The Delta Regional Authority releases the 2016 Year in Review and Annual ReportApril 05, 2017
As Federal Co-Chairman of the Delta Regional Authority, I am proud to present our 2016 Year in Review, which also serves as our Annual Report to Congress. Initially introduced in February 2017 at our Board of Governors Quorum meeting in Washington, D.C., we are also presenting our Year in Review video corresponding with the print publication to highlight the many accomplishments of the Agency and its partners in 2016.
At the Delta Regional Authority, we take great pride in the strategic investments, programs, and initiatives we have led in 2016 to support job creation, build stronger communities, and improve the lives of the 10 million residents residing in the Mississippi River Delta region and Alabama Black Belt. To carry out the mission of DRA, we adhere to our guiding principles and make investments that advance our strategic goals: improving workforce competitiveness, strengthening our infrastructure, and increasing community capacity.
Together with our state and local partners, DRA has helped leverage federal resources into nearly $3.5 billion in public and private partner investments over the last 16 years to support basic public infrastructure projects, transportation improvements, workforce development and training, and small business development and entrepreneurship. Since 2002, DRA investments have helped to create and retain more than 37,000 jobs, train more than 7,300 workers for 21st Century jobs, and deliver water and sewer improvements to more than 66,000 residents. In the past 7 years alone, DRA has invested 84 percent of its investments in rural communities with populations under 50,000 and has allocated more than 75 percent of its funds to distressed counties and parishes.
Statistics tell one story, but it’s the people whose lives we’ve improved that make a difference. For example:
Just two days before Christmas, DRA approved an emergency contribution to deliver safe drinking water to the Robeline-Marthaville communities in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. DRA’s swift action restored reliable potable water service to approximately 475 residents, including the 370 students at Marthaville Elementary and Junior High School.
Two subdivisions in Marvell, Arkansas had been struggling for more than two decades to replace antiquated sewer systems that resulted in raw sewage standing in yards and ditches. DRA stepped in and contributed nearly $900,000 to improve the pumping system and eliminate raw-sewage risk.
And in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, DRA invested with partners to install an advanced fiber-optic network that provides high-speed internet access and free public Wi-Fi to develop modern infrastructure, support local entrepreneurs, and attract visitors and new businesses to the downtown area.
In 2016, DRA also established DeltaCorps through AmeriCorps National Service, organizing a new team of leaders and volunteers who are going into Delta communities to implement successful action plans and programs through national service. DeltaCorps service areas support Economic Opportunity & Workforce Development, Healthy Futures, Education, Disaster Services, Environmental Stewardship, and Veterans and Military Families.
DRA has responded to the Delta region’s economic challenges with programs and investments that encourage regional collaboration and innovative economic development strategies with multiple parties and, as a result, our programs realized increased participation in 2016. We’re living up to our principles and proving that DRA is not government as usual – we respond quickly and effectively to help communities and residents in real time when they need assistance.
At DRA, we work with the highest standards of public accountability and operational excellence. Our team takes great pride in being good stewards of taxpayer dollars and remains dedicated to providing Delta stakeholders with a positive return on investment.
Your commitment and assistance makes everything we do possible. Thank you for your support, and we look forward to another great year ahead.
Watch video highlights from 2016
Download the complete 2016 Year in Review
About the Delta Regional Authority
The Delta Regional Authority is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to help create jobs, build communities, and improve lives through strategic investments in economic development in 252 counties and parishes across eight states. To date, the DRA’s SEDAP investments, together with its state and local partners, have leveraged federal resources into nearly $3.5 billion in public and private investment into local small business owners, entrepreneurs, workforce improvement, and infrastructure development projects. Overall, DRA investments have helped to create and retain more than 37,000 jobs, train over 7,300 workers for 21st Century jobs, and deliver sewer and water improvements to more than 66,000 residents and businesses in Delta communities. Learn more at dra.gov.