Delta Regional Authority
June 04, 2020  
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Delta News Round-up

A Message from the Federal Co-Chairman, Regional Development Plan IV: Take the Survey Today!, Application Now Open for the Delta Leadership Institute 2020-2021 Executive Academy, 2020 SEDAP Application Closes Soon

A Message from the Federal Co-Chairman

The pain of so many across America have been on display in recent days and months, and while there are many factors of both social and economic struggles at hand, our role is to improve the lives of our residents.  Bringing about economic opportunity and ending generational poverty is at the core of what we do at DRA, and in these trying times, resiliency is the key to moving forward.
I spoke recently with the port director of a DRA community, and we discussed the difficulties of today:  the job losses, the uncertainty, the need for resiliency.  The difficulties are not only here at home, but at the forefront of every community in America; however, my hope remains high when hearing of the opportunities that have arisen from these challenges.  The port director told me of a company who relocated to his port due in large part by a DRA grant.  The company recently converted their business model to begin manufacturing hand sanitizer, and business is in such demand that they added a third shift and hired more employees.
We in the Delta and Black Belt have felt firsthand the pain of these times, both emotionally and fiscally, and this is why resiliency is imperative right now.  Focusing on all the negative ills cannot dominate our days.  We must continue pushing forward by adapting and using every available resource to create new opportunities and redundancy for the future.  Improving our infrastructure and access to health care are key to new development and securing existing jobs.  The ability to communicate, work, and educate has never been more important than they are now, and an essential key to that is expanding broadband in our communities.

We have a lot of work to do to continue strengthening our communities and improving the lives of those we serve, but rest assured, we at the DRA remain resolved in our mission to support job creation, build communities, and improve lives.


Chris Caldwell
DRA Federal Co-Chairman

Regional Development Plan IV: Take the Survey Today!

Work is underway on the DRA’s next strategic plan, the Regional Development Plan IV, and we need your help!  This strategic plan will shape the agency’s priorities and actions to guide our region’s economic growth for the next five years.

Please take a few minutes to complete our survey and share it with your community.  Input from community members, local leaders, and stakeholders across the region is vital to developing our overall strategy through 2025.  In July, the DRA will be working with VisionFirst Advisors to hold community listening session webinars based on the survey data gathered to further discuss your community wants and needs. Invitations for these sessions will be emailed later this month.

Take the Survey

Application Now Open for the Delta Leadership Institute 2020-2021 Executive Academy

The application cycle for the 2020-2021 Delta Leadership Institute (DLI) Executive Academy is now open.  The DLI is an extensive ten-month program where Executive Academy Fellows travel to communities throughout the DRA’s footprint, exploring existing economic and community programs and best practices.  During DLI’s six sessions, Fellows will focus on leadership development, infrastructure, workforce training and education, entrepreneurship and business development, and public health.

Chosen through a competitive application process, the 2020-2021 Executive Academy class will include Fellows from each of the eight states in the DRA footprint.  The DLI class will include 30 Fellows, comprised of representatives from the Delta’s public, private, and non-profit sectors.  Those interested can apply through August 18, 2020 at  

2020 SEDAP Application Closes Soon

The 2020 States’ Economic Development Assistance Program (SEDAP) application will close on June 28th.  The program provides direct investment into community-based and regional projects while addressing the DRA’s congressionally mandated funding priorities:  basic public infrastructure, transportation infrastructure, workforce development, and small business development with an emphasis on entrepreneurship.

Please contact your Local Development District if you plan to submit a grant application.  For additional information on SEDAP guidelines and eligibility, visit the DRA website at

Upcoming Events:

June 12, 2020
Regional Development Plan IV Survey closes
June 28, 2020
2020 SEDAP funding opportunity application cycle closes
July 29, 2020
2020 WORC Grant Application Closes
August 18, 2020
DLI 2020-2021 Executive Academy application closes

Click Here To Submit An Event

DRA Newsroom:

Delta Regional Authority

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

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