American Broadband Initiative Milestones Report 
USDA highlights steps for the federal government to take to increase broadband access and increase private-sector investments in broadband. Discusses broadband and mobile broadband deployment and adoption in the U.S. and offers statistics by urban, rural, and tribal lands. Provides recommendations discussing strategies, objectives, and overcoming barriers to increase broadband in urban and rural areas and tribal lands.

USDA Launches High-Speed Broadband e-Connectivity Resource Guide 
This e-Connectivity Toolkit features 27 USDA programs that support broadband deployment. The easy-to-use resource is a simple guide that allows customers to identify their type of e-Connectivity project and locate resources the federal government offers for planning, equipment, construction, research and other e-Connectivity projects. A resource matrix illustrates resources such as grants, loans and technical assistance that are available from multiple Mission Areas at USDA, including Rural Development, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Forest Service. The toolkit also highlights examples of how e-Connectivity resources are being used to increase access to broadband services in rural communities.

Strengthening Economic Resilience in Appalachia
 A new study released by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) recently identifying factors common across communities experiencing persistent economic growth in the aftermath of the 2008 Recession and other economic disruptions. The research includes a statistical analysis of key factors common to economic resilience, as well as a guidebook featuring ten communities that have rebounded after experiencing significant economic shocks. In the accompanying Guidebook for Practitioners, case studies from counties in the Region and across the country offer additional insight into how communities have rebounded from the Recession and other economic disruptions in mining, manufacturing, hospitality, education, transportation or similar industries.

Measurement and Verification Made Easy with Three New DOE Publications supporting energy savings. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) developed three technical assistance resources in partnership with the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) to help state and local governments achieve successful ESPCs with effective M&V: Get all these resources on the Evaluating ESPC Results web page and Better Buildings ESPC Toolkit.

The Wind Innovations for Rural Economic Development (WIRED) Workshop Report summarizes perspectives from participants and key findings. The DOE Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) held a workshop to better understand how the office can best support rural electric utilities and communities with evaluating and integrating distributed wind systems. The Wind Innovations for Rural Economic Development (WIRED) Workshop invited representatives from the U.S. government, national laboratories, rural electric utilities from around the country, national associations, the wind energy industry, and the financial community to participate and share information about their unique needs, challenges, and experiences with distributed energy resources and distributed wind energy systems, especially in rural areas.

Chambers of Commerce and Entrepreneurship, 
Community or regional entrepreneur-led development and entrepreneurial ecosystem building requires host organizations. Historically local chambers of commerce have played this role of supporting local businesses and growing a supportive business climate. Download this month's white paper, which explores how today’s chambers of commerce can become the hub for entrepreneur-focused development and entrepreneur ecosystem building.

USDA launched the Community Opioid Misuse Toolbox. This initiative includes the Community Resource Guide, a comprehensive directory of federal resources that can help rural communities address the opioid crisis, and the Community Assessment Tool, an interactive database to help community leaders assess how and why the opioid epidemic is impacting their regions. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/topics/opioids.

Filling the Rural Gap With Good Recruiting, Telemedicine
This story focuses on the rural health workforce shortages and touches on the impact of telemedicine and the launch of the AAFP's Rural Health Explorer, which includes a rural population health mapper and a healthcare workforce mapper.

Data Points:

  • Long-term Population Loss. New research from the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire finds that a third of rural counties in the United States have experienced protracted and significant population loss over the last century.
  • The Geography of America's Distressed Communities. This articleby Visual Capitalist shows the states and major metro areas that are struggling the most. Locate your distressed communities index by zooming in on your zip code on the interactive map.
  • Richest and Poorest Counties in the U.S. Find your state's counties and how they rank based upon median household income on this map created by Visual Capitalist.
  • The U.S. Census Bureau has announced updates to the 2019 economic indicator release schedule in coordination with other agencies and the Office of Management and Budget.
  • USDOL’s Bureau of Labor Statistics Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program created a set of maps and data for hurricane flood zones on the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts. Also see the flood zone FAQ page.