Delta Regional Authority
June 15, 2018  
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Delta News Round-up

DLI Session in Jonesboro | Medical Mission in Southern Illinois | Delta I-Fund Supports Entrepreneurs | USDA Meeting to Discuss Partnership, Collaboration

Delta Leadership Institute Session Focuses on Partnering for Community Success

The Delta Leadership Institute (DLI) Executive Academy met in Jonesboro, AR, from June 5-7, for its fifth session of the year. The session began with a service opportunity at the Foodbank of Northeast Arkansas that introduced DLI fellows to the role food banks and pantries play in addressing food insecurity and hunger challenges in rural communities.

DLI fellows heard from Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin, Arkansas State University (ASU) Chancellor Dr. Kelly Damphousse, and ASU System Vice Chancellor for Government Affairs Shane Broadway about the important partnership between ASU and the City of Jonesboro to advance mutually beneficial economic and community development goals.

Panels and discussions focused on efforts to inform local policy and programs; how to work with media to deliver an effective message; identifying and cultivating community partnerships with the private and philanthropic sectors; and how economic developers can best work with legislators to advance local efforts.

DLI trains Delta leaders with the tools, experiences, and network to work collaboratively and identify local and regional solutions to the Delta’s greatest challenges. The application cycle for the 2018-19 Executive Academy is open through July 16. To apply for the next DLI class, click here.

Innovative Readiness Training Medical Mission Providing No-cost Medical Care in Southern Illinois from June 18-27

After completing a successful Alabama Wellness mission where more than 6,700 patients were treated, DRA and its Department of Defense (DoD) partner will begin a new Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) mission next week in Harrisburg, IL.

The “Southern Care” mission will deliver no-cost medical, dental and optical care to residents across the region. The mission will be open daily at Harrisburg Middle School from June 18-27. The middle school is located at 312 Bulldog Blvd.

You do not have to be an area resident to receive treatment; anyone who attends will receive care on a first-come, first-served basis. The Southern Illinois Innovative Readiness Training mission will provide medical services to everyone ages 2+.

IRT missions deliver valuable healthcare services to Delta residents, and also provide vital field training for our men and women in uniform, strengthening the relationship between Delta residents and members of our military.

The total mission value of Alabama Wellness was $656,000. Military personnel delivered medical care to 511 patients, optometry services to 1,288 patients and dental care to 4,951 patients. View video of the event.

The Southern Care mission will provide services every day from 8 a.m.-6 p.m., except for June 24 and June 27, when the hours will be 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

Click here for more information.

Chairman Caldwell Attends Delta I-Fund Kickoff in Jackson, MS.

Eighteen entrepreneurial teams from across the Delta region met in Jackson from June 9-10 to collaborate with fellow entrepreneurs and receive technical support as part of their participation in the Delta Innovation Fund (I-Fund).

DRA has invested $1 million in a partnership with Winrock International and entrepreneurship support organizations (ESOs) across our region. Participants in the Jackson event were exposed to lean, start-up methodology through training, case studies and mock customer interviews.

A portion of the weekend also gave them an opportunity to draft their first business model and present it to peers, mentors and instructors for guidance.

The I-Fund is continuing to expand. By August, the initiative plans to have assisted 34 early-state companies in the Delta. By 2019, the fund will include support for companies in all eight Delta states.

The I-Fund has attracted support and recruiting help from over 50 ESOs located throughout the Delta since the program’s inception.

The mission of the Delta I-Fund is to positively impact low-to-moderate income communities in the Delta. The program provides access to early-stage private investment capital, virtual training and mentorship to Delta entrepreneurs with innovative ideas. These resources provide a platform to create and launch high-growth companies, spurring economic development and job creation in our region.

DRA Leadership Meets with USDA-Rural Development State Directors to Discuss Partnership and Collaboration Opportunities

This week in New Orleans, DRA Chairman Chris Caldwell participated in the USDA-Rural Development Southern Directors Annual Meeting to discuss partnership and collaboration opportunities in the 252 counties and parishes DRA serves. Caldwell met with state directors from each state in DRA’s footprint: Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.

This was the second time DRA leadership met with the USDA State Directors and discussions focused on how to better collaborate on projects throughout the DRA service area by leveraging each agency’s resources. Since 2003, DRA has partnered with USDA-Rural Development through the Rural Communities Advancement Program (RCAP) to build programs supporting workforce training, business development, and entrepreneurship.

Upcoming Events:

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June 18, 2018
Rage Fabrication Grand Opening | Trumann, AR
June 20, 2018
Advanced Manufacturing Training Center Opening | El Dorado, AR
June 29, 2018
SEDAP/CIF Application Deadline

Our SEDAP/CIF application cycle is open and you can apply at

July 16, 2018
DLI 2018-19 Executive Academy application deadline

Click Here To Submit An Event

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Delta Regional Authority

236 Sharkey Avenue - Suite 400
Clarksdale, MS 38614
(662) 624-8600 | DRA.GOV

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