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Suzette's Letter, February 28, 2017

PUBLICATIONS

  1. 1.First Nations Report Highlights Economic Impact of Tribal Colleges in Northwest Area Foundation's Eight-State Region

A new report from First Nations Development Institute finds that tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) contribute significantly to both short- and long-term economic development in reservation-based Native communities. The study covered TCUs in the Northwest Area Foundation’s eight-state region. The report – The Economic Impact of Tribal Colleges in the Northwest Area Foundation Region — is the first in a new series of short publications called Research Notes that will keep the field updated with timely research about Indian Country. This inaugural report in the series was authored by Benjamin Marks, First Nations Senior Research Officer.

  1. 2.Hoeven Delivers Congressional Response to 2017 State of Indian Nations Address
    The Congressional Response, given by Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), to the 2017 State of Indian Nations address. Hoeven, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, touches on healthcare access and quality, veterans' health, homelessness and overcrowding, economic development as it relates to quality of life, the safety and well-being of children in foster care, and resources for victims of violent crimes, among other things.

EVENTS/LEARNING

  1. 1.First Nations Native Arts Initiative Application Q&A Session

First Nations will award up to 15 Supporting Native Arts grants of up to $32,000 each to support projects that aim to strengthen the organizational infrastructure and/or arts programming of Native museums and cultural centers, Native-controlled nonprofit organizations, and tribal government programs. Eligible applicants must have existing program initiatives in place that support Native American artists and traditional Native art forms. An informational session will be held on Thursday, March 2, 2017 to learn more about this grant opportunity and the application process!

  1. Local Innovation Strengthening Economies

The Center for Rural Entrepreneurship is an active member of the Rural Development Innovation Group (RDIG), which is made up of rural development practitioners, intermediaries and others who have been deeply involved in advancing rural community and economic development. RDIG is co-sponsoring with The Aspen Institute a 6-part series of panel conversations focused on advancing a rural opportunity agenda, America's Rural Opportunity. Each panel features rural innovators who, together with their partners, are working to create economic opportunities for rural people, businesses and communities. Here's a snapshot of the first and second sessions:

  • Local Innovation Strengthening Economies, Feb. 10. Read about this session and watch the recorded livestream HERE.
  • Supporting Entrepreneurial Economies, Mar. 17. For details about this session, click HERE. Spots are available in-person in Washington, D.C. or via live feed. While free, reservations for both are required. You can also follow this session on Twitter and Facebook by using #ruralinnovation.

There will be 2 more sessions this spring and 2 in the fall. We will share the topics and dates as soon as they are available!

Suzette's Letter, February 1, 2017

PUBLICATIONS

The U.S. Department of Education’s Place Based Initiative Pilot Team, Office of Innovation and Improvement( OII)  and Performance Partnership Pilot Team, Office Career Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) are excited to share a recently released resource titled Family and School Partnership, that is focused on building and improving these valuable relationships.  Educators are increasingly aware that schools alone cannot raise student achievement and research has demonstrated that family involvement is one of the strongest predictors of school success. Many schools and districts are pursuing strategies to deepen their relationships with families and communities to improve student outcomes. Simply put, students are more successful in school and life when their families are engaged in their education. This document highlights the importance of family engagement and family-school partnerships.   It provides schools and their partners with a jumping off point with an overview of key research, best practices, and funding sources, as well as profiles of how two communities are working to improve family engagement.  These efforts incorporate a variety of strategies for schools to employ to welcome and work with families, and for educators and families to use to collaborate effectively. The document also identifies resources to inform and support local action on building effective family-school partnerships.

  1. Regions win through comprehensive workforce development strategy

With job growth for middle-skill level jobs slowing, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and Austin-based nonprofit Center for Public Policy Priorities studied the nation’s best practices and surveyed regional workforce boards in Texas to determine how communities there are addressing the challenge. Their findings are detailed in the report, Regional Talent Pipelines: Collaborating with Industry to Build Opportunities in Texas, released last month. For a region to succeed in their workforce development efforts, the study states three tasks must be accomplished: identify growth through an industry cluster analysis, convene a sector partnership, and create and strengthen career pathways.

  1. Educational Attainment Rates Remain Lower for Rural Minorities
    Chart showing educational attainment by race/ethnicity for rural adults 25 years of age and older, using 2015 American Community Survey data.
    Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
    Date: 01/2017
  1. Housing Needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives in Tribal Areas: A Report From the Assessment of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian Housing Needs
    Provides an overview of housing conditions and needs among American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) households in tribal areas. Includes AI/AN demographic, social, and economic characteristics. Also discusses housing produced by tribes using HUD housing funds available through the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA) of 1996.
    Sponsoring organization: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  1. Findings from the National Agricultural Workers Survey (NAWS) 2013-2014: A Demographic and Employment Profile of United States Farmworkers
    Reports on demographic and employment characteristics of hired agricultural workers in the United States. Includes data on health insurance and healthcare access, as well as information on social determinants of health such as income, education level, language skills, and housing. Based on data collected from face-to-face interviews with 4,235 crop farmworkers conducted between October 1, 2012 and September 30, 2014.
    Sponsoring organization: U.S. Department of Labor
    Date: 12/2016
  1. Pine Ridge Agriculture Economy (PRAE)
    Describes the initiative on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to enhance the economy of the reservation through job creation. Initiative was designed to help families achieve an acceptable standard of living while utilizing technology and effective value-added techniques, to incorporate sustainable and natural resource conservation, attract individuals to agriculture, and support self-sufficiency, while also creating a sustainable and healthy food supply for the community.
    Sponsoring organization: U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Date: 01/2017
  1. Veterans in Rural America: 2011-2015
    Reports detailed demographic, social, and economic characteristics of rural veterans, based primarily on 2011–2015 American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year estimates. Includes comparisons of rural veterans to both urban veterans and rural nonveterans. Topics addressed include health insurance coverage, disability status and service-connected disability, and use of VA healthcare.
    Sponsoring organization: U.S. Census Bureau
    Date: 01/2017
  1. Rural counties’ economies depend on different industries

Local economies and employment levels are more sensitive to economic trends that have a pronounced effect on their leading industries. For example, trends in agricultural prices have a disproportionate impact in farming-dependent counties, which accounted for nearly 20 percent of all rural counties and 6 percent of the rural population in 2015. The boom in U.S. oil and natural gas production increased employment in many mining-dependent rural counties; more recently, lower oil and gas prices have led to reduced oil exploration and economic activity in these counties. Meanwhile, the decline in manufacturing employment has particularly affected manufacturing-dependent counties, which accounted for about 18 percent of rural counties and 23 percent of the rural population.

  1. Access and Inclusion in the Digital Age

A new resource guide for communities on high-speed internet access and digital inclusion has been released by the National Resource Network (NRN), which provides technical assistance as part of the Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Initiative. NRN partner organization ICMA and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) led a group of six U.S. cities (Chattanooga, Tennessee; Gonzales, California; Greensboro, North Carolina; New Orleans, Louisiana; Springfield, Missouri; and Youngstown, Ohio) in a first-of-its-kind partnership to develop the resource guide, Access and Inclusion in the Digital Age. Access and Inclusion in the Digital Age is designed to support U.S. communities of all sizes and geographies in advancing their goals for high-speed Internet access and digital inclusion. Representatives of the six cities communicated regularly about the broadband Internet access and digital literacy initiatives underway in their communities, highlighting major obstacles encountered and key lessons learned. By sharing information on programs, practices, challenges, and opportunities from their own communities, these six cities were

EVENTS/LEARNING

  1. Coursera launches MOOCs for governments, nonprofits targeting workforce-development

Online-education provider Coursera has announced a new program that allows governments and nonprofits focused on workforce development to curate massive open online course (MOOCs) that align with labor market needs, and then make these courses instantly available to their constituents. Initial partners of Coursera for Governments & Nonprofits include the United States and six other nations:  Egypt, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Pakistan, and Singapore.

  1. 2.HUD Launches New Community Investment Tool

HUD has launched the Community Assessment Reporting Tool (CART), which is an online tool that generates a snapshot of HUD’s investments at the community level. The tool provides an interactive mapping interface that allows users to explore HUD investments within their community and see property- and grant-level detail at a variety of geographies.

  1. Department of Education announced FY2017 TA Opportunities

In November, the Department of Education’s Place Based Office held a session just for Promise Zones at the Promise Neighborhoods Convening. After conducting individual interviews with Promise Zone education partners on their priorities and challenges, ED launched a TA package via webinar in early December that will include affinity and peer cohorts on two-generation strategies, trauma informed care and community schools (the PowerPoint slides and on-pager are attached). In March 2017, ED plans to host a convening in Baltimore for the Peer Action and Learning Network- Community Schools, and a collective impact convening in June in Washington, DC.

  1. Children’s Defense Fund/AASA Toolkit Webinar

The Children’s Defense Fund and AASA, The School Superintendents Association, hosted a webinar on November 30th to provide valuable information on how to support outreach and enroll uninsured students in your community. The webinar referenced the Healthy Students Promising Futures Learning Collaborative, a federal publication focused on state and local action steps and practices to improve school-based health. The recorded webinar can be found here.

  1. USDA Agricultural Marketing Service Webinars

AMS will host a webinar for potential FMPP and LFPP grant applicants on Wednesday, February 15, 2017, at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time, and a teleconference for potential FSMIP grant applicants on Thursday, February 16, 2017, at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time.  For more information about FSMIP, FMPP and LFPP, visit: www.ams.usda.gov/AMSgrants.  The website also contains a link to a grants decision tree, "What AMS Grant is Right for ME?” to help applicants determine which AMS grant fits their project best. AMS will also host a webinar to introduce potential applicants to Grants.gov on Wednesday, February 8, 2017, at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time.  Applicants are urged to start the Grants.gov registration process as soon as possible to ensure that they meet the deadline and encouraged to submit their applications well in advance of the posted due date.  Any grant application submitted after the due date will not be considered unless the applicant provides documentation of an extenuating circumstance that prevented their timely submission of the grant application, read more on AMS Late and Non-Responsive Application Policy

Suzette's Letter, December 16, 2016

PUBLICATIONS

  1. Rural America at a Glance, 2016 Edition
    A report that provides an overview of social and economic factors affecting rural America. Includes data and statistics about employment, population, poverty, and income trends.
    Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service

 

  1. Small-Scale Manufacturers See New Markets Tax Credits as Future Hope

The Community Development Financial Institutions Fund announced it was awarding an unprecedented amount of tax credits to investors focused on job creation and other economy boosters in communities hit hard by poverty. The amount of the credits, known as New Markets Tax Credits, totaled $7 billion, with about 60 percent of that going to urban areas.

  1. EDA Proposes New Rules for RLF Program

EDA is proposing important changes to the regulations governing the RLF program that are intended to reflect current best practices and strengthen EDA's efforts to evaluate, monitor, and improve RLF performance.

  1. How to Do Creative Placemaking: An Action-Oriented Guide to Arts in Community Development

In its ongoing commitment to producing resources for community engagement with the arts, the National Endowment for the Arts has published How to Do Creative Placemaking: An Action-Oriented Guide to Arts in Community Development. The book features 28 essays from thought leaders active in arts-based community development as well as 13 case studies of projects funded through the NEA’s creative placemaking program, Our Town.

  1. Energy Department Initiatives Create Opportunities for Efficiency, Innovation

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced the Zero Energy Districts Accelerator, an initiative to develop best practices for establishing commercial districts that have net-neutral energy consumption. The accelerator is now one of 12 listed under the Better Buildings Initiative, which also includes dedicated programming for community and manufacturing initiatives. DOE’s most recent annual report finds that collectively, Better Buildings programs saved 160 trillion Btus of energy and 2.3 billion gallons of water while collecting more than 400 resources on implementation processes and technologies through 2015. Read more...

EVENTS/LEARNING

  1. 1.Webinar Series Will Get You Ready and Set to “GO” on a Community Food Sovereignty Assessment

First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) has scheduled a new series of four free First Nations Knowledge webinars that will help Native organizations and tribal communities get ready and set to “GO” on conducting a Community Food Sovereignty Assessment, with the last in the series focusing on moving forward with action planning after the assessment. Please register for each webinar individually:

  • January 17, 2017 @ 1:00 p.m. MST
    "Moving Forward! Community-Based Policy and Action Plans"

    Developing action plans from the CFSA data; experience gained through community engagement during the CFSA. This webinar will highlight success stories from two organizations or tribes.  Register here:
    https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2798412501323018754

 

Suzette's Letter, November 28, 2016

PUBLICATIONS

  1. 1.Rural America at a Glance, 2016 Edition
    A report that provides an overview of social and economic factors affecting rural America. Includes data and statistics about employment, population, poverty, and income trends.
    Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service

 

  1. 2.Unemployment rate for rural veterans at its lowest since before the Great Recession

The unemployment rate for rural veterans has declined steadily since reaching its peak of 10.3 percent in 2010. In 2015, it stood at 5.0 percent, its lowest rate since the start of the 2007-09 recession. The unemployment rate for young rural veterans (ages 18 to 34) has seen a large decline too—from a high of 15.7 percent in 2009 to 7.9 percent in 2015. Young veterans often face high unemployment due to service-related disabilities and a lack of civilian work experience, which is a greater obstacle when the economy is weak. The recent drop in unemployment for all veterans partly stems from the post-recession national economic upturn. Public and private efforts that help veterans transition into the workplace quicker and into better paying jobs that fit with their skills have also reduced the time that veterans remain unemployed. These efforts include greater recognition of the skills veterans learn during their service—such as discipline and timeliness—and the value of those skills in the workplace.

 

  1. 3. One in six U.S. households with children were food-insecure at some time in 2015

In 2015, 16.6 percent of U.S. households with children (6.4 million households) were food insecure at some time during the year. In about half of these households, only adult household members were food insecure as the children had normal or near-normal diets and meal patterns. However, in 7.8 percent of households with children (3.0 million households) both children and adults were food insecure. In 0.7 percent of households with children (274,000 households), food insecurity among children was so severe that caregivers reported that children were hungry, skipped a meal, or did not eat for a whole day because there was not enough money for food. In some households with very low food security among children, only older children may have experienced the more severe effects of food insecurity while younger children were protected from those effects. In 2014, 1.1 percent of households with children reported very low food security among children.

  1. 4.An Agenda for President-elect Trump to Move America Toward an Innovation Economy

President-elect Donald Trump made strong appeals during his campaign to restore economic opportunity for workers, particularly those displaced by changes in the manufacturing and energy sectors. An economy driven by transforming America’s scientific research into good-paying jobs and high-growth businesses would deliver on the promises Trump made to voters. SSTI has a policy agenda to provide entrepreneurs and investors with the support they need to make this transition to an innovation economy. Read more...

  1. 5.Local Impacts of Federal R&D Investments

As the United States undergoes a political transition, much remains to be seen in how the Trump Administration will approach the economy. One way to support economic development on both a federal and regional level is by leveraging research and development. Building capacity for scientific research is an underlying principle of the Innovative Science and Technology for Economic Prosperity (iSTEP) model – a comprehensive policy platform for converting the United States’ strength in R&D into greater economic prosperity – which has received bipartisan support from an overwhelming majority of voters. Roughly three-fourths of prospective voters in the 2016 presidential election support increasing federal funding for research, according to bipartisan polling supported by the Innovation Advocacy Council, an initiative of SSTI. Recent research also shows that scientific R&D grants distributed at the federal level can have significant effects on regional economies. Read more...

EVENTS/LEARNING

  1. The Children's Health and Education Mapping Tool
    An interactive mapping resource that focuses on education and health disparities among low-income children using geographic information systems (GIS). County-level data and statistics included for child health, education, and socioeconomic status.
    Sponsoring organization: School-Based Health Alliance
  1. A Framework for Understanding Poverty: 10 Actions to Educate Students

Explore class differences and 10 actions you can implement in the classroom to improve the success of low-SES students. This webinar is based on Ruby Payne’s book A Framework for Understanding Poverty, which has sold more than 1.5 million copies. Thursday, December 1, 2016, 11:00am-12:00pm CST  

  1. Webinar Series Will Get You Ready and Set to “GO” on a Community Food Sovereignty Assessment

First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) has scheduled a new series of four free First Nations Knowledge webinars that will help Native organizations and tribal communities get ready and set to “GO” on conducting a Community Food Sovereignty Assessment, with the last in the series focusing on moving forward with action planning after the assessment. Please register for each webinar individually:

  • December 13, 2016 @ 1:00 p.m. MST
    "Go! Conducting Your Community Food Sovereignty Assessment"

    Conducting the assessment; analyzing the data; dissemination and confidentiality of data; how to use data for strategic/project planning and grant proposals; how to use data for policy development. An organization or tribe will share experiences and best practices. Register here:
    https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3422440325667269378

January 17, 2017 @ 1:00 p.m. MST
"Moving Forward! Community-Based Policy and Action Plans"

Developing action plans from the CFSA data; experience gained through community engagement during the CFSA. This webinar will highlight success stories from two organizations or tribes.  Register here:
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2798412501323018754

  

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