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.

July 2016- Volume XIV, Number 6

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

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

FUNDING 

 $35 Million in State Broadband Grants Applications Open July 22! The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) will begin taking applications on July 22 for funding to expand broadband infrastructure in Minnesota. DEED will pay for up to 50 percent of project development costs in unserved and underserved areas of the state. A maximum of $5 million per grant will be available. http://wp.me/p3if7-3B6 For more details, check out the materials from a recent webinar http://wp.me/p3if7-3AG on the topic or plan to attend a future session. http://wp.me/p3if7-3zY

–USDA has announced the availability of funds under the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) for Fiscal Year 2016. Applicants must provide matching funds in an amount at least equal to the Federal grant. These grants will be made to qualified intermediary organizations that will provide financial and technical assistance to recipients to develop their capacity and ability to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development that will support the community. Deadline: 7/22/2016. Click here for funding guidelines.

USDA is requesting proposals from applicants who will provide technical assistance to socially-disadvantaged groups in rural areas. The Agency is encouraging applications that direct grants to projects based in or serving census tracts with poverty rates greater than or equal to 20 percent. Eligible applicants include Cooperatives, Groups of Cooperatives and Cooperative Development Centers. Deadline: 8/1/2016. Click here for funding guidelines.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies that desire to help refugees resettle in the United States, acclimate to American culture, and find meaningful work. Deadline: 8/1/2016. Click here for funding guidelines.   

–U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is offering funding for projects to facilitate community involvement in area-wide planning approaches to brownfields assessment, cleanup and reuse. Deadline to apply: 8/10/2016. Click here for funding guidelines.

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.

–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, with funding available on 8/1/2017. Two webinars will be hosted to offer support for the application process: 1. How to Apply on 7/20/2016, with a presentation on the FY 2017 Our Town grant guidelines, and an overview of the review process. Click here to register. 2. Tips and Tricks for Success, on 7/17/2016, with a presentation to assist applicants in crafting a compelling creative placemaking project application. Click here to register.

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.

–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 statewideThe 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.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

TD Charitable Foundation is offering grants of up to $1,000 to community-based organizations wishing to send one or more employees to an approved class/course that enhances their job performance. Deadline: rolling. Click here to visit the website to review application requirements.

MRHA’s New Advocacy Certificate Program.  Beginning July 19th, the Minnesota Rural Health Association (MRHA) will offer an eight-month certificate program in Rural Health Advocacy. This new venture by MRHA stems from strategic planning that identified the need to build more effective capacity among rural health advocates to make a difference on rural health policy issues. For more information visit the MRHA website. To register, email Steve Gottwalt at steve@mnruralhealth.org

Webinar: Diversity in Rural Design will be held Thursday, July 21, 2016 from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM (EDT). Co-hosted with the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design™, this free webinar showcases rural communities that have effectively engaged diverse voices in shaping community design projects. Speakers will share how they identified and engaged diverse perspectives, whom they partnered with, and what doors have opened as a result. Register now »

–The Minnesota Council of Nonprofit Nonprofit Fundraising Conference to be held July 21, 2016 in Brooklyn Center.  For more information, go to: http://www.minnesotanonprofits.org/events-training/nonprofit-fundraising-conference/fundraising-conference

The Joint International Conference of the Community Development Society & International Association for Community Development will be July 24-27, 2016.  The 2016 theme is Sustaining Community Change: Building Local Capacity to Sustain Development Initiatives.  Minnesota last hosted this international gathering in 2001 in Duluth.  The location in 2016 is the Hilton Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport hotel near the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.  For more information go to: www.comm-dev.org

–The Nonprofit Essentials Conference will be on Tuesday, August 9 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis. This get a back-to-basics overview of the many management topics essential to nonprofits, and re-focuses staff on the core elements of working and managing nonprofit organizations. Register

Blandin Community Broadband Program Webinar: Growing and Keeping Tech Talent will be held on August 11.

–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.

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 LOCAL CROWD, a Laramie, Wyoming, based company has announced a Request for Proposals for Crowdfunding Demonstration Sites in U.S. rural communities. Communities selected as Demonstration Sites will receive use of a customized crowdfunding platform, at no charge for the first year, that would be a fundraising tool that: supports local and small business capital needs; raises money for civic projects; provides needed funding sources for local nonprofits and charities; and connects the community’s economic development resources with the people that need them. Deadline: 8/29/2016. To review the RFP, click here. For more information about the program and process, The Local Crowd is offering a 30-minute pre-submission webinar July 15 at 11:00 AM EDT. Register by clicking here.

— The Minnesota Department of Commerce has launched the 2016 Clean Energy Community Awards to recognize the good work of Minnesota communities in helping to achieve the state’s clean energy goals. Award information and the online application form are availableApplications will be accepted until July 15, 2016. Please direct questions about the awards program to energy.info@state.mn.us.

Who can apply: Communities eligible for the awards can be any group united in implementing clean energy initiatives. Units of government (city, county, tribal nation, or other jurisdiction) must be among the participating members, and participation from nonprofits, service organizations, and businesses will strengthen the application. To qualify for the award, the community’s clean energy program must have been in operation during the last 12 months. Projects from communities of all sizes are welcome.

Award benefits:Finalist communities (up to 10) will have their initiatives featured as part of an exhibit at the Eco Experience at the Minnesota State Fair. Award recipients (up to five) will receive: a stipend to send community members to the award celebration and news conference during Energy Awareness Month in October; statewide media coverage; award and signage suitable for public display; and recognition on the Commerce Department website.

Apply to be a part of the Tekne Awards, which shine a spotlight on innovations in Minnesota’s science and technology industry every year. The awards ceremony draws over 900 attendees from across the state and technology sectors including advanced manufacturing, information technology, healthcare, agricultural technology and more. The 2016 Tekne Awards have 13 categories, and the application deadline is July 15th. APPLY TODAY

Seeking Volunteers to help welcome attendees and host at various conference activities throughout the Conference of the Community Development Society & International Association for Community Development, coming to Minnesota, July 24-27, 2016.  Email Jane Leonard at jane.leonard@state.mn.us if you are interested in short stints as Mobile Learning Workshop chaperones, conference greeters, and other hosting experiences.  It’s a great way to experience the conference and a great way to show our visitors Minnesota’s excellence in hospitality.

The CDFI Fund is calling for interested Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) or CDFI partners to submit ideas for the fiscal year (FY) 2016 CDFI Prize Competition. Up to $1 million is available for awards through the competition. Awards will be for either: an innovative idea or strategy, implemented within the past two years, that helped increase CDFI investments and access to capital in underserved rural areas; or for an innovative idea or strategy that has not yet been implemented, but is reasonably expected to increase CDFI investments and access to capital in underserved rural areas. Deadline: 7/29/2016. Click here to review competition guidelines.

Request for Applications for Competitive Grant Award To Establish a USDA RIDGE Center for Food and Nutrition Assistance Research. USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), in collaboration with USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), invites applications for a competitively awarded grant to establish a research center to administer the Research Innovation and Development Grants in Economics (RIDGE) Program. ERS anticipates that $600,000 will be awarded in fiscal year 2016 to support this activity. This publication describes the RIDGE Center responsibilities and application requirements. The deadline for submission of applications is August 1, 2016.

A host community is being sought for the 2017 Minnesota Governor’s Deer Hunting Opener. The purpose of the event is to focus on Minnesota’s hunting heritage, cultural traditions and the economic impact of the activity, as well as to generate associated travel and tourism. The event, scheduled for Nov. 2-5, 2017, will be the 15th consecutive Minnesota Governor’s Deer Hunting Opener and will follow this year’s event in the Pequot Lakes/Breezy Point area. The deadline for submitting a proposal is August 5. For detailed event information, contact Bri Stacklie at the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association at 218-259-1368 or bri@mndeerhunters.com.

Explore Minnesota Seeking Proposals for the 2017 Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener Explore Minnesota is seeking proposals to host the 2017 Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener.

Request for Proposals: 2017 Nonprofit Communications & Technology Conference. The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits seeks your proposals for breakout sessions at the 2017 Nonprofit CommTech Conference (Tuesday, February 21, 2017). The deadline for submitting your proposal is 10 p.m. on Tuesday, August 9, 2016.

We’re looking for a broad array of session topics that fit within the conference tracks (tracks listed on website) and seek sessions to fit all of these areas and at all levels–from beginner to advanced. Learn more and submit a proposal.

Rural Hospital Leadership Award provides an educational stipend to a small or rural hospital administrator or chief executive officer to attend an AHA Annual Meeting or Health Forum Leadership Conference. Application Deadline: August 12, 2016.

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.

MISCELLANEOUS

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) have announced the availability of the 2016 list of distressed or underserved nonmetropolitan middle-income geographies, where revitalization or stabilization activities will receive Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) consideration. View the list here.

— A new publication affirming the benefits of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) in terms of safe and sound lending to underserved communities. All of us get these questions periodically so we hope this is a good tool for you to use. See the publication here<http://www.ncrc.org/images/ncrc_cra_affirmation_final.pdf>.

— The Michigan State University Land Policy Institute, in collaboration with the MIplace Partnership Initiative, has released a comprehensive guidebook on placemaking, drawing from the best works available. “Placemaking as an Economic Development Tool” is designed to assist neighborhoods and communities by showing how effective placemaking can enhance community and economic development. Click here to order a free copy.

Revisit Your Community’s Unique Assets: Connecting Asset-Based Economic Development to Community Transformation Strategies” is an article from Main Street America that discusses community economic development based on a community’s assets. Read the piece here.

Housing Assistance Council has released “Aging Veterans in the United States: A Snapshot of Older Veterans and Their Social, Economic, and Housing Characteristics.” The report cites information about the disproportionate number of older veterans in rural areas and the need for housing and other support services to help them and includes data and statistics regarding both urban and rural veterans. Get the report here.

–A national report from the National Low-Income Housing Coalition on states’ “Housing Wages” shows Minnesotans need to earn $17.76 an hour in order to afford a fair-market two-bedroom unit while not spending more than 30 percent of their incomes on housing. Looking at the county level, the Minnesota Housing Partnership finds a minimum-wage worker needs to work 53 to 83 hours a week year round, depending on where they live, to afford a two-bedroom apartment.

New projections suggest that Minnesota’s older adult population (65+) is expected to outnumber the school-aged population (5-17) by 2020.

Minnesota remains less racially and ethnically diverse than most other states, but our pace of change is relatively quick. We’ve seen 17 percent growth in our population of color since 2010, compared with 11 percent growth rate nationally.

How the Great Recession Changed U.S. Migration Patterns Examines changes in county-level net migration due to the recession and housing crisis. Compares net migration during the pre-recession years, 2004-2007, to those during the recession, 2007-2010. Also compares the recession period to the post-recession years, 2010-2014. Includes maps showing migration trends by county. Figure 4 looks at migration by metro/non-metro status. Part of the publication series Population Trends in Post-Recession Rural America.

Update Your Lodging Listings for the 2017 Minnesota Travel Guide Now’s the time to ensure your lodging property, or those in your community, are all up to date on exploreminnesota.com.

May-June 2016- Volume XIV, Number 5

Hello Everyone!  MRP Rural RoundUp is back in your In-box!

After wandering in the wilderness for the past few months because we didn’t have the $$$ to pay for fee-for-service listservs, we are back online, thanks to a free service that we decided to try.

Let us know what you think, if you want to stay on the list or get off, and if you do want to stay, help us spread the word that those Rural Round-Up gals are back, pulling a herd of rural resources together once a month and delivering them, plus a few nuggets of thought, into the one-stop ring called the Minnesota Rural Partners Round-Up. Get back to us at minntwin@comcast.net (yes — that is a Minnesota Twin — yours truly, Jane Leonard, a real-life twin who also happens to be from Minnesota).

After over 20 years of existence, Minnesota Rural Partners, Inc. does still exist, primarily now to provide this e-newsletter. We’ve had folks tell us how much they enjoy the newsletter, and even though we don’t have any funding and are now all-volunteer, we decided to keep ‘er going. The Round-Up still seems to be the only such monthly compendium of as much helpful info as possible for those of you working in and interested in rural development and the rural-urban partnerships that help people & places across Minnesota thrive.

ACROSS THE FIELD: Community Development world gathering in Minnesota this July! by Jane Leonard

Join me at my favorite professional development conference for those of us who practice multi- and interdisciplinary community, rural, and economic development —  the Community Development Society (CDS) and International Association for Community Development (IACD) Conference in Bloomington, Minnesota, July 24-27, 2016.

The Conference theme of “Sustaining Community Change – Building Local Capacity to Sustain Community Development Initiatives” will also address the recently adopted United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Over 300 participants from around the world are expected for this grand intersection of people and their ideas that strengthen community. We already have over 150 people registered, half international and half from the United States. And reserved seats for the local initiatives showcase, the Mobile Learning Workshops, for Monday, July 25, are going fast!

This is the first time in 15 years that Minnesota has hosted the CDS conference, and the first time in several years when it’s been combined with IACD annual meeting, too. This will further enrich — with a world-view — the community capacity-building, community-based leadership development aspects of the conference program.

Register before June 20 and receive the $50 early bird discount: http://comm-dev.org/2016-conference?1

SPECIAL NOTE TO MINNESOTANS working in community development fields in rural Minnesota: Preconference workshops on Sunday, July 24 (http://www.comm-dev.org/2016-conference/preconference-workshops  ) include one to organize a network of newer professionals in the MN (and border areas) CD Field.

It’s designed for early career professionals (at least one year but less than eight years of experience) who are working in community development organizations in Minnesota. It is the first educational and networking event of an exciting initiative led by leaders and managers from the Blandin Foundation, the Initiative Foundation, Extension, and Regional Development Commissions. The project intends to develop ways for all community development organizations in rural Minnesota to engage in professional development opportunities together.  The goal is to strengthen skills in the field and build a stronger network of organizations working in community development throughout the state.

This kick-off event will include:

  • A discussion of the experience, learning, and concerns of new professionals in the field of community development
  • The history of community development in the State of Minnesota —  organizations, funders, and networks
  • Reflections of leaders and managers of community development organizations for the next generation
  • World Café Discussion:  Special topics (selected by participants themselves) for discussion as colleagues
  • The role of the Community Development Society in supporting new professionals.

While learning, the group will also consider ways that they can strengthen the network of young professionals in the field of community development, and will share their ideas for developing the MN Network CD initiative.

–FUNDING
–TRAINING/MEETINGS
–OPPORTUNITIES
–MISCELLANEOUS

FUNDING

The U.S. SBA Office of Veterans Business Development Service – Disabled Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program has a total of $300,000 in funding is available for this program in FY 2016. SBA expects to make up to six (6) awards; minimum award of $50,000, maximum award of $150,000. Eligible applicants demonstrate a history of providing quality entrepreneurship and/or business management training to aspiring or existing veterans, service-disabled veteran small business owners and Reserve Component members that results in new business starts, business expansions or diversifications, as well as jobs created and/or retained. The closing date is June 19th.

Here is the funding announcement.

USDA is accepting applications for grants to help rural cooperatives develop new markets for their products and services. Funding is being provided through the Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) Program. Under this program, USDA provides grants to non-profit groups and institutions of higher learning. These entities use the funding to help individuals or businesses create, expand or operate rural cooperatives.

A recipient may receive a grant of up to $200,000 and is required to provide matching funds equal to 25% of total project costs. For information on how to apply for RCDG grants, contact your Rural Development state office or see page 16127 of the March 25 Federal Register. The first round of applications is due June 20, 2016.

USDA announced it is accepting applications for the Value Added Producer grant (VAPG) to help fund activities related to feasibility studies, business plans, capital expenditures for processing, and marketing value-added agricultural products. Generating new products, creating and expanding marketing opportunities, and increasing producer income are the goals of this program. Electronic Applications: June 24, 2016.  Paper Application: July 1, 2016. For more information go to: http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/value-added-producer-grants

–HUD is soliciting applications for the FY2016 Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grants program. The Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grants support the implementation of comprehensive neighborhood revitalization plans. Deadline: 6/28/2016. Click here to review program guidelines.

Fuel Up to Play 60 Grants offers funding to schools for the purchase of equipment that will enhance the long-term implementation of a lunch or breakfast program. Application Deadline: June 30, 2016.

USDA is offering money through Strategic Economic and Community Development (SECD) program. The purpose of SECD is to advance projects which support long-term community and economic growth strategies that reflect both multi-jurisdictional stakeholder collaboration and capitalize upon the unique strengths of the rural area. Through this provision, USDA Rural Development is empowered to work further with rural communities to align resources with long-range and multi-jurisdictional challenges and needs by leveraging federal, state, local, or private funding. Deadline to apply: 6/30/2016. To review funding guidelines, click here.

The Wells Fargo Housing Foundation is offering funding through The Foundation’s Homeownership Grant Program to nonprofit housing organizations nationwide that help create sustainable homeownership opportunities for low- to moderate-income families. The program focuses on homebuyer counseling, homebuyer education, and foreclosure prevention activities. The average grant size for this program is around $7,800. Funded programs must serve owner-occupied low- to moderate-income homebuyers only. Deadline: 6/30/2016. Visit the Wells Fargo website here to review the application guidelines.

–The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is offering funding to identify, address, and improve community health in revitalizing Brownfield/Land Reuse sites. Projects must pay particular attention to identifying and addressing health issues prior to redevelopment and assessing changes in community health associated with revitalization. Application deadline is 7/5/2016. Click here for funding guidelines.

–U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies for programs that provide temporary shelter and counseling services to youth who have left home without permission of their parents or guardians, have been forced to leave home, or other homeless youth who might otherwise end up in the law enforcement or child welfare, mental health, or juvenile justice systems. Deadline: 7/5/2016. Click here to review application guidelines.

Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs has announced its annual grant program titled Energy and Mineral Development Program (EMDP). This grant is designed to provide technical assistance to Tribes that have the desire to develop their mineral and/or energy resources. Deadline: 7/8/2016. Click here to review program guidelines.

–USDA has announced the availability of funds under the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) for Fiscal Year 2016. Applicants must provide matching funds in an amount at least equal to the Federal grant. These grants will be made to qualified intermediary organizations that will provide financial and technical assistance to recipients to develop their capacity and ability to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development that will support the community. Deadline: 7/22/2016. Click here for funding guidelines.

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.

Gannett Foundation Community Action Grants supports 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.

–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, with funding available on 8/1/2017. Two webinars will be hosted to offer support for the application process: 1. How to Apply on 7/20/2016, with a presentation on the FY 2017 Our Town grant guidelines, and an overview of the review process. Click here to register. 2. Tips and Tricks for Success, on 7/17/2016, with a presentation to assist applicants in crafting a compelling creative placemaking project application. Click here to register.

—  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 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.

USDA Rural Development is currently accepting applications for low-interest loans to assist individuals and families interested in purchasing or improving a home. Also known as the Section 502 Direct Loan Program, the Single Family Housing Direct Home Loan program assists low-income applicants with obtaining decent, safe and sanitary housing in eligible rural areas by providing payment assistance to increase an applicant’s repayment ability. The Section 504 Home Repair program, or Single Family Housing Repair Loans & Grants program, provides loans for low-income individuals to make essential home repairs or improvements and grants to homeowners over the age of 62. More information can be found at www.rd.usda.gov/mn

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is working in partnership with communities and bicyclists from Grand Portage to St. Paul to identify, designate and promote a new bicycle route: U.S. Bicycle Route 41. Once completed, the bicycle route will connect existing roads and trails between Saint Paul and Grand Portage State Park. Join MnDOT at the following open houses to refine the draft route, name the route, engage in conversations about bicycling and more. There will be a brief presentation followed by a workshop with activities to gather input. Kid’s activities and light refreshments will be provided.

  •         Tuesday, June 7, 4-6 p.m.at Hinckley Community Room, 106 First St. SE, Hinckley
  •         Thursday, June 9, 4-6 p.m.at the White Bear Lake Police and Fire Building, 4700 Miller Ave, White Bear Lake
  •         Tuesday, June 14, 3:30-5:30 p.m. at Duluth Central Library, Gold Room, 520 West Superior St., Duluth
  •         Thursday, June 16, 4-6 p.m. at Bluefin Bay On Lake Superior, Tofte Room, 7192 West Highway 61, Tofte 

Following the open houses, MnDOT will develop a draft route map and schedule a second round of public workshops for final review. MnDOT anticipates the route will receive official designation by fall 2016.

Tribal Supportive Housing Webinar Series. June is National Homeownership Month and USDA Rural Development hosts a series of webinars as a platform to encourage innovation, and replication of, permanent supportive housing for Native American families and children. The two remaining webinars are:

Webinar II: June 15, 2016, 1:00-2:30 pm Eastern Time –Promising Practice in Permanent Supportive Housing: Principles in Action. Link to webinar with audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/xj8h6wpb66q7&eom

Webinar III: June 21, 2016, 1:00-2:30 pm Eastern Time – Federal Financial Resources to Build Tribal Supportive Housing. Link to webinar with audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/dkwr5fzh61zc&eom

— Registration is now open for the 2016 Minnesota Rural Health Conference: Cultivating Resilient Communities, June 20-21 in Duluth. Visit the Minnesota Rural Health Conference registration page to register. Make sure you are aware of important conference information by subscribing to receive email updates.

–SAVE THE DATE for Minnesota Council of Nonprofit Nonprofit Fundraising Conference to be held July 21, 2016 in Brooklyn Center.

The Joint International Conference of the Community Development Society & International Association for Community Development will be July 24-27, 2016. The 2016 theme is Sustaining Community Change: Building Local Capacity to Sustain Development Initiatives. Minnesota last hosted this international gathering in 2001 in Duluth. The location in 2016 is the Hilton Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport hotel near the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. For more information go to: www.comm-dev.org

–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.

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.

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

Apply to be a part of the Tekne Awards, which shine a spotlight on innovations in Minnesota’s science and technology industry every year. The awards ceremony draws over 900 attendees from across the state and technology sectors including advanced manufacturing, information technology, healthcare, agricultural technology and more. The 2016 Tekne Awards have 13 categories, and the application deadline is July 15th. APPLY TODAY

Seeking Volunteers to help welcome attendees and host at various conference activities throughout the Conference of the Community Development Society & International Association for Community Development, coming to Minnesota, July 24-27, 2016. Email Jane Leonard at jane.leonard@state.mn.us if you are interested in short stints as Mobile Learning Workshop chaperones, conference greeters, and other hosting experiences.  It’s a great way to experience the conference and a great way to show our visitors Minnesota’s excellence in hospitality.

A host community is being sought for the 2017 Minnesota Governor’s Deer Hunting Opener. The purpose of the event is to focus on Minnesota’s hunting heritage, cultural traditions and the economic impact of the activity, as well as to generate associated travel and tourism. The event, scheduled for Nov. 2-5, 2017, will be the 15th consecutive Minnesota Governor’s Deer Hunting Opener and will follow this year’s event in the Pequot Lakes/Breezy Point area. The deadline for submitting a proposal is Aug. 5. For detailed event information, contact Bri Stacklie at the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association at 218-259-1368 or bri@mndeerhunters.com.

Rural Hospital Leadership Award provides an educational stipend to a small or rural hospital administrator or chief executive officer to attend an AHA Annual Meeting or Health Forum Leadership Conference. Application Deadline: August 12, 2016.

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:

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

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

ExploreMinnesota.com offers free website listings to tourism businesses. The official state tourism website gets more than 4 million visits each year. To keep the site fresh and accurate, we depend on businesses and organizations to provide us with current information. When new businesses open, we’d love to work with them to create a new listing. If there are new hotels, restaurants, attractions or other eligible businesses in your community, please let them know that this opportunity is free and easy. Refer them to http://www.exploreminnesota.com/industry-minnesota/ways-to-get-involved/website-listings/ to submit a request by clicking on the “Submit your business” link.

SolSmart launches to assist, recognize solar cities and counties.  The Solar Foundation recently announced that SPARC (Solar Powering America by Recognizing Communities) is relaunching as SolSmart. Cities and counties nationwide can now apply to receive official national designation—at either a Bronze, Silver, or Gold tier—for taking action and reducing the cost of solar locally. Funded through the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, SolSmart will provide national recognition to leading solar cities and counties and empower new communities to become solar leaders through no-cost technical assistance. One component of the technical assistance is the SolSmart Advisors program. SolSmart Advisors are program-funded staff that will provide in-person technical assistance to about 40 communities nationwide. Reducing solar soft costs is the main goal. Read more.

MISCELLANEOUS

Immigration in Minnesota: A changing story. For more than 100 years, immigration has greatly influenced the economic and cultural development of our state. But the backgrounds, circumstances, and experiences of Minnesota’s immigrants have changed considerably over time, and differ from the nation as a whole. Read now.

Updated profiles for your local area. Compass just completed updating data for:

  • 113 Minneapolis-Saint Paul neighborhoods
  • 10 Duluth neighborhoods
  • 352 towns and cities throughout Minnesota (pop.1000+)
  • 40 counties, school districts, and cities in the IRRRB service area (northeastern Minnesota)
  • Visit profiles now.

Aging: Between 2010 and 2030, the number of adults age 65+ is projected to nearly double, while the number of younger residents will increase only modestly. In fact, around 2025, Minnesota’s 65+ population is expected to surpass the 5-17 school-age population for the first time. So how are older adults faring? Economically, they mirror the nation. While adults age 65+ have a lower median household income compared with most other age groups, they also experience the lowest poverty rates. In Minnesota, more than 3 in 4 older adults own their home, higher than Minnesota’s overall homeownership rate. Learn more about older adults in MinnesotaCheck out our updated profile on Minnesota’s older adults

Income Inequality: A Growing Threat to Eliminating Rural Child Poverty. A new USDA Economic Research Service report shows that while there are overall improvements in the rate of rural child poverty, the issue of income inequality, a contributing factor, is growing and needs to be addressed.

Earning a high school diploma: Lower-income students fare worse. For the past several years, Minnesota graduation rates have been on the rise. But, lower-income students consistently fare worse. In 2015, 90% of higher-income students graduated on time, while just 67% percent of lower-income students received their diplomas on time. View trend.

–The March edition of Rural Voices magazine Housing Assistance Council (HAC) focuses on the unique challenges of homelessness in rural areas and the communities around the country working to address them. This special edition of Rural Voices examines homelessness in rural communities through varying scenarios including what homelessness is like for veterans in rural areas, how vulnerable populations like farm workers experience homelessness, how communities can provide supportive services as part of its affordable housing plan and what schools in rural communities know about children experiencing homelessness. Download the issue here.

–HUD has made its first allocation of nearly $174 million through the nation’s Housing Trust Fund. The Housing Trust Fund is an affordable housing production program primarily focused on increasing and preserving the supply of decent, safe and sanitary affordable housing for extremely low- and very low-income households, including families experiencing homelessness. All states and territories received a minimum of $3,000,000-a list of state allocations is included in the press release here.

–A new report from USDA, “Running a Food Hub: Assessing Financial Viability”, provides modules and best practices for food hubs to maximize profits and control costs. The report provides technical assistance for food hubs at different stages of development. Download the report here.

— Mobile-only broadband household rate is growing. Americans are abandoning their wired Internet for a mobile-data-only; if the trend continues, it could reflect a huge shift in the way we experience the Web. http://wp.me/p3if7-3vm

FCC Takes Next Steps in Expanding Rural Broadband Access. The FCC has established rules of the road for allocating over $2 billion in funding for rural broadband networks over the next decade.

–The Center for Rural Affairs recently released a report entitled Respect and Restore: Reassessing Local Wind Energy Standards, which examines issues being overlooked in county and township wind energy ordinances.

AWEA 2015 report: Minnesota is seventh in total wind power generation.  Wind turbines in Minnesota generated 3,235 megawatts of electricity in 2015, the seventh highest wind-generated electricity total for states in the nation, according to the 8th annual U.S Wind Industry Annual Market Report Year Ending 2015, released April 12 by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). Minnesota produced 17 percent of its electricity from wind power in 2015 (up from 15.9 percent in 2014), ranking it sixth best for wind energy as a percent of total state electricity generation. Minnesota generated 9.8 million megawatt hours (MWh) of wind power in 2015, enough to power 896,000 homes. Minnesota now employs more than 2,000 people in wind industry. Xcel Energy, serving Minnesota and multiple states, was the top investor-owned utility for wind power purchases, with 6,545 MW of total wind capacity in 2015. More than 200 MW of new wind is in development this year in Minnesota for Xcel Energy, including the 200-MW Odell Wind project in Cottonwood, Jackson, Martin, and Watonwan counties. More information on the AWEA report is available.

Rural LISC has developed an innovative new financing tool to provide low-interest loans to qualified commercial real estate projects in rural America. The Growing Rural Communities Fund will finance real estate acquisition and construction costs to spur job creation and economic revitalization in distressed communities. Eligible borrowers include nonprofits, sole proprietors, LLCs, or corporations. Loan amounts are from $250,000 to $2 million.  Questions? Contact Kristin Blum at Rural LISC at kblum@lisc.org.

–USDA has launched the Open Prairie Rural Opportunities Fund, which has the potential to invest as much as $100 million into rural food and agricultural businesses with high growth potential. It’s the fourth Rural Business Investment Company that USDA has launched since 2014. The fund will invest in companies with high-growth potential across the food and agribusiness value chain and rural America, including those in the crop protection, agricultural production and processing, precision agriculture, and information and data management sectors. Read the press release here.

HUD has completed an update of the Tribal Directory Assessment Tool (TDAT 2.1), a database of tribal contact information and geographic areas of interest. All federally recognized Indian tribes were contacted to update information on tribal leaders and Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, and the names of counties where they have a current or ancestral interest. Click here to access the Tool.

The Number and Share of Veterans Living in Rural America Is Declining. Chart showing the percentage of veterans living in rural areas in 2007 compared to 2014, by service period.

–The Center for Neighborhood Technology has created AllTransit, a new tool for advocates, organizers, elected officials, and anyone whose work would benefit from a database that goes beyond simple measures of “where transit exists” to nuanced interpretations through the lenses of health, equity, and economic development.  Access it here.