“Forward” DRA Monthly Highlights

Dear Delta Residents,

Over the summer, the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) hosted a cohort of interns as part of the Delta Regional Authority Internship Program. The program was designed as a resource to create opportunities for the next generation of public servants and provide them with the tools to succeed in their respective fields. Students from the region joined DRA staff in our Clarksdale office to develop their skills and support the agency’s mission. This program is part of DRA’s larger efforts to enhance sustainable and inclusive local placemaking and capacity-building across our region, including future public service leaders. Investing in the next generation of leaders is one of the most important investments we can make at DRA to drive positive change and shape the direction of both our agency and the communities we serve for generations to come.


Dr. Corey Wiggins
Federal Co-Chairman

Latest News

Delta Regional Authority Internship Program

Delta Regional Authority Internship Program

This summer, four interns joined DRA as part of the Delta Regional Authority Internship Program, which provides an opportunity for college students to gain valuable experience in a federal agency aimed to improve economic opportunity in the Delta region. DRA would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to our summer interns for their invaluable contributions, enthusiasm, and hard work that have greatly enriched DRA’s staff and agency.

James Hunter
Mississippi State University
Major: Communications

Calviyuna Johnson
Alcorn State University
Major: Pre-nursing

Calvin Johnson
University of Mississippi
Major: Business Administration and Marketing

Daniel Vassel, Jr.
Delta State University
Major: Kinesology

Delta Leadership Institute

Delta Leadership Institute

In June, the 2023 Delta Leadership Institute (DLI) Executive Academy class traveled to Memphis, Tennessee, for its fifth session. While there, participants learned how to build sustainable healthcare training programs, heard from Delta Workforce Program healthcare grantees, and met with representatives from the Memphis Medical District Collaborative and MedHaul. Participants also had the opportunity to tour the National Civil Rights Museum. The 2023 DLI Executive Academy class will graduate in September in Paducah, Kentucky.

Northwest Arkansas Wellness Mission

Northwest Arkansas Wellness Mission
Photo Credit: Air Force Reserve Command

DRA, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), held its Northwest Arkansas Wellness Mission July 5-23, 2023. The Northwest Arkansas Wellness Mission was a part of the Innovative Readiness Training program. This DoD military training program delivers joint training opportunities to increase deployment readiness while simultaneously providing key healthcare resources with lasting benefits for Delta communities. Military personnel offered vision, dental, and basic medical services to the public at no cost to patients. A highlight of outcomes is below.

Medical Care: The team saw 1,520 patients with 13,268 procedures and 490 eyeglasses fabricated and distributed, producing a fair market value of services of $713,724.

Training: Total number of training days was 16, with ten days of clinical care. A total of 22,263 hours of training was conducted, consisting of 11,276 hours of clinical proficiency.

Dental: The dental clinic provided 2,082 procedures, resulting in $405,346 saved for the community.

Veterinary: The veterinary clinic saw over 200 patients and performed 834 procedures, saving the local community pet owners $35,070 in medical expenses.

Community Infrastructure Fund

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

2023 Delta Summit

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

Workforce Opportunities for Rural Communities Initiative

Registration is now open for DRA’s Annual Delta Summit at the JW Marriott in New Orleans, Louisiana, from October 30-November 1, 2023.

The 2023 Delta Summit, themed Navigating the Currents of Opportunity, will bring together community leaders from across the eight-state DRA region.

To register: Delta Summit 2023 Tickets, Mon, Oct. 30, 2023, at 12:30 PM | Eventbrite

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.

In the Community

Murray, Kentucky

Murray, Kentucky

Chief Programs Officer, Kemp Morgan, visited Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky, where he spoke with representatives from Local Development Districts and 150 elected officials about DRA’s programs and federal partnerships.

Upcoming Events & Opportunities

Reminder of current DRA program details and funding opportunities:

  • CIF applications accepted on a rolling basis
  • Strategic Planning Program applications accepted on a rolling basis
  • 2023 DLI Executive Academy Session VI in Paducah, Kentucky, September 11-14, 2023
  • 2023 Delta Summit in New Orleans, Louisiana, October 30-November 1, 2023
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