Rural Partners Network
Dear Delta Residents,
In April, the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) met with several community stakeholders across DRA’s footprint, including local elected officials, community leaders, and residents, about how to drive local and economic change. A highlight from this past month included the opportunity to spend time in Kentucky, where we were able to attend stakeholder meetings in Dawson Springs and Eddyville, discuss DRA’s work and regional impact at the Rural Partners Network conference in Fulton, and meet with Governor Andy Beshear in Mayfield, Kentucky. The people we met and the communities we visited throughout Kentucky were a testament to the importance of collaboration and fostering partnerships for the betterment of communities and the people who live in them. The opportunities are endless when federal, state, and local partners can leverage their resources to create more vibrant, sustainable, and resilient communities.
Dr. Corey Wiggins
States’ Economic Development Assistance Program
DRA has announced funding availability for the States’ Economic Development Assistance Program (SEDAP) that will support economic and community development needs within DRA’s region. Approximately $16.8 million is available to address basic public and transportation infrastructure, as well as workforce and business development needs for communities within DRA’s eight-state service area. For more information and how to apply: https://bit.ly/3KJRYYB.
Community Infrastructure Fund
DRA has announced funding availability for the Community Infrastructure Fund (CIF) that will support economic and community development needs within DRA’s region. Approximately $30 million is available to address basic public and transportation infrastructure, as well as flood-control issues for communities within DRA’s eight-state service area. For more information and how to apply: https://bit.ly/41WgYmc.
Workforce Opportunities for Rural Communities Initiative
The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced $44 million in funding available through its Workforce Opportunities for Rural Communities (WORC) Initiative. The WORC Initiative helps workers access high-quality jobs and seeks to address persistent economic distress for people in the Appalachian, Lower Mississippi Delta, and Northern Border regions. For more information about the WORC Initiative and how to apply: https://bit.ly/41htmxt.
DRA has announced funding availability for two new capacity-building programs, the Local Development District (LDD) Community Support Pilot Program and Strategic Planning Program, that will support eligible entities in meeting strategic planning needs and increase capacity in LDDs. For more information about these programs and how to apply: https://bit.ly/3oSDCxx.
2023 Delta Summit
Mark your calendars for the 2nd Annual Delta Summit, Oct 30-Nov 1 in New Orleans! Join community leaders to discuss economic development, revitalization, and community resilience in the eight-state DRA region. Engaging sessions, workshops, field experiences, and networking opportunities await!
In the Community
Coahoma Community College
DRA announced a $2 million investment into Coahoma Community College (CCC) Workforce Development Center. This investment will help with the expansion and renovation of the Ned W. Gathwright Workforce Development Center and aims to extend its workforce training and service within CCC’s five-county service area. Learn more about the historic announcement here: https://bit.ly/3mKqpGC.
Greenville Mid-Delta Airport Facility
DRA announced a $2.5 million investment to expand the Greenville Mid-Delta Airport Facility and training programs. The investment will help renovate an empty hangar at the airport and bring it into compliance with Department of Defense Codes. The project is the result of a public-private partnership among the City of Greenville, DRA, and Greenville Kearns Aerospace Maintenance. Learn more about the project here: https://bit.ly/3MSFGzG.
Inter-Tribal Council of Louisiana
Federal Co-Chairman, Dr. Corey Wiggins, was invited to share information about DRA’s programming opportunities at the Inter-Tribal Council of Louisiana (ITCLA) board meeting. The ITCLA is a consortium of federally recognized and state-recognized tribes that works to advance workforce development opportunities in tribal communities. Members include: the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana, Jena Band of Choctaw Indians, Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, and the United Houma Nation Tribe of Louisiana.
Louisiana Rural Community Funding Summit
DRA staffers Sea Talantis, Amanda Allen, and Matthew Campbell attended the Louisiana Rural Community Funding Summit hosted by U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, USDA Rural Development, and the Louisiana Housing Corporation. Community stakeholders from Ruston, Winnsboro, and Opelousas were able to learn about DRA’s programming and funding opportunities.
May 2023 Preview
Look out for DRA program details and funding opportunities next month:
- Local Development District (LDD) Community Pilot Project Applications Due: May 11, 2023
- Delta Health Systems Implementation Program Applications Due: May 18, 2023
- Delta Workforce Grant (DWP) Technical Assistance (TA) Workshop(s): TBD
- Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC) Technical Assistance (TA) Webinar(s): TBD
- Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC) Technical Assistance (TA) Workshop(s): TBD