Delta Regional Authority
December 22, 2016  
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Delta News Round-up

In this issue: DeltaCorps final application cycle open | $26M investment in Arkansas economy | Kentucky receives $13M in grants | Delta Entrepreneurship Network Tech Assistance Workshop | St.Louis Federal Reserve Delta Communities Initiative in Greenwood, MS

Delta Entrepreneurship Network Tech Assistance Workshop

Twenty talented Delta Entrepreneurship Network (DEN) fellows from across six states in the Mississippi River Delta region gathered for the DEN Technical Assistance Bootcamp at the Arkansas Venture Center, an entrepreneurial support organization supporting small business startup companies. 

“We created the Delta Entrepreneurship Network to support the hard work, innovation, and drive that are at the heart of the Delta region. Our continued partnership with the Venture Center takes that investment to the next level, providing an accelerated bootcamp to guide and develop successful entrepreneurs,” said DRA Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill

Venture Center President and CEO Lee Watson explained that the program was "a three-day, 12-hour-per-day intensive training program" that had "about 20 mentors coming in to provide either group coaching or one-on-one training.” Utilizing a model based off of the Venture Center's Pre-Accelerator Program, DEN fellows learned how to transition their startup idea into a viable company through creating a sound business model and delivering their pitches on stage in front of an audience of their peers.

These 20 small business owners and entrepreneurs were selected this past fall through DRA's Delta Challenge, which held pitch competitions across Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee. DEN fellows receive an estimated $40,000 in technical assistance training and the chance to pitch to national investors at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week in March of 2017, sponsored by the Idea Village and IBERIABANK.

Read more on Huffington Post >

DeltaCorps final application cycle open through Dec. 31

The third and final application cycle to become a DeltaCorps service partner is currently open through December 31st.

DeltaCorps, a program of AmeriCorps and the Delta Regional Authority, was launched this summer to help address the economic and social needs of Delta communities. Presently, the DeltaCorps program boasts 10 service partners and 52 DeltaCorps members across the eight states of the Mississippi River Delta region, with the goal to recruit many more before the end of the year.

Check out our new video on how young people can earn scholarships and invaluable life experiences while helping their local communities by serving with DeltaCorps. Apply by December 31st at

Watch the recruitment video >

DRA & Governor Hutchinson announce $26 million to strengthen Arkansas economy

The Delta Regional Authority joined with Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and federal and local partners in announcing nearly $26 million in new investments to strengthen Arkansas's infrastructure, workforce, and economy.

DRA resources will help drive small business growth throughout the region, strengthening water and sewer systems in Bull Shoals, Clarendon and Marvell, as well as increasing access to Arkansas's Heritage Trail. The investments will create or retain an estimated 650 local jobs.

"These strategic investments help us accomplish our core mission of supporting job creation, building communities, and improving the lives of families across Arkansas," said DRA Chairman Masingill. "Investing in critical infrastructure is essential to our region's effort to attract and keep global companies, skilled workers, and leading entrepreneurs."

DRA coordinates directly with Arkansas's six planning and development districts for program funding implementation. DRA is grateful for the participation of U.S. Sen. John Boozman and U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, along with multiple local and regional partners who supported these important initiatives.

See photos and live video from the announcement >

Kentucky receives $13 million in grants for economic and infrastructure development

The Delta Regional Authority with Governor Bevin, federal and local partners announced $13 million in new investments to strengthen Kentucky's infrastructure, workforce, and economy. DRA resources will rehab a Henderson river​port crane, improve water infrastructure in Cadiz and Paducah, as well as expand the Merryman House's facilities and services.

"I'm proud to work with all of our partners to invest in the future of western Kentucky communities," said DRA Chairman Chris Masingill. "These strategic investments align with our core mission of helping to create jobs, building communities and improving the lives of resident of the Mississippi River Delta region."

DRA is proud to work alongside Gov. Matt Bevin and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to make these important investments in the state of Kentucky. DRA is also grateful for the leadership of local and regional partners in supporting these economic development projects.

Read the full press release >

DRA supports St. Louis Federal Reserve housing, economic development seminar in Greenwood, MS

The Delta Regional Authority attended the Delta Communities Initiative in Greenwood, Mississippi led by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED). The CFED is a national nonprofit working to achieve financial security and economic opportunity across the country.

DRA participated in and applauded the seminar, which focused on the role of housing as an asset for families and an economic development driver for communities in the Delta.

The Federal Reserve roundtable addressed topics such as improving access to quality housing for renters, homeowners, and manufactured home residents; local and regional opportunities to expand access to credit for nonprofit housing developers focusing; and how housing can support family stability and improve financial opportunities.

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