FTA Publishes Guidance on Implementation on Section 5311 Rural Area Formula Program

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has placed in the docket and on its Web site, guidance in the form of a circular to assist grantees in implementing the Section 5311 Rural Area Formula Program. The purpose of the circular is to provide recipients of FTA financial assistance with updated instructions and guidance on program administration and the grant application process. The revisions to FTA Circular 9040.1F are a result of changes made to the Rural Area Formula Program by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21).

The final circular becomes effective November 24, 2014. The Section 5311 Program, as amended by MAP-21, provides for expanded eligible activities and set-asides that support rural transit program such as the Appalachian Development Public Transportation Assistance Program, the Rural Transit Assistance Program, and the Tribal Transit Program. The

Section 5311 Program permits activities authorized under the repealed Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) program to qualify as Section 5311 eligible activities. Additionally, since MAP-21 changed the program's name from the
Formula Grants for Other Than Urbanized Area Program to the Formula Grants for Rural Areas Program, the term ''rural'' replaces ''non-urbanized area'' or ''other than urbanized area'' throughout the circular.

Click here for the October 24 FEDERAL REGISTER notice. An electronic version of the circular can be found at www.fta.dot.gov.

Deloitte Consulting Availability of New Handbooks for Job Seekers, Employers and Communities


Creative class county job growth resilient following recession

During the pre-recession economic growth years, counties with a high percentage of their workforce employed in "creative" occupations—engineers, scientists, artists, and others tasked with combining knowledge and ideas in novel ways—tended to experience higher rates of local employment growth than other counties, but having a high share of creative jobs did not offer much local job market protection during the 2007-09 recession. "Creative class" counties—those in the top quartile of all counties ranked by their share of creative jobs—were more likely to experience employment losses in the recession than other counties. However, a higher share of creative class counties gained employment during the economic recovery. While a much higher percentage of metro counties have seen recent employment growth whether or not they are creative class counties, a higher share of nonmetro counties gained
employment during both the recession and recovery, the latter group benefitting from employment gains driven mainly by the energy boom. This chart is derived from the October 2014 Amber Waves data feature, "What Happened to the "'Creative Class' Job Growth Engine" During the Recession and Recovery?"


10 step guide to fundraising - Raising funds will help expand your outreach, involve more people in dialogue and community change and tell the story of the impact you are having. Use this guide to help you think
about budgeting and fundraising.

Speed Meeting Activity for Communities Addressing Racism- This activity is for programs addressing racism and racial equity, particularly those that are using the Facing Racism in a Diverse Nation discussion guide. This activity can be
used whenever people don't know each other and need to connect at any phase of the work, and especially in the organizing phase.


WEBINAR: Rural leaders invited to join Climate Dialogues Webinar, November 12, 3:30pm CST/4:30pm EST

This webinar is geared toward rural leaders, organizers, and community stakeholders who are looking for a process to engage their communities in conversations about climate change. Hosted by Assembly Steering Committee member Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), the Rural Climate Dialogues are part of an effort to spur rural leadership and build resiliency in the face of extreme weather conditions and a changing climate. This webinar will provide an overview of the first Rural Climate Dialogue in Morris, Minnesota, focusing on the process, outcomes, follow-up, and a participant's perspective. REGISTER HERE

WEBINAR: Crowdfunding the New Economy, Thursday, November 20, 2014, 12:00 - 1:30 pm ET- A WealthWorks Perspective, a webinar presented by the Croatan Institute. Check out this blog post to learn more. Register

WEBINAR: TAKE OUT MENU" November 20, 2014 (2:00 PM – ET): How the University of Minnesota Tourism Center contributes to Event Management Education: Introducing the Online Festival & Event Management (FEM) Course. Presenter: Xinyi (Lisa) Qian (University of Minnesota).) http://connect.msu.edu/ncrcrd

During this webinar, Dr. Qian will introduce the online Festival and Event Management (FEM) course. She will talk about the key topics the course covers and the ongoing effort to develop special topic sessions. She will also introduce the team of instructors and the online interactions they engage in with students. Dr. Qian will finish the webinar by talking about the option of obtaining the certificate of completion for the course and plans to continuously improve the course.

WEBINAR: CommunityMatters Talk on Civic Health, Nov. 20. You will need to register

We all know the importance of physical health—good habits like regular exercise and eating well help us keep on track with that (most of the time). How do we maintain our civic health?

Dr. Mike Stout, associate professor, University of Missouri and Evan Weissman, executive director, Warm Cookies of the Revolution join CommunityMatters® on November 20 for an hour-long talk about promoting healthy civic life. They'll
share both fun and data-driven approaches to promoting civic health.

RECORDED WEBINAR: Rewriting the Rural Narrative

If you missed Ben Winchester's talk on population trends in rural communities, no worries. You can download a recording of the hour-long webinar that focuses on Ben's research on rural migration trends and the impacts they have on social and economic opportunity. While brain drain, the loss of 18- to 29-year-olds, dominates the conversation about rural population change, Ben's research shows a lesser known migration. A majority of rural counties are, in fact, experiencing brain gains as newcomers age 30-49 move in. Ben is a research fellow for the University of Minnesota Extension, Center for Community Vitality. Download now »


"Yes, Virginia, there is funding for Rural Areas" - http://www.rural-design.org/blog/yes-virginia-there-funding-rural-america - a page with ideas on rural funding

Looking for volunteers? Apply for AmeriCorps- AmeriCorps volunteers work to strengthen communities. The focus areas for funding are: disaster services, economic opportunity, education, environment, veterans and military families, governor and mayor initiatives, and programming that supports My Brother's Keeper.

Funding for grassroots, social change organizations- Haymarket makes Sustaining Grants that range up to $10,000/year for grassroots, social change organizations that meet their funding criteria and priorities in the New England area. They fund both start-up groups and groups that are more established.

FTA Announces Funding Opportunity under the Innovative Public Transportation Workforce Development Program (Ladders of Opportunity Initiative) – revised NOFA

The Federal Transit Administration has announced a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the Innovative Public Transportation Workforce Development Program (Ladders of Opportunity Initiative).

Eligible applicants include departments of transportation (DOTs) providing public transportation services; Metropolitan Planning Organizations; Indian Tribes; nonprofit institutions; and institutions of higher education. Only these types of organizations are eligible to apply to this program. The cooperative agreement will be between FTA and the selected organization, which must have a substantial interest in the project and must not simply act as a pass-through for funds. Applicants may apply individually or in a consortium of eligible applicants. The consortium of eligible applicants must include a lead applicant as the primary recipient of federal funds. Complete proposals are due December 23, 2014. Click here for full background, including the relevant partnership information, application content requirements and process, and Federal evaluation criteria. Prospective applicants may visit http://www.fta.dot.gov for additional information.

NSF Announces Funding Opportunity under "US Ignite"; Identifies Resources for "Scaling Up Smart and Connected
Cities and Regions"

US Ignite is an Administration initiative seeking to promote US leadership in the development and deployment of next-generation gigabit applications with the potential for significant societal impact. The primary goal of US Ignite is to break a fundamental deadlock: there is insufficient investment in gigabit applications that can take advantage of advanced network infrastructure because such infrastructure is rare and dispersed. And conversely, there is a lack of broad availability of advanced broadband infrastructure for open experimentation and innovation because there are few
advanced applications and services to justify it. US Ignite aims to break this deadlock by providing incentives for imagining, prototyping, and developing public sector gigabit applications, and by leveraging and extending this
network testbed across US college/university campuses and cities. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has published a solicitation that builds on the experience gained from initial US Ignite activities to further engage the US academic research and non-profit communities along with local cities, municipalities, and regions in exploring the challenges of
developing and applying next-generation networking to problems of significant public interest and benefit. Full applications are due by January 21, 2015. NSF has identified $10,000,000 to support the award of 6 to 10 grants.