Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy
Dear Delta Residents,
Last month, the 2023 Delta Leadership Institute (DLI) Executive Academy class traveled to Washington, D.C., for its fourth session, where the DLI cohort members received professional development training and met with their respective congressional delegations on Capitol Hill. While there, I had the pleasure of moderating a panel on federal partnerships with my colleagues Joaquin J. Altoro, USDA Rural Development, Ollie Davidson, U.S. Department of Energy, and Doug Lynott, U.S. Economic Development Administration. The panel included an engaging conversation with DLI cohort members about the challenges and opportunities that rural communities experience when applying for federal resources. The conversation was an important reminder of the common thread weaved between each level of government – the communities we serve. Collaboration among all levels of government creates a unique opportunity to reset the ways in which we support economic development in the communities that connect us. Here at DRA, we look forward to continuing to engage and work with local, state, and federal leaders to bolster investments and increase economic opportunities in our footprint and beyond.
Dr. Corey Wiggins
Delta Workforce Grant Program
In June, the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) awarded $11.7 million in investments to 28 projects across DRA’s eight-state service area through the Delta Workforce Grant Program (DWP). Funding for this program has been made available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law signed by President Biden. Delta Regional Authority Announces 2023 Delta Workforce Grant Program Awardees (campaign-archive.com)
2024 Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy Applications Open
DRA’s 2024 Delta Leadership Institute (DLI) Executive Academy application period is open. DLI is an extensive, nine-month leadership development program that brings together public, private, and nonprofit sector leaders from the Mississippi River and Alabama Black Belt regions. Approximately 30 fellows are selected through a competitive application process led by DRA’s eight state governors and DRA’s federal co-chairman.
Those interested can apply through July 26, 2023, at Delta Leadership Institute – Delta Regional Authority (dra.gov).
Community Infrastructure Fund
Approximately $30 million in funding is available through DRA’s Community Infrastructure Fund (CIF).
Investments support projects that address basic public and transportation infrastructure, as well as flood-control issues for communities within DRA’s eight-state service area. For more information on how to apply: Community Infrastructure Fund (CIF) – Delta Regional Authority (dra.gov).
Funding for this program has been made available, in part, by the 2018 Farm Bill and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, PL 117-58) signed by President Biden.
Applications Accepted on a Rolling Basis
Strategic Planning Program
Approximately $3 million is available through DRA’s Strategic Planning Program, which provides resources to eligible entities to develop strategic plans to address critical and human infrastructure issues in their communities. For more information on how to apply: Strategic Planning Program – Delta Regional Authority (dra.gov).
Funding for this program has been made available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, PL 117-58) signed by President Biden.
Applications Accepted on a Rolling Basis
2023 Delta Summit
The 2023 Delta Summit, themed Navigating the Currents of Opportunity, will bring together community leaders from across the eight-state DRA region in New Orleans, Louisiana, October 31 – November 1, 2023.
Visit Delta Summit – Delta Regional Authority (dra.gov) and follow us on social media for the latest on registration, agenda, speakers, lodging, and other information.
U.S. Department of Energy Webinar
The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) and DRA held an informational webinar last month on the Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas (ERA) Program grant funding for community-based projects between $500,000-$5 million. This funding requires no cost-share from recipients, and projects funded will improve the cost, reliability, environmental impact, and climate resilience of energy systems in rural or remote areas with 10,000 or fewer inhabitants. For the webinar recording, https://rb.gy/otiw4
DRA Welcomes Christine Williams
DRA welcomes Christine Williams to the DRA team! Christine joined DRA in June as the Monitoring and Compliance Coordinator – Southern Region.
In the Community
Clarksdale “Community Conversation”
Federal Co-Chairman, Dr. Corey Wiggins, met with Kristen Clarke, Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice, and Clarksdale, Mississippi, community leaders for a community conversation on civil rights issues.
Alabama Local Government Showcase
Director of Critical Infrastructure, Amanda Allen, and Director of Human Infrastructure, Sea Talantis, attended the Alabama Local Government Showcase in Atmore, Alabama, as part of a workshop panel of representatives from key state, regional, and federal government departments and agencies that offer infrastructure funding. Other panelists included representatives from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, Federal Transit Administration, Appalachian Regional Commission, Southeast Crescent Regional Commission, Alabama Department of Transportation, Alabama Department of Environmental Management, and Alabama Industrial Development Training.
Mid-South Mayors’ Council Meeting
Federal Co-Chairman, Dr. Corey Wiggins, and Strategic Partnerships Program Manager, Matthew Campbell, attended the Mid-South Mayor’s Council meeting in Memphis, Tennessee, where they discussed DRA’s programs and opportunities in the region.
2023 Mississippi Municipal League Conference
Director of Critical Infrastructure, Amanda Allen, and Strategic Partnerships Program Manager, Matthew Campbell, attended the 2023 Mississippi Municipal League Conference, where they presented on “Opportunities Through Delta Regional Authority.”
USDA Rural Development Conference
Chief Programs Officer, Kemp Morgan, attended the USDA Rural Development in Arkansas, where he spoke on a panel about the DRA’s programs and continued partnership with USDA Rural Development. Pictured left to right, Kemp Morgan, Chief Programs Officer, Jill Floyd, State Director of USDA Rural Development Arkansas, Adriene Brown, U.S. Small Business Administration, and Jett DeSoto, Assistant Director of Public Affairs, Arkansas Commissioner of State Lands.
July 2023 Preview
- Delta Leadership Institute Session Memphis V, Memphis, Tennessee – July 24-27, 2023
- 2024 Delta Leadership Institute Applications due July 26, 2023