the local level. Approximately 40 one-year projects will be awarded $30,000 each. Deadline: 1/31/2017. Click here to review application guidelines.

–The Department of Health and Human Services is offering grant funds to CDCs for community-based efforts to improve the economic and physical health of people in areas designated as food deserts or where applicants can point to indicators of need, such as poor access to a healthy food retail outlet, a high percentage of individuals with low-income, incidence of diet-related health conditions, or high concentrations of persons eligible for food assistance programs. Through the Community Economic Development (CED) program and within the framework of the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), the Department seeks to fund projects that implement strategies to increase healthy food access, foster self-sufficiency for individuals and families with low income, and create sustained employment opportunities in communities with low incomes. Deadline: 4/28/2017. Click here to review funding guidelines and download an application package.

— Asthma Friendly Schools The Minnesota Department of Health’s Asthma Program in partnership with the American Lung Association in Minnesota is offering mini-grant funding to create asthma friendly schools. Grant money up to $1,500 is available to implement a variety of school-based projects in elementary, middle or high school settings. The funds are available to public schools, charter schools, and private schools and can be applied to individual schools or across districts. Six project areas are available to choose from: Asthma Data; Environmental Policy; Partnering with Parents and Caregivers; Teaching an Asthma Self-Management Curriculum; Linking Schools and Health Care; and Health Office Staff Training. Applications are currently being accepted through June 30, 2017. For more information, go to the Minnesota Asthma Program–Asthma Friendly Schools Mini-Grant Program to learn how to submit your application. You may also contact the MDH Asthma Program at 651-201-5909 or asthma@health.state.mn.us

— Community Transportation Association of America is accepting applications for technical assistance for tribes and rural communities of less than 50,000 people to plan system start-up, transit service improvements, facility development, marketing, transportation coordination, and staff training. Deadline: applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. Click here for an application and guidelines.

–The Bush Foundation offers Community Innovation Grants in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and the 23 Native nations that share the same geography. Grant funds help communities use problem-solving processes that lead to more effective, equitable, and sustainable solutions. Grants are provided for projects that use inclusive, collaborative, and resourceful processes; are thoughtful, realistic, and address the identified community need; and are likely to make a significant, sustainable difference, now or in the future. Nonprofit organizations and government entities (including schools) may apply for grants ranging from $10,000 to $200,000. (Community Innovation Grants of $500 to $10,000 are available from the Foundation’s intermediary partner organizations.) Applications may be submitted throughout the year. Visit the Foundation’s website here to review the selection criteria and to learn more about the application process.

–The Kresge Foundation is offering grants through its Arts and Culture Program to anchor institutions in any sector that have a stake in and are located in a low-income, disinvested community, and to nonprofit community partners, nonprofit artist collaboratives, and government entities. Support is provided for cross-sector/cross-disciplinary projects that embed arts and culture into local systems such as municipal departments, community financial networks, comprehensive planning efforts, human services networks, regional food hubs, etc. Deadline: online applications may be submitted throughout the year. Visit the Foundation’s website here to learn more about the Arts and Culture Program.

Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Grant Program offers grants to eligible organizations to cover all or part of the costs associated with purchasing an automated external defibrillator (AED). Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

Registration Now Open for the 2017 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference  You are cordially invited to join us Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 2017, at the Intercontinental Hotel in St. Paul for the 2017 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference: The Next Big Event!

–The 27th annual Energy Design Conference & Expo being held Feb. 20-22, 2017, in Duluth, Minn.  For more information go to: https://www.eiseverywhere.com/eSites/206400/Login

–Minnesota Campus Compact Annual Summit and Awards Ceremony will be April 5, 2017 at the University of St. Thomas. Join colleagues from across the state both to celebrate good work and to discuss opportunities for advancing our civic commitments even more powerfully together. Campus selections for the Presidents’ Awards for community partners, student leaders, and faculty/staff civic engagement stewards will be due February 24, 2017. Questions or to sponsor a team with a designated table at the awards luncheon, contact Julie or go to:

http://mncampuscompact.org/event/2017-state-summit-and-awards-luncheon/

–SAVE THE DATE!  The National Housing Conference will host “Solutions for Housing Communications 2017” will be April 27-28, 2017, in Minneapolis.

— SAVE THE DATE!  2017 Nonprofit Leadership Conference to be held at the University of MN in Minneapolis on Tuesday, June 13, 2017.

OPPORTUNITIES

— Call for Proposals for the 2017 MN Rural Health Conference, June 19-20 in Duluth.  If you are interested in presenting a 60-minute breakout session or facilitating a roundtable discussion at the 2017 Minnesota Rural Health Conference, Shaping Sustainable Solutions, please submit an online proposal. The deadline is December 21, 4:00 p.m. Central Time.  Remember to sign up to receive conference updates.

— Applications open for 3M TWIST (Teachers Working in Science and Technology) Program. The 3M TWIST program allows middle and high school math, science, and technology teachers to spend six weeks during the summer working closely with a 3M host on an actual 3M research project. The objective is to provide active and challenging technical experiences for teachers in an industrial setting. TWIST is based on the idea that the way to learn science is to do science – an axiom that applies as much to teachers as it does to their students. This program is a partnership of 3M and the MHTA Foundation. Applications are due January 17, 2017. LEARN MORE

Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference Sponsorships Now Available for the 2017 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference that will be held Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 2017, at the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront in downtown St. Paul.

–Call for workshop proposals for the 2017 Nonprofit Leadership Conference to be held at the University of MN in Minneapolis on Tuesday, June 13, 2017.  Proposals are due January 16, 2017.  For more information go to:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LeadConf2017

Submit Your Location for Possible Film, Television or Commercials Do you have a one-of-a-kind Main Street in your town, a neighborhood of beautiful homes or picturesque parks, or even spooky abandoned buildings?

— Morris K Udall and Steward L Udall Foundation is offering a 10-week fully funded summer internship for Native American and Alaska Native students who wish to learn more about the federal government and issues affecting Indian country. Deadline to apply: 1/31/2017. Visit the Foundation website here for guidelines and an application.

2016‒2017 Student Essay Contest  The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis sponsors this contest for high school students in the Ninth Federal Reserve District. Students answer the question: “Can the U.S. economy still grow the way it once did?” to win monetary prizes. Essays are due by March 31, 2017.

Tesla Offers Chargers to Hotels and Resorts across Minnesota hoping that owners of Minnesota hotels and resorts will want to attract drivers of Tesla vehicles to their properties by joining Tesla’s destination charging network.

Roadmaps to Health Coaching offers guidance and support from a community coach for communities who want to improve the health of their populations and work toward building a culture of health. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis. Sponsored by County Health Rankings & Roadmaps and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Rural Impact County Challenge: A National Effort to Combat Rural Child Poverty The Rural Impact County Challenge will recognize and support counties making strides in reducing child poverty in rural communities. The challenge will provide educational opportunities, networking forums, and resources to develop and implement evidenced-based approaches to reduce the number of children and families living in poverty in rural areas. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis. Sponsored by the National Association of Counties.

–The Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) to be Minnesota host of SBIR/STTR programs. MHTA has been named the host of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Federal and State Technology Partnership (FAST) Program for the state of Minnesota. FAST is designed to stimulate economic development with outreach and technical assistance to science and technology-driven small businesses, with a particular emphasis on socially and economically disadvantaged firms, helping them to compete in federally-funded research and development through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs. LEARN MORE

MISCELLANEOUS

Rural America at a Glance, 2016 Edition after declining for several years, rural population stabilized. Median annual earnings rose in rural areas and poverty fell markedly in 2015, as in urban areas; the rise in earnings occurred across most major industry sectors.

Measuring Rural Wealth Creation: A Guide for Regional Development Organizations
Presents concepts and samples to create a development plan for measuring progress in rural wealth creation for rural development organizations (RDOs) involved in community and economic development. Specifically identifies 8 forms of capital measures useful to evaluate progress in rural wealth creation including the skills, understanding, physical health and mental wellness of the individuals within the community.

Rural Classifications ERS maintains key classifications that measure rurality and assess the economic and social diversity of rural America beyond the metro/nonmetro dichotomy. A recent addition to the suite of products for rural analysis includes data files for use with the American Community Survey’s Public Use Microdata Sample (ACS-PUMS) that identify each Public Use Microdata Area (PUMA) in the ACS-PUMS as either metro, nonmetro, or mixed, based on the metro and nonmetro population shares in each PUMA; for mixed PUMAs, the share of the population residing in a metro area is reported.

Employment & Education recent updates to this topic provide information and research findings about the well-being of rural workers and the changing structure of rural labor markets, with a focus on the period 2007-2016. Highlights include the profound effects of the 2007-09 recession, and the rate at which employment has recovered since. The labor market measures discussed include the level of employment, the employment/population ratio, the unemployment rate, and the labor force participation rate.

— The Surdna Foundation has developed and published www.CommunityEngagedDesign.org, a new website that highlights written, audio, and video content regarding developments in the community engaged design field. Community engaged design (CED) is practiced when architects, designers, or urban planners work in solidarity with low-income communities and communities of color to ensure decisions made about the built environment are equitable and just. Visit the website here.

— The Carsey School of Public Policy has published a brief titled “Carsey Perspectives: Bridging Farm and Table: The ‘Harvest to Market’ Innovation: Highlights from a Social Venture Innovation Challenge Winner.” Harvest to Market is a new online platform that makes it easier for small farmers to sell their products directly to local consumers. Potential customers, which can be schools, restaurants, and institutions as well as individuals, can search for nearby markets and browse through the available produce as listed by the farmers. Download the brief here.

Two New Reports Portray the State of Sustainable Tourism in Minnesota  The University of Minnesota Tourism Center and Explore Minnesota have partnered four times since 2007 to survey Minnesota’s tourism industry about sustainable tourism practices.

— Community Health Worker (CHW) Toolkit. The Minnesota Department of Health has published a Community Health Worker (CHW) Toolkit (PDF) for prospective employers. The purpose of the toolkit is to assist employers and organizations as they plan to hire Community Health Workers who:

  • provide culturally-specific education, system navigation, advocacy and outreach services to diverse communities;
  • work to improve health outcomes for communities and individuals, reduce overall health care costs by helping patients avoid more acute care, and improve patient experience; and
  • help enhance relationships between communities and health systems, public health agencies, hospitals, clinics and community-based programs.

The toolkit and background resources are available on our Toolkit webpage. Funding for the creation of the toolkit was provided by the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Improvement via the Minnesota State Innovation Model (SIM) grant. Please feel free to share the CHW Toolkit with others.

Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard

This newsletter is also available online:

  • –FUNDING
  • –TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • –OPPORTUNITIES
  • –MISCELLANEOUS
  • –EMPLOYMENT

FUNDING

–U.S. Bank Places to Play is a collaboration between U.S. Bank and the Minnesota Vikings that provides grant funding to nonprofit, neighborhood-based organizations and schools in low- to moderate-income communities in Minnesota to improve the quality, safety and accessibility of local play spaces. As part of U.S. Bank’s Community Possible platform, this grantmaking initiative focuses on creating or improving parks, playgrounds, indoor/outdoor athletic facilities and repairing existing trails over three years. Proposals are due November 17. For more information go to: https://www.usbank.com/splash/placestoplay/index.html

Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) offers grants to fire departments and EMS organizations for equipment, training, personnel wellness programs, capital funding, and collaboration efforts.  Application Deadline: Nov 18, 2016.

–THE U.S. Department of Education is offering grants to nonprofits, LEAs, public agencies, and IHEs for a wide array of activities to encourage at-risk youth to complete high school and go on to college through the Upward Bound program. Deadline to apply: 11/28/2016. Click here for funding guidelines.

–USDA is offering funding through the Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program. The program provides support to meet the food needs of low-income individuals, increase the self-reliance of communities in providing for their food needs, and promote comprehensive responses to local food access, farm, and nutrition issues. Deadline: 11/30/2016. Click here to review program funding guidelines.

— HUD has released its Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the Youth Homeless Demonstration Program. Up to ten communities, including four rural, will be awarded funds to design and implement a community response focused on ending youth homelessness. $33 million is available for the program. Deadline: 11/30/2016. Click here to review funding guidelines.

Safer School Garden Grant provides funding to start a school garden. Application Deadline: Dec 1, 2016.

Phyllis and Milton Berg Family Respite Care Grant funding to help alleviate the cost of respite care for families caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. Application Deadline: Dec 1, 2016.  Sponsor: Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.

Smart Rural Community Collaboration Challenge provides funding to support the development and implementation of innovative broadband-enabled solutions to support rural commerce, healthcare, public safety, economic development, education, energy, or other community-oriented initiatives.  Application Deadline: Dec 1, 2016.  Sponsor: NTCA: The Rural Broadband Association

AmeriCorps State and National Grants funding for programs that are designed to strengthen communities and solve local problems, including those found in rural and underserved areas. Funds may be used for programs that utilize AmeriCorps member in the following areas: disaster services, economic opportunity, healthy futures, environmental stewardship, education, and veterans and military families. Letter of Intent (Required): Dec 7, 2016. Application Deadline: Jan 18, 2017.

–USDA is offering funding through the Farm to School Grant Program for efforts that improve access to local foods in schools. Grants are made for planning, implementation, support services, and training. Deadline: 12/8/2016. Click here to review funding guidelines.

–The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development will begin accepting proposals for the Capacity Building Grant Program on November 10, 2016.  Proposals must be received by DEED no later than 4:30 pm. on December 9, 2016. Late proposals will not be considered. Request for Proposal

CT Scanner Replacement Initiative offers funding from the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Rural Health Program to qualifying hospitals in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming for the purchase of a new 32 slice or higher CT scanner. Letter of Intent (Required): Dec 9, 2016. Application Deadline: Jan 27, 2017.

–The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries is offering funds to schools where a minimum of 85 percent of the student body qualifies for the federal Free or Reduced Lunch Program to enable them to extend, update, and diversify the book and print collections. Grants of up to $7,000 are available to pre-K-12 school libraries throughout the United States, the American territories, and Department of Defense schools in other countries. Funds are provided solely for books, e-books, or magazines and serials in print, Braille, or audio form. All grants are made to individual schools rather than to school districts, foundations, or other entities. Deadline: 12/12/2016. Online application information is available here.

–USDA has announced the availability of grant funding to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by families and households participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The funding will be awarded to eligible nonprofits and governmental organizations through the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program. Applications may be submitted in three categories: pilot projects requesting less than $100,000 over one year, multi-year community-based projects requesting less than $500,000 over no more than four years, and multi-year large-scale projects requesting $500,000 or more over no more than four years. Deadline: 12/12/2016. For application materials and guidelines, click here.

–The Environmental Protection Agency is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies for either: 1) developing inventories of brownfields, prioritizing sites, conducting community involvement activities, and conducting site assessments and cleanup planning related to brownfields sites, or 2) cleaning up contaminated brownfields sites. Deadline: 12/20/2016. Click here for program guidelines and to apply.

–THE HOME DEPOT Foundation Community Impact Grants Program provides support to nonprofit organizations and public service agencies in the U.S. that are using volunteers to improve the physical health of their communities. Proposals for the following community improvement activities will be considered: repairs, refurbishments, and modifications to low-income or transitional veteran’s housing or community facilities (schools, community centers, senior centers, etc.); weatherizing or increasing energy efficiency of low-income or transitional veteran’s housing or community facilities; engaging veterans as volunteers to help other veterans in their community through service projects focusing on the renovation, repair, and improvement of homes and other properties serving veterans; and planting trees or community gardens or landscaping community facilities that serve veterans. Requests will be accepted through 12/31/2016. Visit the Foundation’s website here to submit an online application.

–The National Institutes of Health is offering grants to rural nonprofit and public agencies for programs that help control the opioid epidemic in the United States. Deadline: 01/10/2017. Click here for grant materials.

–THE MISSION CONTINUES is seeking applications for Post-9/11 Veteran Nonprofit Fellowships. Service fellowships, which include a cost-of-living stipend, are awarded to post-9/11 veterans to enable them to volunteer with nonprofit organizations in their community as an extension of their service to the country. Deadline: 1/17/2017. Visit the website here to review program guidelines.

–The Department of Health and Human Services is offering grant funds to CDCs for community-based efforts to improve the economic and physical health of people in areas designated as food deserts or where applicants can point to indicators of need, such as poor access to a healthy food retail outlet, a high percentage of individuals with low-income, incidence of diet-related health conditions, or high concentrations of persons eligible for food assistance programs. Through the Community Economic Development (CED) program and within the framework of the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), the Department seeks to fund projects that implement strategies to increase healthy food access, foster self-sufficiency for individuals and families with low income, and create sustained employment opportunities in communities with low incomes. Deadline: 4/28/2017. Click here to review funding guidelines and download an application package.

— Asthma Friendly Schools The Minnesota Department of Health’s Asthma Program in partnership with the American Lung Association in Minnesota is offering mini-grant funding to create asthma friendly schools. Grant money up to $1,500 is available to implement a variety of school-based projects in elementary, middle or high school settings. The funds are available to public schools, charter schools, and private schools and can be applied to individual schools or across districts. Six project areas are available to choose from: Asthma Data; Environmental Policy; Partnering with Parents and Caregivers; Teaching an Asthma Self-Management Curriculum; Linking Schools and Health Care; and Health Office Staff Training. Applications are currently being accepted through June 30, 2017. For more information, go to the Minnesota Asthma Program–Asthma Friendly Schools Mini-Grant Program to learn how to submit your application. You may also contact the MDH Asthma Program at 651-201-5909 or asthma@health.state.mn.us

–THE KRESGE FOUNDATION is offering grants through its Arts and Culture Program to anchor institutions in any sector that have a stake in and are located in a low-income, disinvested community, and to nonprofit community partners, nonprofit artist collaboratives, and government entities. Support is provided for cross-sector/cross-disciplinary projects that embed arts and culture into local systems such as municipal departments, community financial networks, comprehensive planning efforts, human services networks, regional food hubs, etc. Deadline: online applications may be submitted throughout the year. Visit the Foundation’s website here to learn more about the Arts and Culture Program.

— Rebate opportunities for solar thermal systems remain available to all Minnesota residents, businesses, nonprofits, and government entities as part of the 2016 Made in Minnesota (MiM) Solar Energy Incentive Program.

Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Grant Program offers grants to eligible organizations to cover all or part of the costs associated with purchasing an automated external defibrillator (AED). Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

–The Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA) recently announced that its 2016 Midwest Gateway to Solar Conference will be held Nov. 15-16 at the Hilton Airport/Mall of America in Bloomington. Information on registration is available.

— The 2016 Tekne Awards will be held on November 16th at the Minneapolis Convention Center.  You can learn more and find the full list of Tekne recipients at tekneawards.org.

–Save the Date:  2017 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference will be held at the Intercontinental Hotel in St. Paul January 31- February 1, 2017.

–The 27th annual Energy Design Conference & Expo being held Feb. 20-22, 2017, in Duluth, Minn.  For more information go to: https://www.eiseverywhere.com/eSites/206400/Login

–Minnesota Campus Compact Annual Summit and Awards Ceremony will be April 5, 2017 at the University of St. Thomas. Join colleagues from across the state both to celebrate good work and to discuss opportunities for advancing our civic commitments even more powerfully together. Campus selections for the Presidents’ Awards for community partners, student leaders, and faculty/staff civic engagement stewards will be due February 24, 2017. Questions or to sponsor a team with a designated table at the awards luncheon, contact Julie or go to: http://mncampuscompact.org/event/2017-state-summit-and-awards-luncheon/

–SAVE THE DATE!  The National Housing Conference will host “Solutions for Housing Communications 2017” will be April 27-28, 2017, in Minneapolis.

OPPORTUNITIES

— Morris K Udall and Steward L Udall Foundation is offering a 10-week fully funded summer internship for Native American and Alaska Native students who wish to learn more about the federal government and issues affecting Indian country. Deadline to apply: 1/31/2017. Visit the Foundation website here for guidelines and an application.

2016‒2017 Student Essay Contest  The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis sponsors this contest for high school students in the Ninth Federal Reserve District. Students answer the question: “Can the U.S. economy still grow the way it once did?” to win monetary prizes. Essays are due by March 31, 2017.

Tesla Offers Chargers to Hotels and Resorts across Minnesota hoping that owners of Minnesota hotels and resorts will want to attract drivers of Tesla vehicles to their properties by joining Tesla’s destination charging network.

Roadmaps to Health Coaching offers guidance and support from a community coach for communities who want to improve the health of their populations and work toward building a culture of health. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis. Sponsored by County Health Rankings & Roadmaps and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Rural Impact County Challenge: A National Effort to Combat Rural Child Poverty The Rural Impact County Challenge will recognize and support counties making strides in reducing child poverty in rural communities. The challenge will provide educational opportunities, networking forums, and resources to develop and implement evidenced-based approaches to reduce the number of children and families living in poverty in rural areas. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis. Sponsored by the National Association of Counties.

–The Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) to be Minnesota host of SBIR/STTR programs. MHTA has been named the host of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Federal and State Technology Partnership (FAST) Program for the state of Minnesota. FAST is designed to stimulate economic development with outreach and technical assistance to science and technology-driven small businesses, with a particular emphasis on socially and economically disadvantaged firms, helping them to compete in federally-funded research and development through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs. LEARN MORE

MISCELLANEOUS

MN2050 State of the Infrastructure.  At the request of MN2050, the Minnesota Department of Transportation worked with Wilder Research to conduct a survey to gather information about the characteristics and management of Minnesota’s infrastructure.

–A “Housing Development Toolkit” has been developed by the White House. The document highlights actions that states and local jurisdictions have taken to promote healthy, responsive, affordable, high-opportunity housing markets. Get the toolkit here.

— USDA Rural Housing Service has introduced a new website, “PolicyMap”, which shows public investments in rural communities through interactive maps. With these maps, the federal government can make better analytical decisions about how investments should be made, and more effective reports to track the work as it is getting done. PolicyMap helps the public to see Multi-Family, Single Family, and Community Facility Program investments against the spectrum of PolicyMap indicators ranging from renter cost burdens, to HMDA home purchase prices, to critical care hospital locations. Visit the PolicyMap website here.  For more information about PolicyMap, click here.

–In an attempt to support the Open Government Initiative and build a more transparent government, USDA has developed a Rural Development Dataset website that offers datasets for public use. Datasets include: Multi-Family Housing Data, Single Family Housing Data, Community Facilities Data, RD Obligation and Disbursements, and many others. Access the website here.

Palliative Care in Rural Minnesota: Findings from Stratis Health’s Minnesota Rural Palliative Care Initiative describes a 6 year initiative directed by Stratis Health supporting palliative care in rural areas of Minnesota. Features a palliative care development initiative in the rural city of Mora, Minnesota, and describes the Rural Palliative Care Measurement Pilot Project testing standardized quality measures in 5 rural communities.

–NOVEMBER 17th is 2016 Annual National Rural Health Day

— Broadband Communities Conference: Tips for communities and providers

The Broadband Communities Magazine held their Midwest Regional Conference in Minnesota. They made the case for broadband in a community http://wp.me/p3if7-3IE, emphasized the impact of local support http://wp.me/p3if7-3IG, and offered advice for partnership. http://wp.me/p3if7-3IK At the event, the Institute for Local Self Reliance had suggestions for how Minnesota could smooth the road for community networks. http://wp.me/p3if7-3Ja

–The White House Rural Council released a memo with the subject line “Rural Strategies That Work: Lifting up Federal Policies That Are Responsive to the Assets and Challenges of Rural America.” The memorandum outlines strategies for the design and delivery of programs in rural America to meet the unique challenges faced by rural communities, and discusses how policies can address the issues of geographic isolation (including travel to healthcare), limited financial resources, low population density, and poverty. Read the document here.

–In the PEW Charitable Trusts’ newsletter, Stateline, an article titled “Can the Arts Help Save Rural America?” the author discusses how the arts are helping a handful of rural communities reverse a negative economic and cultural trajectory. To be successful, the article says, a rural community must figure out what makes it unique – a gorgeous natural landscape that can serve as the backdrop for a writers’ retreat, an old opera house, or a tradition of local storytelling – and capitalize on that. Read the article here.

–An essay by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack lays out the work being done by the White House Rural Council to support life in rural America. The essay includes examples of successful cross-community projects that have benefited from federal support, including the Farm/Art D’Tour in Reedsburg, Wisconsin, which has received Our Town funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. Read the full essay here.

— “How Migration Impacts Rural America” is the title of a brief from the Applied Population Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The authors find that rural migration patterns reflect the social, economic, and environmental conditions across rural America, which have significant implications for population structure, service needs, and community and economic development potentials of rural communities. Understanding distinct migration patterns can help community leaders to develop strategies to improve the well-being of their communities. Get the brief here.

–The Democracy Collaborative has published “Strategies for Financing the Inclusive Economy,” designed as a guidebook to explain the financing of broad-based enterprises, and to show how these enterprises can be positioned for job-creating growth. Worker-owned companies, social enterprises, and related models with broad-based ownership are increasingly being seen as highly valuable tools for stemming and reversing rising economic inequality. Get the report here.

–WINDExchange offers new installed wind capacity maps.  WINDExchange recently announced the availability of new interactive wind energy installed capacity maps for the United States. Three capacity maps are available: installed capacity, potential wind capacity, and potential wind generation, which highlights the future of wind energy. To learn more about installed capacity from 1999 to 2016, users can scroll to any year using the slider below the maps.

EMPLOYMENT

Industry Position Openings  The Art Colony in Grand Marais is hiring two new full-time positions; a Marketing Manager and a Development Manager.

Visit Bemidji Seeks Group Sales Manager  The focus of this position is to increase group visits to Bemidji through conventions, meetings and events, group sport events, and group leisure travel.  Closing date: November 16th.

October 2016- Volume XIV, Number 9

Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard

This newsletter is also available online:

  • –FUNDING
  • –TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • –OPPORTUNITIES
  • –MISCELLANEOUS
  • –EMPLOYMENT

FUNDING

–THE KRESGE FOUNDATION is offering grants through its Arts and Culture Program to anchor institutions in any sector that have a stake in and are located in a low-income, disinvested community, and to nonprofit community partners, nonprofit artist collaboratives, and government entities. Support is provided for cross-sector/cross-disciplinary projects that embed arts and culture into local systems such as municipal departments, community financial networks, comprehensive planning efforts, human services networks, regional food hubs, etc. Deadline: online applications may be submitted throughout the year. Visit the Foundation’s website here to learn more about the Arts and Culture Program.

— Asthma Friendly Schools The Minnesota Department of Health’s Asthma Program in partnership with the American Lung Association in Minnesota is offering mini-grant funding to create asthma friendly schools. Grant money up to $1,500 is available to implement a variety of school-based projects in elementary, middle or high school settings. The funds are available to public schools, charter schools, and private schools and can be applied to individual schools or across districts. Six project areas are available to choose from: Asthma Data; Environmental Policy; Partnering with Parents and Caregivers; Teaching an Asthma Self-Management Curriculum; Linking Schools and Health Care; and Health Office Staff Training. Applications are currently being accepted through June 30, 2017. For more information, go to the Minnesota Asthma Program–Asthma Friendly Schools Mini-Grant Program to learn how to submit your application. You may also contact the MDH Asthma Program at 651-201-5909 or asthma@health.state.mn.us

Service Area Competition Funding for Health Center Program (Areas Served with a Project Period Start Date of April 1, 2017) Funding to provide comprehensive primary healthcare services to an underserved area or population. Application Deadline: Oct 17, 2016.  Sponsored by the Bureau of Primary Health Care.

— The Mental Health Safety Net Grant program assists mental health centers and clinics that treat the uninsured. Eligible providers must be Community Mental Health Centers or Clinics designated under Minnesota Statute 245.62, or nonprofit Mental Health Clinics designated as Essential Community Providers under Minnesota Statute 62Q.19. Eligible providers must also offer free or reduced-cost mental health care to low-income patients under the age of 21. Applications will be posted on September 12 and are due October 28. For more information, contact Shortage Designation Coordination and Grant Program Manager Keisha Shaw at 651-201-3860 or keisha.shaw@state.mn.us.

–WHOLE KIDS FOUNDATION is offering grants to develop school gardens anywhere in the United States. Deadline: 10/31/2016. Click here to review program guidelines.

–The Medical Education and Research Costs (MERC) grant program, administered by the Minnesota Department of Health, distributes grants annually to providers of clinical medical education. The next application cycle is expected to open in late August 2016 and will be due on October 31st. For more information, contact Diane Reger at 651-201-3566.

—  USDA Rural Development is soliciting applications through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which provides guaranteed loan and grant financing for rural small businesses and agricultural producers to purchase or install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements. USDA reminds eligible applicants that set-aside funding is available for grant requests less than $20,000 and may offer priority scoring for projects located in underserved areas and/or benefiting underserved populations. The next application deadline for grants under $20,000 is October 31, 2016. For details on how to apply, visit www.rd.usda.gov/mn, contact USDA Rural Development State Energy Coordinator for Minnesota Ron Omann at ron.omann@mn.usda.gov or (651) 602-7796, or see page 78029 of the December 29 Federal Register.

— November 1, 2016, at midnight is the grant deadline for the East Central Regional Arts Council Individual Artists, Art in Our Schools, Small/Art Project Grants, and Arts and Cultural Heritage Grants.  For the grant application materials, information on past grants, and the link to the online grant portal go to: www.ecrac.org/grants

–THE NATIONAL DAIRY COUNCIL is offering “Fuel Up to Play 60: Jump Start Healthy Changes Grants” to schools anywhere in the United States to improve opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity. Deadline: 11/2/2016. Click here for more information on this program and to apply.

— The Laura Jane Musser Fund is offering funding to encourage collaborative and participatory efforts among citizens in rural communities that will help to strengthen their towns and regions in a number of civic areas including, but not limited to, economic development, business preservation, arts and humanities, public space improvements and education. Programs in Colorado, Hawaii, Michigan, Minnesota and Wyoming may apply. The applicant community must have a population of 10,000 or fewer and must be able to demonstrate the rural characteristics of their location. Deadline: 11/2/2016. Click here to review further guidelines and to apply.

Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) offers grants to fire departments and EMS organizations for equipment, training, personnel wellness programs, capital funding, and collaboration efforts.  Application Deadline: Nov 18, 2016.

— HUD has released its Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the Youth Homeless Demonstration Program. Up to ten communities, including four rural, will be awarded funds to design and implement a community response focused on ending youth homelessness. $33 million is available for the program. Deadline: 11/30/2016. Click here to review funding guidelines.

Safer School Garden Grant provides funding to start a school garden. Application Deadline: Dec 1, 2016.

–USDA is offering grants to LEAs and nonprofits to bring seasonal, locally sourced and minimally processed foods to public schools. The maximum grant amount is $100,000 and there are 75 grants available. Deadline: 12/8/2016. Click here to review funding guidelines and download an application package.

AmeriCorps State and National Grants funding for programs that are designed to strengthen communities and solve local problems, including those found in rural and underserved areas. Funds may be used for programs that utilize AmeriCorps member in the following areas: disaster services, economic opportunity, healthy futures, environmental stewardship, education, and veterans and military families. Letter of Intent (Required): Dec 7, 2016. Application Deadline: Jan 18, 2017.

–THE HOME DEPOT Foundation Community Impact Grants Program provides support to nonprofit organizations and public service agencies in the U.S. that are using volunteers to improve the physical health of their communities. Proposals for the following community improvement activities will be considered: repairs, refurbishments, and modifications to low-income or transitional veteran’s housing or community facilities (schools, community centers, senior centers, etc.); weatherizing or increasing energy efficiency of low-income or transitional veteran’s housing or community facilities; engaging veterans as volunteers to help other veterans in their community through service projects focusing on the renovation, repair, and improvement of homes and other properties serving veterans; and planting trees or community gardens or landscaping community facilities that serve veterans. Requests will be accepted through 12/31/2016. Visit the Foundation’s website here to submit an online application.

–THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES is offering grant funds to CDCs for community-based efforts to improve the economic and physical health of people in areas designated as food deserts or where applicants can point to indicators of need, such as poor access to a healthy food retail outlet, a high percentage of individuals with low-income, incidence of diet-related health conditions, or high concentrations of persons eligible for food assistance programs. Through the Community Economic Development (CED) program and within the framework of the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), the Department seeks to fund projects that implement strategies to increase healthy food access, foster self-sufficiency for individuals and families with low income, and create sustained employment opportunities in communities with low incomes. Deadline: 4/28/2017. Click here to review funding guidelines and download an application package.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

–Broadband Communities Conference http://wp.me/p3if7-3xR (Minneapolis) will be held October 18-20.

— How to Finance your Export Operations seminar hosted by the Minnesota Trade Office and the Central Region SBDC will be held at the SBDC offices at St. Cloud State University’s Welcome Center on October 19th from 8:30AM to 3PM. Registration fee is $35. For more information and to register, please go to http://z.umn.edu/18y4.

— East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC) has scheduled its upcoming grant information sessions for all artists, arts organizations, schools, community organizations, and non-profit organizations in the Region 7E area. These sessions will include basic information about all ECRAC arts-related grant programs, as well as recent changes to the grant application process. Individual appointments with staff are available immediately after the group sessions.

Friday, October 21, 2016; 9:30-10:30 a.m.

30 minute individual meetings are available after the above sessions at 10:30, 11:00, and 11:30 upon request.

Thursday, December 1, 2016; 1:30-2:30 p.m.

30 minute individual meetings are available after the above sessions at 2:30, 3:00, and 2:30 upon request.

Advance registration is required.  To register, please call the East Central Regional Arts Council office at (320) 396-2337, or email info@ecrac.org.

These sessions will be held at the East Central Regional Arts Council office located at 112 Main Avenue South in Braham, MN.  Don’t want to come to Braham to attend the information session? You can now watch it online!  ECRAC GRANT INFO VIDEO

— Duluth-Starting a Business in Minnesota workshop will be hosted by the University of Minnesota Duluth Center for Economic Development and the Northeast Region SBDC on October 25th from 2-4PM at the Work Force Development Center, Duluth Athletic Building. For more information and to register, please go to http://z.umn.edu/18y7.

–The annual Many Faces of Community Health Conference will be held November 3-4 in Bloomington.

–The Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA) recently announced that its 2016 Midwest Gateway to Solar Conference will be held Nov. 15-16 at the Hilton Airport/Mall of America in Bloomington. Information on registration and early bird rate is available.

— The 2016 Tekne Awards will be held on November 16th at the Minneapolis Convention Center.  You can learn more and find the full list of Tekne recipients at tekneawards.org.  Applications and nominations are now open!

–Save the Date:  2017 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference will be held at the Intercontinental Hotel in St. Paul January 31- February 1, 2017.

–Save the Date:  Minnesota Campus Compact Annual Summit and Awards Ceremony will be April 5, 2017 at the University of St. Thomas.

OPPORTUNITIES

Tesla Offers Chargers to Hotels and Resorts across Minnesota

Tesla is hoping that owners of Minnesota hotels and resorts will want to attract drivers of Tesla vehicles to their properties by joining Tesla’s destination charging network.

— The Rural Health Advisory Committee (RHAC) has an open appointment for a mid–level practitioner. The committee advises the Commissioner of Health and other state agencies on rural health issues. All members must reside outside the Twin Cities seven–county metropolitan area. The full announcement and application materials are available on the Secretary of State´s Current Vacancies web page. Applications are due to that office by October 24.

Culture of Health Prize  Awards that honor community efforts and partnerships that are helping people live healthier lives. Letter of Intent (Required): Nov 3, 2016.  Application Deadline: Jan 20, 2017.

Roadmaps to Health Coaching Offers guidance and support from a community coach for communities who want to improve the health of their populations and work toward building a culture of health. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis. Sponsored by County Health Rankings & Roadmaps and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Rural Impact County Challenge: A National Effort to Combat Rural Child Poverty The Rural Impact County Challenge will recognize and support counties making strides in reducing child poverty in rural communities. The challenge will provide educational opportunities, networking forums, and resources to develop and implement evidenced-based approaches to reduce the number of children and families living in poverty in rural areas. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis. Sponsored by the National Association of Counties.

–The Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) to be Minnesota host of SBIR/STTR programs. MHTA has been named the host of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Federal and State Technology Partnership (FAST) Program for the state of Minnesota. FAST is designed to stimulate economic development with outreach and technical assistance to science and technology-driven small businesses, with a particular emphasis on socially and economically disadvantaged firms, helping them to compete in federally-funded research and development through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs. LEARN MORE

MISCELLANEOUS

— The U.S. Census Bureau its annual report, “Income and Poverty in the United States: 2015.” The report reveals that both metropolitan areas and the nation as a whole experienced has released statistically significant decreases in poverty, and increases in median household income, reflecting overall economic improvement. Rural areas, on the other hand, stand out from an otherwise positive report with lower levels of economic gain. Get the report here.

How Migration Impacts Rural America identifies five migration patterns that impact rural counties: youth migration, rural exodus, retirement, destination, and university influence. Discusses how different migration patterns impact the need for services, including healthcare. Part of the publication series Population Trends in Post-Recession Rural America.

–“Helping Rural America Catch Up” is a collection of opinion pieces in the The New York Times written by rural experts, and placed in “discussion” with one another concerning the challenges faced by rural America. Topics include access to health resources, poverty, economic development, and technological infrastructure. Access it here.

–The FrameWorks Institute has released two studies looking at the conversation about the link between housing and health, education, and economic outcomes. “A House, a Tent, a Box: Mapping the Gaps Between Expert and Public Understandings of Healthy Housing” compares public and expert understandings of housing, and offers strategic guidance for how communicators can help ordinary Americans better appreciate the connections between affordability, quality, and health. The other study is titled “Not Telling the Whole Story: Media and Advocacy Discourse about Affordable Housing.” FrameWorks researchers conducted a systematic analysis of the frames used by the media and by influential housing reform organizations. The result is a carefully drawn map of the narratives in play—with directions for navigating it strategically. Download both studies here.

–The Democracy Collaborative has developed a toolkit series “Hospitals Aligned for Healthy Communities,” produced with the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and designed to help hospitals and health systems build community wealth through inclusive hiring, investment, and purchasing. The first toolkit in this series, “Inclusive, Local Hiring,” can be accessed here.

–The White House has published a Housing Development Toolkit, discussing local land use strategies to increase supply like inclusionary zoning and by-right development, as well as barriers like lengthy approval processes, parking requirements, and limits on accessory dwellings. While the Toolkit focus is on urban/suburban areas, some policies could be applied to rural areas. Get the Toolkit here.

–“Opportunities for Promoting Credit for Affordable Housing in Rural America” is a report from the Center for American Progress that summarizes findings from a roundtable convened by the White House Rural Council and USDA’s Rural Housing Service and facilitated by the Center for American Progress. The issue brief provides an analysis of the areas of opportunity for improving access to credit in rural communities gleaned from discussions at the roundtable. Download the brief here.

–Housing Assistance Council published an overview of rural housing finance in its magazine Rural Voices. Read the issue here.

— An article in the Federal Bank of Minneapolis’ newsletter on preserving USDA-RD 515 units titled “Key housing organizations take coordinated approach to preserving rural Minnesota’s affordable rentals,” discusses the collaborative effort among government agencies and nonprofit organizations in Minnesota that aims to preserve rural affordable housing. Read the article here.

— In an update to the issue of maturing rural multifamily mortgages, USDA released a loan level database of all rural multifamily loans and their projected “exit” or maturity date. Housing Assistance Council (HAC) has links to the data and a summary on its website here.

–“Bridging Farm and Table: The ‘Harvest to Market’ Innovation” is the title of a brief from The Carsey School of Public Policy that highlights a Social Venture Innovation Challenge winner. In the brief authors Andrew Walters and Edie Allard describe their new online platform, Harvest to Market, which makes it easier for small farmers to sell their products directly to local consumers. Consumers visit the Harvest to Market website and find “markets” in their area. Download the brief here.

— USDA has published “Household Food Security in the United States in 2015.” Researchers report on household food security, food expenditures and use of federal food and nutrition assistance programs in 2015. The report includes food insecurity statistics for metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas. Get the report here.

— Minnesota currently imports 72 percent of the energy it consumes, mostly fossil fuels such as coal and oil. However, results of a two-year project called the “Minnesota 2025 Energy Action Plan” (pdf) show that the state has ample opportunity to decrease these imports and increase clean, affordable, reliable, and resilient energy while boosting the state economy. The 2025 Energy Action Plan was funded through a competitive grant awarded to the state by the U.S. Department of Energy and compiled by the Rocky Mountain Institute. It centers on consensus-driven, near-term strategies that add value to Minnesota’s dynamic energy landscape. Strategies are recommended under five categories:

  • Transportation
  • Energy supply and grid modernization
  • Efficient buildings and integrated energy systems
  • Industrial and agricultural processes
  • Local planning and action

The Action Plan was coordinated by a multisector team that included the Rocky Mountain Institute, Minnesota Department of Commerce, Legislative Energy Commission, Great Plains Institute, and LHB, Inc. The project team worked closely with a multidisciplinary group of more than 50 stakeholders across the state to collect input on energy technologies and strategies.

— A compendium of resources on community solar gardens has been compiled by the Central Region of the Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs). The resources include Guides & Reports, Articles & Websites, Tools & Resources, and Videos from national sources like the National Renewable Energy Lab and Smart Electric Power Alliance. Read more.

— The Disability Resource Center (DRC) at the University of Minnesota recently released an informative resource for Creating Accessible & Inclusive Meetings or Events.  The tip sheet includes event-related guidelines your organization should be aware of when planning an event, including information on venue selection, marketing and communications, presenter consideration, food offerings and other considerations.

Read the DRC’s full tip sheet to discover ways to make your events more accessible and inclusive for all. If you have any questions, please contact the Disability Resource Center at 612-626-1333 or drc@umn.edu.

Grant Writing for Rural Healthcare Projects This newly updated topic guide provides tips on searching for rural-specific funding, grant proposal preparation, building successful funding relationships, and planning for program sustainability.

— This year’s National Rural Health Day is Thursday, November 17. This sixth annual celebration allows the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH), the State Offices of Rural Health (SORH) and our partners to showcase rural America and highlight the unique health care needs of rural communities.

EMPLOYMENT

Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota Seeks Executive Director

The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota is searching for a new Executive Director to lead the museum in achieving the established strategic goals and shaping the future of the organization.

Visit Cook County Administrative Manager Position Opening

Visit Cook County is searching for a new team member.

bbc-mainFiber for the New Economy: Helping Communities Take Control of their Broadband Futures

When: October 18-20, 2016
Where: Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown (35 South Seventh Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402)
Who: Broadband Communities Magazine
Learn more: http://www.bbcmag.com/minneapolis

Communities see the relationship between broadband, economic development and job creation. What’s not so clear is knowing how to make that happen; the formula will be different for each community. Smart communities are looking into making it happen. To help with the process, Community Broadband Magazine is bringing together experts to talk about how to realize better economic development and job creation by deploying and adopting broadband strategies.

The three-day event features national speakers, homegrown experts and local practitioners. Sessions will address the latest, hottest topics – including how to work with local legislators; funding options and financial models; finding the right partners for you; public-private fiber projects; developments in health care, education, energy, etc.; addressing the needs of vulnerable populations, including seniors, individuals with disabilities, low-income individuals and families and Native Americans; and much more.

It’s a chance to meet with colleagues from around the Midwest and Canada. There will be community leaders, IT experts, broadband providers, policymakers and folks from the frontlines, folks who have been successful and folks who have learned the hard way. You can learn from them all, tell your story and find some solutions together.

September 2016- Volume XIV, Number 8

Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard

  • –FUNDING
  • –TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • –OPPORTUNITIES
  • –MISCELLANEOUS
  • –EMPLOYMENT

FUNDING

— HUD has released its Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the Youth Homeless Demonstration Program. Up to ten communities, including four rural, will be awarded funds to design and implement a community response focused on ending youth homelessness. $33 million is available for the program. Deadline: 11/30/2016. Click here to review funding guidelines.

— The Minnesota J1 Visa Waiver Program will accept applications for FY 2017 beginning September 15 through 4:30 p.m., November 30. Physicians who wish to be considered for a waiver slot must submit their application by the due date. For more information about the J-1 Visa Waiver Program, contact Workforce Grants Administrator Darwin Flores Trujillo at 651-201-3850 or darwin.flores.trujillo@state.mn.us.

–Dual-Training Grants Application Available Now! Employers can now apply for grants to help create or expand dual-training programs in advanced manufacturing, agriculture, health care services and information technology industries. Dual-training grants are part of the Minnesota PIPELINE Project, which was established by the Minnesota Legislature in 2014 to expand dual training and apprenticeship programs. This is the third round of grants released for this program. Thus far, 37 employers have received grants totaling $1,428,439 to support the training of 274 students/employees. Applications due September 23, 2016 at 5 pm CDT.  LEARN MORE

— LOWE’S Charitable and Education Foundation is accepting applications for Toolbox for Education grants for projects with the potential to have a permanent impact on a K-12 school community, such as facility enhancement or landscaping/clean-up projects. Deadline: 9/26/2016. Click here to review funding guidelines.

–The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development is requesting applications for the Minnesota Emerging Entrepreneur Program. The program provides funding to local nonprofit corporations that will use these funds to make loans to Minnesota businesses majority-owned and operated by minorities, low-income persons, women, veterans, and/or persons with disabilities.  The Request for Proposal

Proposals must be received by DEED no later than 4:00 pm. on September 30, 2016. Late proposals will not be considered.  For more information contact Bob.Isaacson@state.mn.us or 651-259-7458.

— October 1st is the deadline for Best Buy grants for Technology Programs for Underserved Teens Funded http://wp.me/p3if7-3EO

–The Target Field Trip Grants program provides funds for K-12 field trips in order to give students throughout the country the opportunity to explore more of the world outside the classroom. Grants of up to $700 each will be awarded to educators, teachers, principals, paraprofessionals, and classified staff who are employed by accredited K-12 public, private, or charter schools. Deadline: online applications will be accepted through 10/1/2016. Visit the Target website here to learn more about the program.

Wrigley Company Foundation Community Service Grant provides funding to dental hygienists for projects aimed at improving oral health or providing oral health education. Application Deadline: October 1, 2016.

–Border to Border Grants.  The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), Office of Broadband Development, will be soliciting proposals from qualified organizations for Minnesota Border to Border Broadband Development Grants. The application deadline is 4:00 p.m., Monday, October 3, 2016. Details are available http://wp.me/p3if7-3CQ as are updated maps. http://wp.me/p3if7-3Cw

— NIFA Announces $8.3 Million in Available Funding to Support Innovative Small Businesses.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced more than $8.3 million in available funding to support small businesses in the creation of advanced research and development projects that will lead to innovative solutions for American agriculture. This funding is available through the Small Business Innovation Research program, administered by NIFA. Applications are due October 6th.  Learn more

–The Tourism Marketing Grant Program is designed to promote and facilitate increased travel to and within the state of Minnesota, increase the number of resident and nonresident travelers to our state, grow travel-related sales and employment in Minnesota, generate increased sales tax revenue from travel-related industries, and develop industry partnerships to expand marketing reach.  Grants are offered to Minnesota non-profit organizations formed for the primary purpose of tourism promotion and to scenic byway groups incorporated as a non-profit organization. Grants are to be used for marketing and promotional projects or to conduct research to help in this endeavor. To request tourism marketing grant funding, applicants must complete the Grant Request Form and return it to your regional representative by October 14, 2016. Grant guidelines and applications can be found at: www.exploreminnesota.com/industry-minnesota/ways-to-get-involved/

Service Area Competition Funding for Health Center Program (Areas Served with a Project Period Start Date of April 1, 2017) Funding to provide comprehensive primary healthcare services to an underserved area or population. Application Deadline: Oct 17, 2016.  Sponsored by the Bureau of Primary Health Care.

— The Mental Health Safety Net Grant program assists mental health centers and clinics that treat the uninsured. Eligible providers must be Community Mental Health Centers or Clinics designated under Minnesota Statute 245.62, or nonprofit Mental Health Clinics designated as Essential Community Providers under Minnesota Statute 62Q.19. Eligible providers must also offer free or reduced-cost mental health care to low-income patients under the age of 21. Applications will be posted on September 12 and are due October 28. For more information, contact Shortage Designation Coordination and Grant Program Manager Keisha Shaw at 651-201-3860 or keisha.shaw@state.mn.us.

–The Medical Education and Research Costs (MERC) grant program, administered by the Minnesota Department of Health, distributes grants annually to providers of clinical medical education. The next application cycle is expected to open in late August 2016 and will be due on October 31st. For more information, contact Diane Reger at 651-201-3566.

—  USDA Rural Development is soliciting applications through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which provides guaranteed loan and grant financing for rural small businesses and agricultural producers to purchase or install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements. USDA reminds eligible applicants that set-aside funding is available for grant requests less than $20,000 and may offer priority scoring for projects located in underserved areas and/or benefiting underserved populations. USDA also guarantees loans for a minimum of $5,000 and maximum of $25 million. Applicants are encouraged to apply through the loan guarantee program for larger-scale projects. Grant and guaranteed loan combinations are also available. The next application deadline for grants under $20,000 is October 31, 2016. For details on how to apply, visit www.rd.usda.gov/mn, contact USDA Rural Development State Energy Coordinator for Minnesota Ron Omann at ron.omann@mn.usda.gov or (651) 602-7796, or see page 78029 of the December 29 Federal Register.

— The Laura Jane Musser Fund is offering funding to encourage collaborative and participatory efforts among citizens in rural communities that will help to strengthen their towns and regions in a number of civic areas including, but not limited to, economic development, business preservation, arts and humanities, public space improvements and education. Programs in Colorado, Hawaii, Michigan, Minnesota and Wyoming may apply. The applicant community must have a population of 10,000 or fewer and must be able to demonstrate the rural characteristics of their location. Deadline: 11/2/2016. Click here to review further guidelines and to apply.

AmeriCorps State and National Grants funding for programs that are designed to strengthen communities and solve local problems, including those found in rural and underserved areas. Funds may be used for programs that utilize AmeriCorps member in the following areas: disaster services, economic opportunity, healthy futures, environmental stewardship, education, and veterans and military families. Letter of Intent (Required): Dec 7, 2016. Application Deadline: Jan 18, 2017.

–THE HOME DEPOT Foundation Community Impact Grants Program provides support to nonprofit organizations and public service agencies in the U.S. that are using volunteers to improve the physical health of their communities. Proposals for the following community improvement activities will be considered: repairs, refurbishments, and modifications to low-income or transitional veteran’s housing or community facilities (schools, community centers, senior centers, etc.); weatherizing or increasing energy efficiency of low-income or transitional veteran’s housing or community facilities; engaging veterans as volunteers to help other veterans in their community through service projects focusing on the renovation, repair, and improvement of homes and other properties serving veterans; and planting trees or community gardens or landscaping community facilities that serve veterans. Requests will be accepted through 12/31/2016. Visit the Foundation’s website here to submit an online application.

Grants Aim to Help Increase Number of Hunters and Anglers The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources created the Angler and Hunter Recruitment and Retention Grants Program in 2015 to help local groups support Minnesota’s angling and hunting heritage.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

Festival & Event Management Course Offered Online The University of Minnesota Tourism Center will be offering the Festival & Event Management (FEM) online course again in Fall 2016.

— SEPTEMBER 16 is the NE Minnesota STEM Conference (Duluth) http://wp.me/p3if7-3ET

Register Today for the 2016 Hospitality Expo  Hospitality Minnesota invites you to attend the third-annual Minnesota Hospitality Expo at the Saint Paul RiverCentre on Thursday, Sept. 22.

Region Nine Development Commission: September Grant Opportunities Forum will be Thursday, September 29, 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at South Central Service Cooperative in North Mankato. Presentations from the event sponsor, Mayo Clinic Health System Foundation, and Mardag Foundation, Headwaters Foundation for Justice, and Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation. Minnesota Compass will conclude the event with a training on navigating the MNCompass website and how to include data in your grant writing. Free. More

— University of Minnesota to host climate change seminar on Oct. 1st.  A seminar titled “Energy from Renewables: Confronting Global Collapse” will be held on Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Electric and Computer Engineering Building (Keller Hall) on the University of Minnesota East Bank campus. The objective of the seminar is to discuss our use of energy and its environmental consequences leading to climate change. Ned Mohan from the University’s Electrical Engineering Department has recruited key leaders on climate action to present at the daylong seminar. Speakers participating are from the University of Minnesota, Stanford University, Caltech, Purdue University, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, PluginConnect, WindLogics, Xcel Energy, U.S. Navy, and National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Registration is $25 per person. Registration information is online. Contact Ned Mohan for more information.

— The Biomedical Engineering Society’s (BMES) Annual Meeting is coming to Minneapolis this fall from October 5th – 8th.  This annual conference features over 2,600 oral and poster presentations highlighting the latest research in the biomedical, and bioengineering fields and 4,000 attendees with diverse backgrounds such as university researchers, professors, industry professionals, and students.

–Join the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits for our 2016 Annual Conference on October 6 – 7, 2016 at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center.  Learn more and register.

— The Heartland Center for Leadership Development will offer “Helping Small Towns Succeed” October 11-13, 2016, at the Snow King Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Baby Boomers Retiring: How Will This Impact our Economy and Overall Business Value?  Event will be Tuesday, October 11th, 4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at the International Market Square, Studio 185, Minneapolis. Compass Project Director Craig Helmstetter and State Economist Laura Kalambokidis will address the Alliance of Merger and Acquisition Advisors event addressing the economic and demographic impact of the transfer of wealth that will happen over the next 2 decades. More

Annual Minnesota Policy Conference will be Wednesday, October 12, 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the Continuing Education and Conference Center, Saint Paul  Don’t miss the session moderated by Compass Researcher Ellen Wolter, conference planning committee member, on efforts promoting the health and well-being of infants and children of incarcerated parents and sex trafficking. Conference schedule

–Save the date for the 30th Annual Minnesota Venture Conference — Minnesota’s premier event for entrepreneurs and investors! It will be held Thursday, October 13, 2016 from 7:15 am – 5:45 pm at the Minneapolis Convention Center.  For more information go to: https://www.mhta.org/event/mvc/

— October 13-17 is the Minnesota Telecom Alliance Fall Conference http://wp.me/p3if7-3EF

Broadband Communities Conference October 18-20

A Regional conference on broadband is a great place to learn what folks in and outside of Minnesota are doing as well as get a chance to showcase what we’re doing right in the Midwest.
What You Will Learn:

  • How to successfully plan for, monetize, and manage an all fiber-based broadband investment.
  • Explore best practices for developing broadband strategies for the knowledge economy.
  • Learn the strategies necessary to foster collaboration with economic development agencies.
  • Differentiate your community with advanced broadband connectivity.
  • Discover how your community can become a magnet for the tech industry.

–The annual Many Faces of Community Health Conference will be held November 3-4 in Bloomington.

–The Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA) recently announced that its 2016 Midwest Gateway to Solar Conference will be held Nov. 15-16 at the Hilton Airport/Mall of America in Bloomington. Information on registration and early bird rate is available.

— The 2016 Tekne Awards will be held on November 16th at the Minneapolis Convention Center.  You can learn more and find the full list of Tekne recipients at tekneawards.org.  Applications and nominations are now open!

–Save the Date:  Minnesota Campus Compact Annual Summit and Awards Ceremony will be April 5, 2017 at the University of St. Thomas.

OPPORTUNITIES

— 2017 Statewide Health Assessment. The Healthy Minnesota Partnership and the Minnesota Department of Health have begun developing the 2017 Statewide Health Assessment. A statewide health assessment shows a picture of health and well-being across the state, revealing “the way things are.” It raises and answers several important questions, including:

  • Who is healthy and who is not?
  • What conditions shape health for all the different populations in Minnesota?
  • What do we have, and what do we need, to assure that all people in Minnesota can enjoy healthy lives and healthy communities?

Please click on this link to fill out the survey: https://survey.vovici.com/se/56206EE360222CA9

–Nominations for 2016 Community Health Awards.  Nominate someone you think deserves a Community Health Award. The awards will be presented by Commissioner of Health Ed Ehlinger on September 28th during the Community Health Conference. For more information, contact Megan Drake-Pereyra at 651-201-3640.

–Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellowship. The 2017 Fellowship application process is open now! Two fellows are being hired for 2017 – 2019 at The Saint Paul Foundation and the Bush Foundation. The fellowship, which was launched as a partnership with MCF and the Bush Foundation in 2013, will prepare individuals from underrepresented communities for careers in philanthropy. Fellows are employed by MCF and placed in full-time positions at host foundations. Over the course of a three-year appointment, fellows receive significant professional development and networking opportunities.

Learn more and apply on our website. Applications are due September 28 at noon.

— Bush Foundation Fellowships. Deadline: September 29, 2016. MORE

3RNet Recruiting for Retention Academy Online educational opportunity to learn about tools and resources that can assist you in recruiting qualified providers to your rural and underserved areas. Application Deadline: Oct 4, 2016.

National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Students to Service Loan Repayment Program (S2S LRP) Provides loan repayment assistance to medical students and dental students who agree to provide services in eligible Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) of greatest need. Application Deadline: Oct 13, 2016.

–Nominations for Nurse of the Year. The March of Dimes is honored to pay tribute to the nursing profession by recognizing extraordinary nurses throughout the community. The Nurse of the Year event will be held October 14. For more information, contact Jonathon McCarthy at 612-326-9441.

Country Doctor of the Year Award  Award to a physician who best exemplifies the spirit, skill, and dedication of America’s rural medical practitioners. Application Deadline: Oct 15, 2016.

CMS: Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is seeking comment by October 17, 2016 on a proposed rule that would revise and update the requirements for the Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), providing more operational flexibility, removing outdated and redundant information, and codifying existing practice.

Culture of Health Prize  Awards that honor community efforts and partnerships that are helping people live healthier lives. Letter of Intent (Required): Nov 3, 2016.  Application Deadline: Jan 20, 2017.

Roadmaps to Health Coaching Offers guidance and support from a community coach for communities who want to improve the health of their populations and work toward building a culture of health. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis. Sponsored by County Health Rankings & Roadmaps and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Rural Impact County Challenge: A National Effort to Combat Rural Child Poverty The Rural Impact County Challenge will recognize and support counties making strides in reducing child poverty in rural communities. The challenge will provide educational opportunities, networking forums, and resources to develop and implement evidenced-based approaches to reduce the number of children and families living in poverty in rural areas.

Applications accepted on an ongoing basis. Sponsored by the National Association of Counties.

–The Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) to be Minnesota host of SBIR/STTR programs. MHTA has been named the host of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Federal and State Technology Partnership (FAST) Program for the state of Minnesota. FAST is designed to stimulate economic development with outreach and technical assistance to science and technology-driven small businesses, with a particular emphasis on socially and economically disadvantaged firms, helping them to compete in federally-funded research and development through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs. LEARN MORE

Public Health Student Volunteer Program provides a one-semester internship experience for students enrolled in a public health program.  Geographic coverage: Nationwide

Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.   Sponsored by the Health Resources and Services Administration.

MISCELLANEOUS

— USDA has released a report, “The Comprehensive Property Assessment of the USDA Rural Development Multi-Family Housing Portfolio,” describing the costs to maintain and improve USDA-funded rental housing. Over the next 20 years, properties in the Multi-Family Housing program will need an additional $5.6 billion for capital improvements including roofs, insulation, accessibility improvements, plumbing and electrical and structural repairs. The report also includes a framework for how USDA can collaborate with stakeholders and policymakers to preserve rural rental housing. Get the report here.

— The CDFI Fund has released data collected on New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) investments across the nation through fiscal year (FY) 2014, along with a summary report. Through the first 12 application rounds of the NMTC Program, the CDFI Fund has made 912 awards, allocating a total of $43.5 billion in tax credit authority to Community Development Entities through a competitive application process. View a summary report and the full data release here.

— Minnesota ranks among leaders in 2015 Distributed Wind Market Report.  Minnesota ranked among the top states in several areas of the recently released 2015 Distributed Wind Market Report. The report provides statistics and analysis of the market along with insights into its trends and characteristics. Minnesota was among the top three states in the nation for small wind deployed in 2015 and for states with most distributed wind capacity deployed since 2003. Read more (pdf).

— Bloomberg issues 2016 Minnesota Energy Factsheet. The 2016 Minnesota Energy Factsheet, released in July by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, provides a fact-based overview of Minnesota’s power sector. The report presents key metrics, highlights recent trends, and discusses the state’s progress toward compliance under the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. Read more (pdf).

Explore Minnesota Program Guide Now Available The annual Explore Minnesota Program Guide is a free publication designed to inform Minnesota tourism businesses and organizations about all the ways to get involved with Explore Minnesota programs and promotions.

People of color are driving population growth in Minnesota  Every region of the state is seeing growth in their populations of color. In fact, 4 of the 7 regions would have seen declines in population without the increase in residents of color: Northland, Northwest, Southern and Southwest. More

Two Demographic Trends Contribute to the Concentration of Older Populations in Some Rural Counties Rural counties are more likely to have a higher elderly population than urban counties. This is attributed to the tendency for retirees to relocate to scenic destinations that are often rural, the tendency for young-adults to migrate towards more urban locations, or, in some counties, for both of these tendencies to exist simultaneously. Includes map detailing elderly population by county type based on data from the Atlas of Rural and Small Town America.

Land Acquisition and Transfer in U.S. Agriculture (Amber Waves feature article) In 2015-19, just over 2 percent of land in farms is expected to be sold in an arms-length transaction in which the buyer and seller are not related. Most land that will be sold to nonrelatives in the next 5 years was originally acquired in an arms-length transaction, suggesting that the supply of land available for purchase may not vary much over time.

Mapping Broadband Health in America Mapping tool for visualizing broadband access, demographics, and health data at the national, state, and county levels. Includes a rural filter based on the percent of the population that is rural.

AARP—Small Business Administration Webinars  AARP and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) host new webinars and republish previous webinars to educate people who want to start businesses or expand existing ones.

–Rural Diabetes Prevention and Management Toolkit This new toolkit, developed by the University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center, provides resources and best practices to help rural communities develop and implement diabetes prevention and management programs. Access program models and examples, and learn how to implement, evaluate, sustain a diabetes program in your community and disseminate program results.

Health Workforce Mapper Customizable, interactive tool for accessing healthcare workforce-related data at the state, county, or metropolitan area level. Provides information on Health Professional Shortage Areas, hospital locations, population indicators, and patient health data such as morbidity and mortality rates, health behaviors and social environment, healthcare access, and quality data.

Fostering Futures on the Menominee Indian Reservation The Menominee Tribe in Wisconsin has been deeply affected by trauma for years. A state-wide initiative called Fostering Futures has initiated trainings for clinic and school staff to administer trauma-informed care and build resilience among children.

HHS Report Outlines Problems, Potential of Telemedicine The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a report detailing both the struggles with and the potential of telemedicine. Problems cited include costs, licensing, broadband connectivity, and differing policies between facilities, but the report also explored the great capacity of telemedicine to expand and redefine medical services, potentially providing life-altering access to care for underserved populations, including those in rural areas.

Report to Congress: E-health and Telemedicine  Report regarding the current state of e-health and telemedicine after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Includes current policy challenges, discussion of federal level telehealth activity, and a legislative proposal for the Fiscal Year 2017 budget.

Rural Hospitals in Critical Condition Explores the shortage of healthcare professionals in rural communities, both in Wisconsin and throughout the U.S., and the expectation that this shortage will increase over time as need grows and new health professionals continue to be drawn to urban locations. Also discusses efforts that have been made at the federal level to address the concerns facing rural facilities and the successes of telehealth in meeting rural health needs. This story is the second part of a two-part series; the first part was published on August 11, 2016.

Minnesota Hospital Association Mental and Behavioral Health Data Collection Pilot: Reasons for Delays in Hospital Discharges of Behavioral Health Patients  Results from the first-of-its-kind pilot study to better understand how often and why Minnesotans are unable to access mental health care in the most appropriate settings.  Completed by Wilder Research, Minnesota Hospital Association, August 2016.

Life Lessons from a Small-town Undertaker as White Women Die Younger in America Follows an undertaker through the death of two white women, aged 44 and 59, in rural Kentucky. In McCreary County, Kentucky, there has been a 75% increase over the last 15 years in the mortality rate for white women aged 35 to 59. To compare, national death rates for white women of similar ages have increased only 23%, for white men they have increased 16%, and have decreased for both black and Hispanic men and women.

This is the fifth installment of a multi-part series: part one, part two, part three, and part four.

Federal Interagency Health Equity Team Compendium of Publicly Available Datasets and Other Data-Related Resources  Identifies and describes publicly available data that could be used by projects working to reduce health disparities. Includes datasets and data-related resources from agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as from the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Commerce.

EMPLOYMENT

Minnesota River Valley National Scenic Byway Seeks Dakota Content Specialist

The Minnesota River Valley National Scenic Byway is requesting proposals for a Dakota Content Specialist to fulfill requirements of a grant from the Minnesota Historical Society.

August 2016- Volume XIV, Number 7

Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard

  • –FUNDING
  • –TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • –OPPORTUNITIES
  • –MISCELLANEOUS

FUNDING

–Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health. The Great Plains Center offers grant funding to both scholarly researchers and community organizations engaged in agricultural safety and health activities. Funding is available up to $15,000 for two types of projects. The purpose of the Community Outreach/Education Grant is to enhance delivery of evidence-based agricultural health programs. Community projects are typically submitted by non-profit community entities delivering agricultural safety and health programs. The purpose of the Academic/Scholarly Research Grant is to create new agricultural safety and health knowledge, and to assess and promote best safety and health practices. Scholarly research projects are typically submitted by students, staff, and faculty of academic institutions. Research projects will be judged for scientific merit. The application deadline is August 15th.

— The NFL Grassroots Program has issued a Request for Proposals. The Grassroots Program is a partnership of the National Football League Foundation (NFL Foundation) and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), which provides technical assistance and manages the program. The goal of the Program is to provide nonprofit, neighborhood-based organizations with financial and technical assistance to improve the quality, safety, and accessibility of local football fields. The NFL Foundation Grassroots Program provides grants of up to $250,000 for capital improvement projects. Deadline: 8/15/2016. Click here for application guidelines.

–Health Resources and Services Administration is offering funding to provide comprehensive primary healthcare services to an underserved area or population. Deadline: 8/16/2016. Click here to review funding guidelines.

Avon Breast Health Outreach Program (BHOP) Funding to link medically underserved populations to breast health education and screening services. Application Deadline: August 19, 2016.

American Indian/Alaska Native Early Head Start (EHS) Expansion and EHS-Child Care Partnerships offer funding to expand Early Head Start programs for American Indian/Alaska Native populations or to create partnerships with local child care providers within a community, leveraging existing local resources to provide a comprehensive array of health, mental health, nutrition, and social services to infants, toddlers, and their families. Application Deadline: August 24, 2016. Sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families.

Early Head Start (EHS) and Migrant and Seasonal EHS-Child Care Partnership Grants offer funding to expand access to high-quality, comprehensive early learning services for eligible low-income, migrant and seasonal infants, toddlers, and their families. Application Deadline: August 24, 2016. Sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families.

Early Head Start and EHS-Child Care Partnership Grants offer funding to operate Early Head Start programming within a community, leveraging existing local resources to provide a comprehensive array of health, mental health, nutrition, and social services to infants, toddlers, and their families. Application Deadline: August 24, 2016. Sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families.

— Department of Labor has a major new grant program that offers funding for job training and education that leads to in-demand and industry-recognized credentials and degrees facilitating “regional workforce partnerships”. Maximum amount: $6,000,000. Eligible: workforce investment systems, community colleges, nonprofits and others that are part of a “regional workforce partnership.” Deadline: 8/25/2016. Click here to learn more about this new program.

Gannett Foundation Community Action Grants support local organizations with funding priority given to programs that focus on education and neighborhood improvement, economic development, youth development, community problem-solving, assistance to disadvantaged people, environmental conservation, and cultural enrichment. Geographic coverage: Limited to certain areas of 35 states and U.S. territories, see sponsor’s website for more details. (Includes some of Minnesota.) Application Deadline: August 29, 2016.

–Chartwells in Partnership with KidsGardening.org is offering funding for schools seeking to enhance their curriculums and offer food and nutrition education through an edible garden program. K-12 public or private schools throughout the country that are planning a new or expanding an established garden program are eligible to apply. The program will provide 18 grants that include funds to purchase plants, soil, and garden tools, as well as additional gardening resources. Deadline: 8/31/2016. Visit the KidsGardening.org website here to learn more about the program.

–The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is offering funding to nonprofit organizations that nurture the participation of people living in poverty to change structures and policies that affect their lives. At least 50 percent of those benefiting from the applying organization’s efforts must be people experiencing poverty. Grants range between $25,000 and $75,000. Deadline: pre-applications may be submitted between 9/1/2016 and 11/1/2016. Visit the CCHD website here for more information.

–The National Endowment for the Arts has issued guidelines for 2017 Our Town funding, and they are now posted on the NEA website here. Grants will be offered in Arts Engagement, Cultural Planning, and Design Projects as well as in Projects that Build Knowledge About Creative Placemaking. Deadlines: applications are due on 9/12/2016

–The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will make five Rural Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing Grants of up to $2.5 million to national organizations with ongoing experience in rural housing and community development. Applications are due September 13.

–Dual-Training Grants Application Available Now! Employers can now apply for grants to help create or expand dual-training programs in advanced manufacturing, agriculture, health care services and information technology industries. Dual-training grants are part of the Minnesota PIPELINE Project, which was established by the Minnesota Legislature in 2014 to expand dual training and apprenticeship programs. This is the third round of grants released for this program. Thus far, 37 employers have received grants totaling $1,428,439 to support the training of 274 students/employees. Applications due September 23, 2016 at 5 pm CDT. LEARN MORE

–The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development is requesting applications for the Minnesota Emerging Entrepreneur Program. The program provides funding to local nonprofit corporations that will use these funds to make loans to Minnesota businesses majority-owned and operated by minorities, low-income persons, women, veterans, and/or persons with disabilities.  The Request for Proposal

Proposals must be received by DEED no later than 4:00 pm. on September 30, 2016. Late proposals will not be considered.  For more information contact Bob.Isaacson@state.mn.us or 651-259-7458

–The Target Field Trip Grants program provides funds for K-12 field trips in order to give students throughout the country the opportunity to explore more of the world outside the classroom. Grants of up to $700 each will be awarded to educators, teachers, principals, paraprofessionals, and classified staff who are employed by accredited K-12 public, private, or charter schools. Deadline: online applications will be accepted through 10/1/2016. Visit the Target website here to learn more about the program.

Wrigley Company Foundation Community Service Grant provides funding to dental hygienists for projects aimed at improving oral health or providing oral health education. Application Deadline: October 1, 2016.

–Border to Border Grants.  The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), Office of Broadband Development, will be soliciting proposals from qualified organizations for Minnesota Border to Border Broadband Development Grants. The application deadline is 4:00 p.m., Monday, October 3, 2016. Details are available http://wp.me/p3if7-3CQ as are updated maps. http://wp.me/p3if7-3Cw

–The Tourism Marketing Grant Program is designed to promote and facilitate increased travel to and within the state of Minnesota, increase the number of resident and nonresident travelers to our state, grow travel-related sales and employment in Minnesota, generate increased sales tax revenue from travel-related industries, and develop industry partnerships to expand marketing reach. Grants are offered to Minnesota non-profit organizations formed for the primary purpose of tourism promotion and to scenic byway groups incorporated as a non-profit organization. Grants are to be used for marketing and promotional projects or to conduct research to help in this endeavor. To request tourism marketing grant funding, applicants must complete the Grant Request Form and return it to your regional representative by October 14, 2016. Grant guidelines and applications can be found at: www.exploreminnesota.com/industry-minnesota/ways-to-get-involved/

–The Medical Education and Research Costs (MERC) grant program, administered by the Minnesota Department of Health, distributes grants annually to providers of clinical medical education. The next application cycle is expected to open in late August 2016 and will be due on October 31st. For more information, contact Diane Reger at 651-201-3566.

—  USDA Rural Development is soliciting applications through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which provides guaranteed loan and grant financing for rural small businesses and agricultural producers to purchase or install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements. USDA reminds eligible applicants that set-aside funding is available for grant requests less than $20,000 and may offer priority scoring for projects located in underserved areas and/or benefiting underserved populations. USDA also guarantees loans for a minimum of $5,000 and maximum of $25 million. Applicants are encouraged to apply through the loan guarantee program for larger-scale projects. Grant and guaranteed loan combinations are also available. The next application deadline for grants under $20,000 is October 31, 2016. For details on how to apply, visit www.rd.usda.gov/mn, contact USDA Rural Development State Energy Coordinator for Minnesota Ron Omann at ron.omann@mn.usda.gov or (651) 602-7796, or see page 78029 of the December 29 Federal Register.

— The Laura Jane Musser Fund is offering funding to encourage collaborative and participatory efforts among citizens in rural communities that will help to strengthen their towns and regions in a number of civic areas including, but not limited to, economic development, business preservation, arts and humanities, public space improvements and education. Programs in Colorado, Hawaii, Michigan, Minnesota and Wyoming may apply. The applicant community must have a population of 10,000 or fewer and must be able to demonstrate the rural characteristics of their location. Deadline: 11/2/2016. Click here to review further guidelines and to apply.

–THE HOME DEPOT Foundation Community Impact Grants Program provides support to nonprofit organizations and public service agencies in the U.S. that are using volunteers to improve the physical health of their communities. Proposals for the following community improvement activities will be considered: repairs, refurbishments, and modifications to low-income or transitional veteran’s housing or community facilities (schools, community centers, senior centers, etc.); weatherizing or increasing energy efficiency of low-income or transitional veteran’s housing or community facilities; engaging veterans as volunteers to help other veterans in their community through service projects focusing on the renovation, repair, and improvement of homes and other properties serving veterans; and planting trees or community gardens or landscaping community facilities that serve veterans. Requests will be accepted through 12/31/2016. Visit the Foundation’s website here to submit an online application.

–2016 MiM solar thermal rebates are available to Minnesotans statewide.  The Minnesota Department of Commerce has opened rebate opportunities for solar thermal systems to all Minnesota residents, businesses, nonprofits, and government entities as part of its 2016 Made in Minnesota Solar Energy Incentive Program. Applications for solar thermal rebates will be reviewed and funded through 2016 on a first-come, first-served basis until funds have been fully reserved. Read more.

–Explore Minnesota is excited to announce a new pilot grant program for New Event Funding. The New Event Grant Program was developed to increase the economic impact of visitors on state and local economies, increase spending by visitors, generate media awareness of Minnesota, and enhance the quality of life for Minnesotans. The program provides funding to secure and operate new major events throughout the state. This pilot program creates a coordinated approach for funding events in Minnesota, including (1) competitive bidding/sponsorship and (2) operating/hosting new events that have the potential to generate significant economic impact for the host community. Questions on the New Event Grant program: Email or call Lori Peterson at 651-757-1876 or Lori.A.Peterson@state.mn.us

Grant Guidelines and applications can be found at: http://www.exploreminnesota.com/industry-minnesota/ways-to-get-involved/

–USDA is offering funding to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to participate in the Community Facilities Re-lending Program. Through the program USDA provides low-interest, direct loans through the program to re-lenders: high-impact, community-based lending institutions with a track record of mission-driven lending in high poverty areas. Re-lenders can use the funds to make loans for community facilities projects like health clinics, schools, libraries, food banks, municipal buildings, and child care centers. Deadline: open. Click here to visit the website for funding guidelines and forms.

–Green project idea? Get a MPCA environmental assistance loan. The MPCA offers low-interest loans for capital projects that improve the environment. Apply for the Environmental Assistance (EA) loan program if you’re considering a project in green chemistry, pollution prevention, source reduction, recycling, or composting collection. Capital costs are limited to the costs of machinery and equipment, including freight and installation, and related improvements. Eligible applicants include small to medium-sized businesses and political subdivisions of Minnesota. There is currently funding available. Since the amount available fluctuates, it is recommended to contact the program with questions on fund availability.

The EA loan program has two types of loans. Participatory loans provide up to $100,000 at zero percent interest with a dollar-for-dollar match from a participating financial institution. In addition to the interest rate charged by the institution on its matching funds, there may be additional administrative fees. Overall though, these loans generally have a very low interest rate. Direct loans are limited to businesses/entities and up to $50,000 at four percent interest or one half the prime rate, whichever is greater. Direct loans must be matched by one dollar from the applicant for every two dollars received. Start-up businesses are not eligible for direct loans.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Visit the MPCA Environmental Assistance Loan Program for more information.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

–Blandin Community Broadband Program Webinar: Growing and Keeping Tech Talent will be held on August 11. http://wp.me/p3if7-3Ah

–“Immigrant Family Economic Success in Rural Communities” is a webinar series offered by The Aspen Institute. “Hello! Please Come In!” that’s the typical welcome sign as you enter rural communities across the United States. But some rural towns and businesses now add signs that read “¡Bienvenidos!” (Spanish) and “Zoo siab txais tos!” (Hmong), among others. That’s because growing numbers of immigrants and refugees are moving into rural communities-from 2012 to 2014, 31 percent of net new rural residents were foreign-born. To learn more about this growing population of rural Americans and to learn what rural practitioners can do to support them participate in an upcoming Aspen Institute webinar series: Immigrant Family Economic Success in Rural Communities. Sessions are scheduled for August 18, 2016, August 25, 2016 and September 1, 2016. Click here to register for any or all of these sessions.

 

–Upcoming Workshops for Minnesota Emerging Entrepreneur Program.  The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development is currently requesting applications for the Minnesota Emerging Entrepreneur Program. The program provides funding to local nonprofit corporations that will use these funds to make loans to Minnesota businesses majority-owned and operated by minorities, low-income persons, women, veterans, and/or persons with disabilities. Three workshops will be held to discuss the RFP and answer questions about the application process.

August 22, 2016

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corporation

CTC Room

224 West Washington Street

Brainerd

 

August 23, 2016
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Intergovernmental Center
Minnesota River Room
10 Civic Center Plaza
Mankato

August 26, 2016
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
Minnesota Room
332 Minnesota St, Suite E200
St. Paul

The times and locations of the workshops are subject to change so attendees should confirm times and locations by visiting DEED’s calendar or by contacting Bob Isaacson, Bob.Isaacson@state.mn.us or 651-259-7458. The DEED calendar will display any additional workshops that are scheduled.

–Health disparities of immigrant workers in agriculture webinar. This webinar will focus on the health and safety of immigrant workers in agriculture. It will explore disparities in health and safety outcomes for immigrant workers compared to non-immigrant workers, and attempt to describe some reasons for those disparities. Case studies as well as descriptive and analytic data will be presented. The focus will be on immigrant workers in the U.S., but the same phenomena exists in developed and developing countries around the world. The webinar will be held August 24, 12-1 pm CDT. It is free but you must register.

–DEED is pleased to be partnering with the Council of Development Finance Agencies

to bring a special one-day conference to Minnesota!  Join the CDFA Minnesota Financing Roundtable for the inaugural conference on Thursday, August 25. This event will feature a number of economic development finance experts from around the state discussing development finance tools, authorities, resources and approaches, and how these can affect the Minnesota economy going forward.

The conference will take place at the Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel, The Depot in downtown Minneapolis and is supported by dozens of the state’s finest development finance leaders.

Register today to reserve your spot at the 2016 CDFA Minnesota Financing Roundtable Conference.

–Blandin Broadband Conference: Sep 13-14.  You’re invited to the Fall Broadband conference, Border to Border Broadband: Advancing the Vision on September 13-14 at the Greysolon Ballroom in Duluth, MN. It is an opportunity to continue the work from last year’s conference where attendees crafted the well-received state broadband vision. http://wp.me/p3if7-3Cu

–Join the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits for our 2016 Annual Conference on October 6 – 7, 2016 at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. Learn more and register.

— The Heartland Center for Leadership Development will offer “Helping Small Towns Succeed” October 11-13, 2016, at the Snow King Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

–Save the date for the 30th Annual Minnesota Venture Conference — Minnesota’s premier event for entrepreneurs and investors! It will be held Thursday, October 13, 2016 from 7:15 am – 5:45 pm at the Minneapolis Convention Center.  For more information go to: https://www.mhta.org/event/mvc/

–Broadband Communities Conference http://wp.me/p3if7-3xR (Minneapolis) will be held October 18-20.

–The annual Many Faces of Community Health Conference will be held November 3-4 in Bloomington.

–The Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA) recently announced that its 2016 Midwest Gateway to Solar Conference will be held Nov. 15-16 at the Hilton Airport/Mall of America in Bloomington. Information on registration and early bird rate is available.

— The 2016 Tekne Awards will be held on November 16th at the Minneapolis Convention Center.  You can learn more and find the full list of Tekne recipients at tekneawards.org. Applications and nominations are now open!

OPPORTUNITIES

–The Minnesota State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) for primary care providers practicing in rural and urban health professional shortage areas in Minnesota is open for applications. For the 2016 cycle, applications must be faxed or postmarked by August 19. For more information, contact Deb Jahnke at 651-201-3845.

— Submit an Abstract for the 2017 Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference.  The Community Affairs Officers of the Federal Reserve System invite paper submissions for the tenth biennial Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference, a unique event that aims to bridge the gaps between research, policy, and practice on key issues facing the country. High-quality and emerging research is presented in a dialogue with policymakers and community practitioners who can utilize the lessons gleaned from the research. The 2017 conference seeks to inform a robust public conversation on the theme of Strong Foundations: The Economic Futures of Kids and Communities. Submissions for plenary, concurrent, and poster sessions are invited in three broad categories:

  • The context for child and youth development;
  • The role of community development and key partners; and
  • Implications for the economy and workforce.

Abstracts are due August 19, 2016. View the full text of the Call for Papers and submit your paper/abstract. Please direct any questions to CDConference@mpls.frb.org or 612-204-6785.

Rural Health Fellows Program is a year-long, intensive program designed to develop a community of rural health leaders. Application Deadline: September 1, 2016.

–Nominations for 2016 Community Health Awards.  Nominate someone you think deserves a Community Health Award. The awards will be presented by Commissioner of Health Ed Ehlinger on September 28th during the Community Health Conference. For more information, contact Megan Drake-Pereyra at 651-201-3640.

— Bush Foundation Fellowships. Deadline: September 29, 2016. MORE

–Nominations for Nurse of the Year. The March of Dimes is honored to pay tribute to the nursing profession by recognizing extraordinary nurses throughout the community. The Nurse of the Year event will be held October 14. For more information, contact Jonathon McCarthy at 612-326-9441.

–The Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) to be Minnesota host of SBIR/STTR programs. MHTA has been named the host of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Federal and State Technology Partnership (FAST) Program for the state of Minnesota. FAST is designed to stimulate economic development with outreach and technical assistance to science and technology-driven small businesses, with a particular emphasis on socially and economically disadvantaged firms, helping them to compete in federally-funded research and development through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs. LEARN MORE

Public Health Student Volunteer Program provides a one-semester internship experience for students enrolled in a public health program. Geographic coverage: Nationwide. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. Sponsored by the Health Resources and Services Administration.

MISCELLANEOUS

–Research Indicates Rural Still Behind Broadband Access. The FCC’s reports that 39 percent of rural areas lack access to the newly defined broadband, while only 4 percent of urban areas lack it. http://wp.me/p3if7-3Ce

Vulnerable Rural Counties: The Changing Rural Landscape, 2000-2010 A study of how rural counties were impacted by the 2008 recession, specifically focused on an increase in poverty levels, shifts in population, and loss or reduction of healthcare services and facilities. Includes county-by-county maps with data such as poverty and unemployment rates, elderly population, educational level, non-white population, health insurance coverage, availability of primary care and other specialties, and change in number of hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Appendices include tables comparing urban and rural/remote county statistics. See also: Key Facts in Rural Health: Vulnerable Rural Counties, the Changing Rural Landscape, 2000-2010 (Fact Sheet).

–“Working Across Generations to Move Rural Families Forward” is the title of an article in the Aspen Institute’s online newsletter. In 2014, nearly 25 percent of children in nonmetropolitan areas were poor, compared to about 21 percent in metropolitan areas. According to the UNH Carsey School of Public Policy, 64 percent of rural counties experienced high child poverty (20% in poverty or greater) in 2010 compared to 47 percent of urban counties. Research shows that children raised in poverty are less likely to succeed as adults. So how can rural families and communities buck this trend and build on local assets like their resourcefulness, relationships, and creativity to ensure the long-term success of local children? Read the blog post from the Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group, advocating for a two-generation approach to addressing rural child poverty here.

Social Determinants of Health for Rural People This topic guide has been updated with new frequently asked questions and updated statistics. It focuses on the health inequities that rural residents experience. Learn how income-level, educational attainment, race/ethnicity, housing quality, and other factors impact health.

Disparities in the Health and Well-Being of Children and Youth in Rural Areas

Recording of a May 21, 2016 DataSpeak webinar. Topics addressed include trends in rural children’s health, rural child mortality, and challenges facing American Indian children. Speakers included Janice Probst of the South Carolina Rural Health Research Center, Alana Knudson of the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis, and Steve Holve of Indian Health Service. Length: 59:00.

–An article in Governing titled “With Hospitals in Critical Condition, Can Rural America Survive?” explores the reality that nearly 30 percent of the country’s rural hospitals are at risk of closing in the next two years. Though rural hospitals have faced closure threats before, this time the challenges run deeper, and call into question whether rural areas themselves can survive in the absence of hospitals. Read the piece here.

–An article in the Center for Rural Affairs Rural News states that Latinos and immigrants are not only bringing population growth to rural America, they are also bringing economic growth. It goes on to say that the income growth that tends to accompany Latino population growth in rural counties is even greater where native-born, non-Hispanic populations have otherwise been shrinking. Read the article here.

–USDA Rural Housing Service (RHS) has released a suite of investment data to increase transparency and better educate stakeholders and appropriators about RHS program investments. The data suite includes information about loans, loan guarantees, and grants invested through RHS Single Family Housing, Multi-family Housing, and Community Facilities programs. Read the full announcement with links to access the data here.

–How Housing Matters 2016 is the published results of a survey by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Kresge Foundation, and Melville Charitable Trust which finds that nearly seven out of ten (68 percent) Americans believe it is difficult to obtain affordable housing. Get the report here.

–HUD has published early findings from its large-scale random assignment study on the benefits of housing counseling for first-time homebuyers. These findings indicate promising results, including improved mortgage literacy, homebuyer outcomes and loan performance. HUD hopes this study will confirm that first-time homebuyer education and counseling helps borrowers make better choices and expands access to credit. Download a copy of the report here.

–HUD has announced the release of the Maximizing Investments Toolkit. The Toolkit includes tools and guidance to help grantees identify local housing and community development needs and determine how to most effectively use their resources to address those needs. The tools are designed to help grantees set appropriate goals for their investments and to identify ways to maximize their positive impacts. Access it here.

–“Meet Liberty, the Uber-like service built for rural America” is the title of an article in the Silicon Prairie News about a new transportation network company working to improve mobility in rural areas by connecting existing public transportation providers with planning agencies, medical centers, and organizations serving people with special needs. Read the article here.