March 2020 – Volume XVIII — Number 3
Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard



— The Automation Training Incentive Pilot Program offers grants up to $25,000 to Minnesota businesses that have 100 or fewer full-time employees, are in the manufacturing or skilled assembly production industry, and have recently invested in new automation technology or plans to invest in new automation technology. Learn more details about this new program on the DEED Developments blog.

Rural eConnectivity Broadband Loan and Grant Pilot Program (ReConnect) Loans, grants, and loan/grant combinations to expand broadband service to rural areas without sufficient broadband access. Application Deadline: March 16, 2020.

–USDA is offering funding through The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program which supports education, mentoring, and technical assistance initiatives to help beginning farmers and ranchers with entering, establishing, building, and managing successful farm and ranch enterprises. Deadline:  3/19/2020.  Click here to review program guidelines.

— USDA Rural Development is offering grants to establish and operate Agricultural Innovation Centers that will provide technical assistance to help rural businesses market value-added agricultural products. Application Deadline: 3/20/2020.  Click here to review application guidelines.

Grants to Implement the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention Grants to support states and communities in advancing efforts to prevent suicide and suicide attempts among adults age 25 and older. Application Deadline: Mar 23, 2020.

Day of Service Grants to engage volunteers to help meet community and national challenges on September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance and/or Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Activities may include volunteer service around food and nutrition, health, housing, emergency preparedness, and the environment. Rural communities are a funding priority. Application Deadline: Mar 25, 2020.

The Rural Emergency Medical Services Training and Equipment Assistance Program is accepting applications for EMS Training Grants. The purpose of this program is to recruit and train emergency medical services (EMS) personnel in rural areas, with awards up to $200,000. Eligible applicants are rural emergency medical service agencies operated by a local or tribal government (fire-based and non-fire based) and non-profit emergency medical service agencies. Additional tips for applying for a SAMHSA grant are at: Applications are due Monday, March 30.

— USDA is offering grants through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).  Funding supports agricultural producers and rural small businesses to reduce energy costs and consumption by purchasing and installing renewable energy systems and making energy efficiency improvements in their operations. Deadline: 3/31/2020.  Click here to review program guidelines.

Water and Waste Disposal Revolving Loan Funds U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA Rural Utilities Service grants to help nonprofit organizations establish revolving loan funds that will finance water and wastewater projects in rural communities. Application Deadline: Mar 31, 2020.

— USDA is offering Rural Business Development Grants to provide technical assistance and training for small rural businesses. Small means that the business has fewer than 50 new workers and less than $1 million in gross revenue.  Deadline:  3/31/2020.  Click here to review program guidelines.

— The AARP Community Challenge Grant Program is supporting quick-action projects that can help communities become more livable for people of all ages. Nonprofit organizations and government agencies may apply for grants for projects to improve housing, transportation, public space, technology (“smart cities”), civic engagement, and more. Eligible projects should demonstrate the ability to accelerate and sustain the community’s livability for all, especially those 50+. Grants will range from several hundred dollars for smaller short-term activities to several thousand or more for larger projects. Deadline is 4/1/2020. Visit the AARP website to find out more about the Community Challenge and to submit an online application.

–Art Grant Deadlines April 1, 2020. Who is eligible in the ECRAC 5 county region? Individual artists of any artistic discipline; all nonprofit arts or other organizations (501c3 status); all public entities such as K-12 schools, community eds, colleges, and government branches. Multiple applications are accepted from organizations, one project per grant program.

What to prepare for an application? Project director’s resume (organizations and public entities); Artist’s resume (all grants); A detailed budget for the project: expenses and income (all grants); Resumes for all paid personnel; artists, musicians, performers, etc. (all grants); and Artistic work samples (all grants).

What kind of funding is available? $1,000 with the ACHF Individual Artist Grant; $2,500 with the Mid-Career Artist Grant (brand new this year); $500 to $5,000 with the Small/Art Project Grant (organizations and public entities) $3,000 with the Art In Our Schools Grant (schools only); and $5,000 to $15,000 with the ACHF Organization Art Project Grant (organizations and public entities). For more information call: (320) 591-7031 Email:

— The Healthy Start funding opportunity from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation focuses on increasing access to quality early childhood care and education. It will provide grants of up to a total of $550,000 in year one and an additional $550,000 in year two. Applicants may apply for grants of up to $100,000 per year and may apply for one- or two-year grants. Applications are due on Thursday, April 2, 2020, at 1 p.m. Central Time. Learn more on the foundation’s website.

School Grants for Healthy Kids Grants to implement school health and wellness practices that help students eat better, stay physically active, and be better prepared to learn. Application Deadline: Apr 3, 2020.

Drug Free Communities Support Program Awards funding to coalitions working to reduce substance abuse among youth and to establish and strengthen collaboration among communities, organizations, and governmental entities. Application Deadline: Apr 3, 2020.

— The ITC Charitable Giving Program supports nonprofit organizations in counties served by the company in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, and Oklahoma. Grants are provided in five key areas: Education, with a focus on higher quality education; Social Services, with a focus on services for those who have been unable to participate fully in the social and economic life of the community; Arts and Culture, with a focus on encouraging art and cultural activities with educational programs and skill building; Health and Wellness, with a focus on promoting physical well-being and healthy lifestyles; and Environmental Stewardship, with a focus on preserving the environment and promoting environmental responsibility. Deadline: 4/3/2020. Visit the ITC website here to learn more about the program guidelines and to submit an online application.

— Medica Foundation Accepting Proposals for Three Grant Programs.  These three programs are:

  1. Behavioral Health: Seeking proposals for programs that help people with serious mental illness and chemical addictions recover and lead productive lives in their communities. Deadline April 3.
  2. Early Childhood Health: Seeking proposals for early intervention programs that focus on developing healthy families to foster optimal growth and development of young children. Deadline May 1.
  3. Strategic Initiatives: Seeking proposals from past grant recipients for larger scale initiatives addressing the intersection of mental health and stable housing, dental programs for youth or adults in need, or telehealth programs that support access to health care services. Deadline May 1.

Visit Medica Foundation’s website to learn more about their 2020 funding opportunities.

— National Endowment for the Arts is offering grants through “Challenge America.”  These grants support projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations. The Challenge America category offers support primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations — those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. Cost share/matching grants are for $10,000.  Deadline: 4/9/2020.  Click here for additional information.

— The Bush Prize for Community Innovation honors nonprofit organizations and government entities with a track record of making great ideas happen in the regions the Bush Foundation serves: Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and the 23 Native nations that share the same geography. The Bush Prize does not prioritize any specific issues and instead is open to community innovations that address all sorts of needs and opportunities. At least half of the Bush Prize winners will be organizations that advance racial and economic equity in the region. Prize winners will receive a package of recognition, along with a flexible grant of 25% of their last fiscal year budget, up to a $500,000 grant. Deadline:  4/9/2020. Visit the Foundation’s website here to learn more about the Bush Prize.

Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program Grants to improve telemedicine and distance learning services in rural areas through the use of telemedicine, computer networks, and related advanced technologies. Application Deadline: Apr 10, 2020.

Telehealth Network Grant Program (TNGP) Funding to demonstrate how telehealth programs and networks can improve access to quality healthcare services in rural, frontier, and underserved communities. Application Deadline: Apr 13, 2020.

— Minnesota Housing Partnership (MHP) is offering grants through their Strengthening Rural Communities Program, open to organizations anywhere in the U.S. that are considered rural areas by HUD and USDA and focused on affordable housing in rural areas, including, but not limited to: community development corporations (CDCs), community housing development organizations (CHDOs), local/county governments, and Native Nations.  Deadline:  4/15/2020.  Click here to review application guidelines.

Newman’s Own Awards Grants for organizations working to improve quality of life for military members and their families, including programs for job training, housing, caregiver support, and mental health. Application Deadline: Apr 21, 2020.

–MPCA grants for emission reductions from solvents and coatings – due April 22. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from common solvent and coating products contribute to poor air quality where we live and work. These emissions can be reduced through the use of improved finishes such as:

  • Wet-coat, low-VOC, low-HAP, high solids, and water-based products;
  • Dry, powder coating;
  • Ultraviolet (UV) or infrared (IR) cured products;
  • Liquid plastic coating products;
  • Other non-wet coat finishes; and
  • High efficiency equipment

MPCA grants are now open for organizations, government entities, educational institutions, tribes, and small businesses across Minnesota to switch to alternative solvent and coating products and/or equipment that improves the efficiency of application. The maximum award is $3,000 with a 50% minimum match. The most cost-effective projects will score highest, with additional preference given to projects located in areas of concern for environmental justice, small businesses and organizations, and small organizations that are veteran-owned, economically disadvantaged, or a targeted group business based on ownership.

Eligible applicants include:

  • A for-profit business located in Minnesota with under 500 employees
  • A governmental entity, educational institution, tribe, or non-profit organization within Minnesota with any number of employees

Apply now! Deadline: April 22, 2020.  Review grant materials, application, and Q&A on the MPCA grants for solvent and coating emission reductions webpage.

Rural Health Care Telecommunications Program Assistance to healthcare providers for eligible expenses related to telecommunications and voice services for the use of telemedicine and telehealth. Application Deadline: Apr 30, 2020.

Rural Healthcare Connect Fund Provides assistance to healthcare providers for eligible expenses related to broadband connectivity at a flat discounted rate of 65%. Participants can apply as a member of a consortium or a stand-alone entity. Application Deadline: Apr 30, 2020.

Grain Bin Rescue Equipment and Training Contest Awards for rural emergency first responders that include grain rescue tubes and hands-on rescue training. Application Deadline: April 30, 2020.

Mary Kay Domestic Violence Shelter Grant Program Grants to support domestic violence shelters. The Foundation will award a grant to at least one domestic violence shelter in every state that applies, and many grants have gone to rural areas. Application Deadline: Apr 30, 2020.

Indian Highway Safety Occupant Protection Grant Grants to federally recognized tribes for implementing traffic safety programs and projects which are designed to reduce the number of traffic crashes, deaths, injuries, and property damage. Application Deadline: May 1, 2020.

National Tribal Broadband Grant for Tribes to hire consultants to perform feasibility studies for high-speed internet deployment or expansion in Tribal communities. Application Deadline: May 8, 2020.

Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) Funding to help nonprofit housing and community development intermediary organizations support housing, community facilities, and community and economic development projects in rural areas. Priority will be given to applications that address USDA’s goal to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with Substance Use Disorder (including opioid misuse) in high-risk rural communities. Application Deadline: May 13, 2020.

— U.S. Department of Justice is offering grants to develop, implement, and/or expand comprehensive programs in response to illicit opioids, stimulants, or other substances of abuse. The program provides resources to support state, local, Tribal, and territorial efforts to reduce violent crime and drug abuse and enhance public safety while supporting victims.  Deadline:  5/21/2020.  Click here for application guidelines.

–The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) provides zero-interest loans to small businesses for capital equipment purchases that meet or exceed environmental regulations, and costs related to the investigation and cleanup of contaminated sites. Some eligible projects include purchasing a solvent recycler, installing a new paint booth to switch to water-borne paint, and installing updated equipment that reduces emissions from refrigerants. Many small business loan projects lead to fewer regulatory requirements, lower waste disposal bills and less exposure to harmful chemicals for your employees, your customers and your neighbors.

Eligibility and conditions – Many business sectors are eligible. Projects that reduce regulatory obligations are highly encouraged. To quality, a borrower must be an existing small business corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership, or association with:

  • Fewer than 100 full-time employees
  • An after-tax profit of less than $500,000
  • A demonstrated ability to repay the loan

Loan terms and conditions:

  • Loan amount between $1,000 and $75,000
  • 0% interest rate
  • Repayment term up to seven years
  • Flexibility in the types of collateral accepted
  • Awarded throughout the year


— Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corporation’s2020 Annual Meeting will  be Tuesday, March 24th, 2020 from 7:15 am – 9:45 am at the Arrowwood Lodge at Brainerd Lakes, Baxter. Registration/Breakfast Buffet 7:15 am – 8:00 am. Annual Meeting 8:00 am – 9:45 am. There will be a $20 registration fee per attendee. Payment by check is preferred. Please register at:

or by contacting Megan Rehbein (, 218-828-0096 ext. 5).

— AURI, with partners Compeer Financial and Georgetown University’s Rural Opportunity Initiative, is convening the fourth annual New Uses Forum on April 8th & 9th 2020. The event brings together knowledgeable experts on topics related to innovation, development and investment. Their presentations will share indispensable information and experiences, foster meaningful discussion and ultimately produce actionable impact. The event features keynote speakers, panels, and networking opportunities, which will explore innovative solutions benefiting the agricultural industry. The New Uses Forum will take place at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.  Visit the event website:

2020 Nonprofit Finance & Sustainability Conference, April 14, Brooklyn Center.

–The Upper Midwest Basic Economic Development Course provides intensive training in the concepts, methods and strategies of local economic development. The course is designed for those new to the field, as well as those seeking to deepen their knowledge and skills.

WHEN: April 27-May 1, 2020
WHERE: Great River Energy, 12300 Elm Creek Boulevard, Maple Grove, MN 55369
COST: $500.  The course, accredited by the International Economic Development Council, is limited to 45 participants – register here early! A limited number of scholarship are available. For more information, contact Shelby Couch, or call 952-928-4640. Register here

— Attend the Northwest Minnesota Marketing Education Conference in Crookston. The Red Lake Riverland Association will host the 2020 Northwest Minnesota Marketing Education Conference on Wednesday, April 29, at the University of Minnesota in Crookston. The one-day seminar is scheduled from 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. in the Sargeant Student Center’s Bede Ballroom. Presenters will include Derek Ramthun, Explore Minnesota, presenting on “Digital Marketing: Is Mine Working?” and Marc Bloomquist, co-owner of Cedar Rapids Lodge Resort, presenting on “Effective Communication.” The conference will also feature a panel of Northwest Minnesota business professionals on “Keys to Marketing Your Business.”All parties interested in marketing education are invited to the session. The cost is $40 for association members and $45 for non-members, which includes conference materials and lunch. Register by Tuesday, April 22, by emailing, or by phone at 218-686-9785.

–Collective Impact Forum coming to Minneapolis in 2020! The Collective Impact Forum, an initiative of FSG and the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions, is bringing its annual collective impact convening to Minneapolis on May 6-8, 2020. The 2020 Collective Impact Convening builds on the success of the 2019 convening in Chicago that sold out in advance and attracted more than 800 funders, backbone leaders, and other collective impact community partners. MCN members interested in attending this year’s forum can receive $50 off regular “practitioner” rates by entering promo code MCN50 at the end of the registration process.

–Minnesota High Tech Association Annual Spring Conference will be May 7! Hold the date!  We are pleased to announce the 2020 Annual Spring Conference will take place at the RiverCentre in St. Paul on Thursday, May 7. Stay tuned for more details including a new conference name!

— The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN), along with the Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center (PNLC) at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, will host the upcoming 2020 Nonprofit Leadership Conference on June 10, 2020.

–Hold the Date! 2020 Minnesota Rural Health Conference. June 15-16, 2020
Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC) in Duluth. Conference Website

–The Many Faces of Community Health Conference will be held October 22-23 in Brooklyn Center.


— Nominations are now being accepted for the Minnesota Rural Health awards given out at the MN Rural Health Conference. Award Types:

  • Hero,
  • Team
  • Lifetime Achievement
  • Emerging Leader

Nominees for all the awards have made a significant contribution to the rural health of our state!

Nominate your outstanding individual or team by March 20.

National Center for Farmworker Health Bobbi Ryder Migrant Health Champion Award
Scholarships for individuals pursuing or continuing their career in the migrant health field, thus contributing to the development of the Community/Migrant Health Center workforce. Application Deadline: Mar 27, 2020.

Call for Art Exhibits in the Minnesota State Capitol Gallery The Minnesota Capitol Art Exhibit Advisory Committee is looking for Minnesota artists or organizations who would like to display their work in the Capitol’s gallery space, located on the third floor of the Minnesota State Capitol.

DEED Begins New Community Certification Program: Telecommuter Forward! We’re pleased to roll out a new economic development tool to promote the vitality of Minnesota’s rural communities – Telecommuter Forward! We know that fast, reliable broadband access improves quality of life, makes businesses more competitive, and provides career opportunities for our Greater Minnesota workforce.

DEED’s Office of Broadband Development is now accepting applications for Telecommuter Forward! Community certification. To become certified in the Telecommuter Forward! Program, Minnesota cities, villages, towns, or counties must adopt a resolution that includes a statement of support and commitment to promote telecommuting. The Office of Broadband Development has created a model resolution to help get you started.  Learn all about the Telecommuter Forward! Program on the DEED Developments Blog.

Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health Scholarship Financial support for American Indian and Alaska Native scholars, health leaders, health professionals, and paraprofessionals serving tribal communities who are interested in attending the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health Summer or Winter Institute courses at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Application Deadline: May 1, 2020.

The American Indian College Fund Full Circle Scholarships for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Indigenous Canadian students seeking undergraduate and graduate degrees at Tribal colleges and universities and nonprofit, accredited schools in the United States. Application Deadline: May 31, 2020.

Agricultural Safety and Health: Core Course Registration Fee Waivers
Awards course registration fee waivers to attend the Agricultural Safety and Health Core Course to be held in Iowa in June, 2020. Application Deadline: June 7, 2020.


U.S. Census Bureau Releases 2020 Census Response Rate Challenge Toolkit  The U.S. Census Bureau announces the release of the Response Rate Challenge toolkit to encourage communities to improve upon their 2010 Census response rate in the upcoming census. Includes promotional and progress-tracking materials, inspiration for friendly competition, and general information on the 2020 Census.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Presents an overview of the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak (COVID-19) and shares the latest updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Provides information for healthcare facilities and providers, health departments, communities, and other specific audiences. Includes free communication resources for distribution.

–The Mission Continues is expanding its footprint, and now invites military veterans in rural communities to join the Service Leadership Corps (SLC).  SLC empowers veterans looking to expand their network and skill set as community leaders through classroom and hands-on training. Upon completion of the program, alumni representing rural communities will be granted a stipend with the charge to mobilize veterans and community members to tackle challenges specific to their community. The Mission Continues is a national, nonpartisan nonprofit that provides tuition-free leadership programs and volunteer opportunities to veterans of all eras to continue their service in under-resourced and rural communities. Click here for more information and to apply for the Service Leadership Corps.

–HUD published the 2019 Annual Homeless Assessment that shows a spike in the number of people facing homelessness, especially in California.  Click here to get the report.

–U.S. Economic Development Administration and Indiana University’s Kelley School Of Business launched a new web-based mapping tool to help investors and economic developers target investment toward Opportunity Zones to create positive, socially-conscious change in communities.  To access the tool click here.

–Center on Rural Innovation, Rural Innovation Strategies, have published “The Rural Opportunity Map,” with mapping and data analysis focused on rural communities.  Data includes a gallery of maps addressing various issues, including maps currently in beta focused on rural healthcare trends, hospital closures, and rural definitions.  Click here to access the map.

–RCAP and RuralRISE have been offered access to free licenses to a new entrepreneurship platform to try and better engage rural entrepreneurs and rural entrepreneurship ecosystem builders. Ureeka aims to democratize economic opportunity by enabling community AND by reducing the risk associated with growing a small to medium business (SMB). To understand how to use the site, please view the video here.  You can join by clicking here, and use registration code RCAPBeta. Please send this out to your networks and take advantage of this opportunity.

— DEED has just released its Economic Development Resource Guide for 2020. The pocket-sized guide highlights all the economic development resources at DEED including loans, tax credits, community financing and workforce development assistance.

–The Government Accounting Office published “Alternative Drinking Water Systems: Use by Very Small Communities, Related Cost Savings, and Technical Assistance Provided by EPA and USDA.”  The report provides an overview of five alternative drinking water systems used by communities with fewer than 500 people and the barriers to implementing new systems and technologies in small communities. Factors that influence the costs and cost-savings of alternative drinking water systems are profiled.  The report identifies four federal funding programs that support technical assistance and training for small drinking water systems serving communities of fewer than 10,000 people.   Click here to read the full report.

Water Infrastructure: Technical Assistance and Climate Resilience Planning Could Help Utilities Prepare for Potential Climate Change Impacts Examines federal technical and financial assistance to drinking and wastewater utilities for enhancing climate resilience. Discusses the needs of small and rural communities and identifies federal resources targeted to these areas.

Assessing Health and Safety Concerns and Psychological Stressors among Agricultural Workers in the U.S. Midwest Results of a 2018 study of 540 farmers in Iowa, Ohio, Missouri, Minnesota, and Nebraska, identifying agricultural work stressors including chemical and equipment safety, finances, and health concerns such as hearing loss, respiratory problems, depression, and acute illnesses. Examines differences between mail and in-person survey modes, and compares their effectiveness in promoting farm workers’ willingness to participate in the surveys. Features demographics and statistics on the types of stress experienced.

Leveraging AI to Provide a Rural ‘Retail Medicine’ Experience Highlights an online exam tool used at Winona Health in Minnesota, where patients can enter their current symptoms and health information and connect with an urgent care clinician. The tool was built to automate care delivery and improve healthcare access for those in remote areas.

— Robert Wood Johnson Foundation posted an article, “It’s Time to Connect Rural Health Equity with Community and Economic Development.”  This article outlines how new research and resources support the critical connection between health, rural community and economic development.  Click here to read the article.

FCC Launches $20 Billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund to Expand Rural Broadband Deployment The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announces their investment of $20.4 billion to establish the new Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, which will direct funds over the next ten years. The first phase will provide wholly unserved census blocks with fixed broadband, while phase II will focus on the same for partially served areas.

–FCC under reports unserved population. Broadband Now scrutinizes the FCC adoption rate estimates and finds that the FCC estimates 290,000 unserved in Minnesota and Broadband Now estimates 580,000.

–Two new tools look at state’s impact on broadband. Pew Research releases a report on state policies and plans that support better broadband deployment. Minnesota is featured as a leader in the report. State Broadband Leaders Network (SBLN) has created an interactive map of broadband plans and initiatives by state.

Head Start Program Transportation in Rural Areas Discusses the role of transportation in Head Start programs and provides planning and implementation information. Includes information on funding and training, and provides several case studies of Head Start programs that provide transportation.

Using Data to Define Rural Populations Offers a step-by-step guide for developing a rural community baseline dataset, and identifies links to helpful resources and existing datasets, with the intent to help State Offices of Rural Health (SORH) focus on the demographics influencing health and the health needs of the rural communities within their state.

Ag and Food Statistics: Charting the Essentials Report highlights the various measures of the rural and agricultural economy. Includes rates of rural versus urban poverty and unemployment, as well as rates of food security in principal cities, suburban, and rural areas.

— The Office of National Drug Control Policy has joined 18 partners to release a new tool to assist rural community leaders in building an effective local response to the crisis of addiction.  The Rural Community Action Guide provides background information, recommended action steps, and promising practices to help manage the impact of substance use disorder on rural communities. This resource is based on lessons learned from rural roundtable discussions held in over a dozen states, as well as the experiences of many rural stakeholder partners.  Topics covered in the Guide include:  stigma, using data, managing fiscal resources in a community impacted by addiction, workforce development, broadband, overcoming economic challenges, prevention, engaging the agriculture community in addiction, rural health care needs, medication-assisted treatment, engaging law enforcement in addiction, drug courts in rural communities, harnessing the faith community around addiction, recovery support, and housing.  Here is a link to The Rural Community Action Guide, and some other resources: A Promising Practices SupplementCommunity Assessment Tool; and a Federal Rural Resources Guide.

— The U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory provides a low-income Energy Affordability Data (LEAD) Tool this tool to help states, communities and other stakeholders create better energy strategies and programs by improving their understanding of low-income housing and energy characteristics.  Click here to access this tool.

EDITORS’ NOTE: As always — please send us items to post, comments, ideas, etc. You can send them to Jane Leonard at And thanks for getting to the end of this month’s issue!