National Rural Health Association’s 46th Annual Rural Health Conference and 8th Rural Hospital Innovations Summit
Dear Delta Residents,
In May, I had the opportunity to speak on a panel at the National Rural Health Association’s 46th Annual Rural Health Conference in San Diego, California. The panel included Suzanne Snyder, Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Hospital State Division Public Health Analyst, and Bethany Adams, National Rural Health Resource Center Program Director (pictured above), and focused on “Holistic, Sustainable Improvements to Healthcare in the Mississippi Delta.” While the Delta is rich in abundant assets, it is equally plagued by deeply rooted obstacles that limit access to opportunity for some, including quality health care. At DRA, we are proud to invest in healthcare programs and initiatives that help nurture local workforce ecosystems and increase access to affordable, high-quality health services in the Delta region. Programs, like Delta Doctors, Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) Missions, and the Delta Region Community Health Systems Development Program, work to enhance healthcare delivery and support communities’ economic prosperity. DRA is proud to support efforts to improve health outcomes across DRA’s footprint and remains committed to working toward a future where all Delta residents have access to the care and resources they need.
Dr. Corey Wiggins
DRA’s Quarterly Staff Meeting
DRA held its quarterly All Staff meeting May 10-12, 2023, in New Orleans, Louisiana. The All Staff meeting provided an opportunity for staff members across the eight-state service area to come together for in-person professional development and included site visits to DRA grant recipients, Delgado’s Maritime and Industrial Training Center and the New Orleans BioInnovation Center.
U.S. Department of Labor’s ETA Vision 2030: Investing in America’s Workforce
DRA’s Federal Co-Chairman, Dr. Corey Wiggins, attended the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) Workforce Convening: Vision 20230 – Expanding Access to Quality Jobs and Ensuring Job Equity, held May 16-18, 2023, in Crystal City, Virginia. Dr. Wiggins spoke on a panel in an Opening Plenary focused on “Centering Communities and Workers for Equity.” Other panel members included Adine Forman, LA Hospitality Training Academy, Janet Murguia, UnidosUS, Joseph Quintana, United American Indian Involvement, Inc., Nicole Schwartz, TradesFutures, and Saket Soni, Resilience Force.
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
States’ Economic Development Assistance Program
Approximately $16.8 million in funding is available through DRA’s State’s Economic Development Assistance Program (SEDAP).
As one of DRA’s main investment tools, SEDAP provides direct investments for basic public and transportation infrastructure, as well as workforce and business development needs within DRA’s region. For more information on how to apply: States’ Economic Development Assistance Program – Delta Regional Authority (dra.gov).
Funding for this program has been made available, in part, by the 2018 Farm Bill & the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, PL 117-58) signed by President Biden.
Final Applications Due: June 25, 2023
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
Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities Initiative
Approximately $44 million in funding is available through the U.S. Department of Labor’s Workforce Opportunities for Rural Communities (WORC) Initiative.
The WORC Initiative helps workers access high-quality jobs & seeks to address persistent economic distress for people in the Appalachian, Lower Mississippi Delta, & Northern Border regions. For more information and resources on how to apply: Workforce Opportunities for Rural Communities – Delta Regional Authority (dra.gov).
Final Applications Due: June 13, 2023
2023 Delta Summit
Registration will open soon for DRA’s 2023 Delta Summit! This year’s Summit in New Orleans, Louisiana, offers participants the opportunity to discuss and learn more about the region’s federal funding opportunities for economic development, rural revitalization, and community resiliency. Participants will also be introduced to DRA’s fourth Regional Development Plan, with a focus on DRA’s strategic goals.
The Summit will feature engaging sessions and workshops, provide technical assistance via office hour opportunities with our federal partners, and create space for peer networking to share ideas, best practices, and strategies to move our region forward.
In the Community
Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC) Technical Assistance Workshops
DRA held a Pre-Award Technical Assistance (TA) Workshop in Alexandria, Louisiana, on May 16, 2023, and a virtual TA Workshop on May 19, 2023, to complement the U.S. Department of Labor’s Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC) Initiative grant program. Attendees learned how to create a competitive proposal and heard from previous grantees about lessons learned. For workshop resources: Workforce Opportunities for Rural Communities – Delta Regional Authority (dra.gov).
Chief Programs Officer, Kemp Morgan, visited Jonestown, Mississippi, where he met with Stan Buckley, Executive Director of But God Ministries (BGM), Bennie Brown, Associate Community Manager at BGM, and James Curcio of the North Delta Planning and Development District, to learn more about Jonestown’s economic development activities.
Federal Co-Chairman, Dr. Corey Wiggins, and DRA staff members Jennifer Riley Collins, Chief Administrative Officer, and Matthew Campbell, Strategic Partnerships Program Manager, joined federal and non-governmental partners in Selma, Alabama, for a work session to integrate and structure capacity-building support and funding opportunities for the city as part of rebuilding efforts following the January 2023 tornado outbreak.
Local Development District (LDD) Trainings
DRA held Local Development District (LDD) training with the Southwest Louisiana Regional Planning Commission and Northwest Tennessee Development District. LDDs provide technical assistance, application support and review, and other services to DRA and entities in their district who wish to apply for DRA funding. For more information about LDDs: Local Development Districts – Delta Regional Authority (dra.gov).
June 2023 Preview
Look out for DRA program details and funding opportunities next month:
- Delta Leadership Institute Session IV in Washington, D.C.: June 12-15, 2023
- Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC) Initiative Application Deadline: June 13, 2023
- Memphis Area Association of Governments LDD Training: June 15, 2023
- States’ Economic Development Assistance Program (SEDAP) Application Deadline: June 25, 2023