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Suzette's Letter, September 9, 2016


  1. 1.Bill to Promote Investment, Economic Development in Rural Areas

Legislation recently introduced by U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) would extend tax credits to job creators in rural communities and take steps to roll back regulatory hurdles to rural economic growth.

  1. 2.Affordable Care Act Gives New Farmers the Freedom to Farm

Purpose: Provides a variety of affordable insurance plans specifically for rural Americans. An estimated eight out of ten may qualify for financial assistance to help pay for coverage. Dates: See website. Location: Nationwide.


  1. 3.First Census-Led Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs Finds Women, Minorities Are Underrepresented

Researchers of American entrepreneurship now have a timelier socio-economic portrait of the nation’s employer-owned businesses as a result of a public-private partnership between the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency, and the Kauffman Foundation. Last week, data from the first Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs were made publicly available, which provides a detailed picture of the American entrepreneur in 2014 by examining race, ethnicity, gender, and geography. A brief released by the Census Bureau notes that more than 480,000 firms with paid employees (roughly 8.9 percent) of the 5.4 million U.S. firms with paid employees in 2014 had been in business for less than two years, according to the recent Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs data. Read more...

  1. 4.//foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcibb1tQAAWmGnEaaTK6FGZ5aaaaTK6BL1OKLnaa?m=9@tF08w&m=Upjqk1gxZmj.xjwU1gz_olU.2klS.og3&;d=KZ&5=&j=xflUwfvWklqgvk-s9y80~t" target="_blank">Improving Early Literacy in PreK-3: Lessons Learned
    Increasing the number of students reading at grade level by the third grade requires a coherent pre-K through third grade pathway, effective leadership, greater collaboration among teachers, and effective use of data, a report from the McKnight Foundation finds.... //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcibb1tQAAWmGnEaaTK6FGZ5aaaaTK6BL1OKLnaa?m=9@tF08w&m=Upjqk1gxZmj.xjwU1gz_olU.2klS.og3&;d=Ka&5=&j=xflUwfvWklqgvk-s9y80~t" target="_blank">More  »
  1. 5.Faculty Position Announcement: Assistant Specialist in Cooperative Extension – Community Economic Development, Department of Human Ecology, UC Davis Campus.                            

The Department of Human Ecology, internationally recognized as a premier center of excellence in research, teaching, and extension, is seeking applications for a Specialist in Cooperative Extension (CE) at the Assistant rank in the field of Community Economic Development. The mission of the Department of Human Ecology is to develop and disseminate comprehensive basic and applied knowledge regarding the human ecology of people, place, and power. A Cooperative Extension (CE) Specialist is being recruited to conduct original applied research resulting in information that can be applied toward effective community economic development strategies in California and to develop an extension education and outreach program that extends information to various clientele (e.g., elected officials, community-based organizations and economic development and/or planning agencies) including under-represented groups. Applications should be submitted on-line at http://recruit.ucdavis.edu/. Additional inquiries should be directed to Clare Gupta (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

  1. 6.Ten percent of all land in farms is expected to be transferred during 2015-19

The relatively advanced age of the U.S. farming population—about a third of principal farm operators in 2014 were at least age 65 compared with 12 percent of self-employed workers in nonagricultural businesses—has sparked interest in the manner in which land will be transferred to other landowners, including the next generation of farm operators. Farmland owners planned to transfer 93 million acres in the next 5 years (2015-19)—10 percent of all land in farms—through a variety of means. Landowners anticipated selling 3.8 percent of all farmland, with just 2.3 percent planned to be sold to non-relatives. A larger share of land (6.5 percent) is expected to be transferred through trusts, gifts, and wills. The share of farmland available for purchase by non-relatives during 2015-19 will likely rise above 2.3 percent as some individuals (or entities) that inherit land may choose to sell it. And, those who inherit land but don’t sell it may decide to rent it out to farm operators. In 2014, 39 percent of all farmland was rented and 61 percent was owned by farm operators.

  1. 7.//foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcdbb4qQAAYyG6D6a40eFGZ5aaaa40eBL13FFaaa?r=4@0534z&h=Zkolpwlseho.sorZwlu_tgZ.xpgX.jly&;i=Hr&0=&o=skgkhtvz3y9xAx9" target="_blank">Rural Students Face Barriers to College Access, Study Finds

Students from rural communities who want to attend college face unique challenges in their pursuit of higher education, a study from the //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcdbb4qQAAYyG6D6a40eFGZ5aaaa40eBL13FFaaa?r=4@0534z&h=Zkolpwlseho.sorZwlu_tgZ.xpgX.jly&;i=Hs&0=&o=skgkhtvz3y9xAx9" target="_self">University of Georgia finds. Conducted by Darris R. Means, an assistant professor in the university's College of Education, the study included interviews with African-American students and staff members in a rural southeastern high school regarding their views of college and college access. While many students had parents who pushed them to go to college, that encouragement was tempered by a lack of resources. For instance, students felt they did not have access to academically rigorous classes or enough time with counselors who could help with the college admission process. They also felt constrained by pressure to attend a school closer to home for family reasons or felt out of place on campuses that lacked diversity. The study also found that in addition to geographic location, race plays a role in whether a student matriculates....

  1. 8.Prevalence of food insecurity in 2015 was lower than 2014, still above level before Great Recession

In 2015, 87.3 percent of U.S. households were food secure throughout the year. The remaining 12.7 percent (15.8 million households) were food insecure; they had difficulty at some time during the year providing enough food for all their members due to a lack of resources. The percentage of U.S. households that were food insecure declined from 14.0 percent in 2014. Additionally, in 2015, 5.0 percent of U.S. households (6.3 million households) had very low food security. In this more severe range of food insecurity, the food intake of some household members was reduced and normal eating patterns were disrupted at times during the year due to limited resources. The rate, or prevalence, of very low food security in 2015 declined significantly from that in 2014 (5.6 percent). The 2015 declines in food insecurity and very low food security prevalence were the largest year-to-year changes in these rates since the two rates rose in 2008.

  1. 9.White House Announces Proposed New Rule for Immigrant Entrepreneurs

Immigrant entrepreneurs would be allowed to remain in the United States for an initial period of up to two years, and, conditional upon meeting certain benchmarks, could potentially stay in the country for one additional period of up to three years under a newly proposed rule by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) branch of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). As part of the International Entrepreneur Rule, which is now open for a 45-day comment period, certain international entrepreneurs would have an opportunity to start or scale their businesses in the United States. In an official blog post by White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Deputy Director for Technology and Innovation Tom Kalil and Assistant Director for Entrepreneurship Doug Rand, the authors note that the new reform would propose clear criteria to identify those entrepreneurs with the potential to provide significant public benefit to the United States. Evaluating entrepreneurs on a case-by-case basis, the proposed rule would consider factors such as: the entrepreneur’s ownership stake (at least 15 percent) and leadership role in the startup; the growth potential of the startup; competitive research grants of at least $100,000 from federal, state, and local government agencies provided to the firm; and the investment of at least $345,000 by qualified American investors. Read more...

  1. 10.Climate change is projected to cause declines and shifts in fieldcrop acreage across U.S. regions

Climate models predict U.S. agriculture will face changes in local patterns of precipitation and temperature over the next century. These climate changes will affect crop yields, crop-water demand, water-supply availability, farmer livelihoods, and consumer welfare. Using projections of temperature and precipitation under nine different scenarios, ERS research projects that climate change will result in a decline in national fieldcrop acreage in 2080 when measured relative to a scenario that assumes continuation of reference climate conditions (precipitation and temperature patterns averaged over 2001-08). Acreage trends show substantial variability across climate change scenarios and regions. When averaged over all climate scenarios, total acreage in the Mountain States, Pacific, and Southern Plains is projected to expand, while acreage in other regions--most notably the Corn Belt and Northern Plains--declines. Over half of all fieldcrop acreage in the U.S. is found in the Corn Belt and Northern Plains, and projected declines in these regions represent 2.1 percent of their combined acreage. Irrigated acreage for all regions is projected to decline, but in some regions increases in dryland acreage offset irrigated acreage losses. The acreage response reflects projected changes in regional irrigation supply as well as differential yield impacts and shifts in relative profitability across crops and production practices under the climate change scenarios.


  1. 1.Health Benefits Laws Compliance Assistance Webcast: The Affordable Care Act and Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act

If you are an employer who is trying to comply, or if you are a third party administrator or insurer with questions about the Affordable Care Act or the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, this is your chance to hear from the experts and ask questions.  Join us for this webcast.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

September 14, 2016 | 2:00 - 3:00 PM ET

  1. 2.Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies at Work in Illinois | Thursday, September 15, 2016 | Noon - 1pm
    Economic Development requires effective, collaborative institutions focused on advancing mutual gain for the public and the private sector. Economic Development is essential to ensuring our economic future. Actively participating in regional Economic Development Districts to create Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies is working for both rural and urban communities throughout our state.

Darrin Fleener, economic development representative from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration’s Chicago regional office, will provide an overview of the regional planning process. Prior to EDA, Fleener worked for 13 years with the State of Oregon’s economic development department in project management, program development, government relations, and as a rural affairs policy advisor. His professional experience includes working in both urban and rural distressed communities.  Also presenting will be Jennifer Daly, CEO of Greater Peoria Economic Development District. Daly will share Peoria’s approach to creating a regionally driven economic development process as well as outcomes that have been achieved through this new strategy. There is no cost to attend the webinar; however, pre-registration is required. Register online to attend or contact Kathie Brown (309-255-9189, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for more information.

  1. 3.CSET 8.0 New User Webinar

ICS-CERT welcomes all industrial control systems owners and operators across all sectors to join us for an introductory webinar on using the Cyber Security Evaluation Tool (CSET®), a free Department of Homeland Security (DHS) stand-alone desktop software that guides users through a step-by-step process to assess their control system and IT network security practices against recognized standards.

September 20, 2016 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM ET

  1. 4.Rural Business-Cooperative Service Informational Webinars

September is “Rural Development Month” at the Department of Agriculture (USDA), and USDA’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) is holding a series of informational webinars to share success stories and best practices on how customers and partner organizations have used RBS programs and resources to support businesses in rural and Tribal communities. Customers and stakeholders interested in learning more about RBS programs—and how customers have used our financing tools to support entrepreneurship—are encouraged to participate in this opportunity to engage with diverse partner organizations, ask questions, and learn more. For additional information, or to request special accommodations, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Sept. 13, 2016 Asian-American/Pacific Islanders Business Development Success Stories

2-3:30 pm EST Facilitator: Tim O’Connell, RBS Community Economic Development

Speaker: Tin Myaing Thein, Ph.D., Pacific Gateway Center

Webinar/Audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/b5htudhc9x51&eom  


Sept. 14, 2016 Nature+Commerce: Recreational Business Development Success Stories 2-3:30 pm EST Facilitator: AngelaCallie, RBS Community Economic Development

Speaker: Rob Riley, Northern Forest Center

Webinar/Audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/5dapkg6w1z1p&eom 


Sept. 15, 2016 El Sueño de Ser Dueño de un Negocio - The Dream to be a Business Owner

2-3:30 pm EST Facilitator: Margaret Bau, RBS Cooperative Programs

Speakers: John Flory and Yolanda Cotterall, Latino Economic Development Center; Reggie Knoxx and Brett Malone, California FarmLink

Webinar/Audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/3bxtviuytrzo&eom  


Sept. 16, 2016 USDA Rural Development Programs for Native American Entrepreneurs

2-3:30 pm EST Facilitator: Tedd Buelow, USDA Rural Development

Speakers: Tedd Buelow, USDA Rural Development,

Bill Hamilton, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Small Business Development Services

Webinar/Audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/fjlpl2av6nfs&eom 


Sept. 20, 2016 Turning a National Guard Armory Into a Business Center (tentative)

2-3:30 pm EST Facilitator: Greg Dale, RBS Community Economic Development

Speaker: Brenda Tuck, Marengo County Economic Development Authority

Webinar/Audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/268jju8giif9&eom

Sept. 22, 2016 Stronger Economies Together: Regional Planning & Business Development 2-3:30 pm EST Success Stories

Facilitator: Hiwot Gebremariam, RBS Community Economic Development

Speakers: Larry Wright, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension;

Janice Stroud-Bickes, USDA Rural Development in Virginia, Martha Walker, Virginia Tech University Cooperative Extension; Peggy Schlechter, South Dakota State University;

Paul Johnson, Jill Rees, USDA Rual Development in Oregon, Amanda Hoey, Mid-Columbia Economic Development District (tentative)

Webinar/Audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/53wa6i1fghb4&eom 


Sept. 27, 2016 Cooperatives as a Tool for Community Solutions

1-2:30 pm EST Facilitator: Margaret Bau, USDA Rural Development, Co-op Basics


Converting existing businesses to employee ownership, Rob Brown,

Cooperative Development Institute, Maine

Turning trailer parks into resident owned communities, Diane Gasaway,

Northwest Cooperative Development Center, Washington:

From farmworkers to farm owners, John Flory,

Latino Economic Development Center, Minnesota

Home care agencies as worker co-ops, Deborah Craig,

Northwest Cooperative Development Center, Washington

When the last grocery store closes, Marnie Thompson,

Fund 4 Democratic Communities, North Carolina

Webinar/Audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/7y7n5ugyh3ka&eom 


Sept. 29, 2016 Local Food Financing and Cooperative Business Models

2-2:30 pm EST Speaker & Facilitator: Jim Barham, USDA Rural Development

Speaker: Margaret Bau, USDA Rural Development

Webinar/Audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/2asq8uq2rmsd&eom


Suzette's Letter, August 19, 2016


  1. New Markets Tax Credit Public Data Release: 2003-2014 Summary Report

The CDFI Fund released data collected on New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) investments across the nation through fiscal year 2013. The CDFI Fund requires all Community Development Entities (CDEs) that have been awarded NMTC allocations to submit an annual report detailing how they invested Qualified Equity Investment (QEI) proceeds in low-income communities.

  1. New Efforts Implemented to Combat Opioid Abuse
    Aug 12, 2016 -- Indian Health Services (IHS) has implemented a policy which will require doctors and other medical practitioners to check State Prescription Drug Monitoring Program databases before prescribing or dispensing opioids for pain treatment lasting longer than a week. Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs allow prescribing and dispensing medical practitioners to track opioid abusers and prevent them from going from doctor to doctor in an attempt to acquire more opioid pain medication. This is an especially important implementation for IHS because prescription opioid misuse is more than 2% higher among the American Indian population.
  1. White House Drug Policy Director Writes Governors about Need for Trained Doctors to Provide Treatment for the Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic in their States
    Aug 12, 2016 -- The Director of National Drug Control Policy, Michael Botticelli, wrote to all 50 state governors concerning the need for more physicians to be trained and certified to treat opioid use disorders. In order to assist states in meeting this urgent need, the Obama Administration is offering free buprenorphine trainings for providers across the county and online as Medication-Assisted Treatment is more effective at helping people achieve long-term recovery. In February 2016, 1,498 counties did not have a single medical professional who could provide buprenorphine, with the majority of the need concentrated in rural areas. President Obama is also calling on Congress to provide $1.1 billion in new funding for states to help expand access to treatment for opioid use disorders.
    Source: The White House
  1. New Study Shows Communities Can Reduce the Effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences
    Aug 9, 2016 -- A study commissioned by the Adverse Childhood Experiences Public-Private Initiative (APPI) of Washington State found that communities can create effective local strategies to reduce the long-term problems related to abuse, neglect, and other Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), as evidenced by several communities in rural Washington detailed here. ACEs trigger a stress response which can create lasting damage on a child's developing brain, as well as increasing the risk of future social, emotional, and physical health problems.
    Source: Mathematica Policy Research
  1. //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcibbRjQAANxFeD6aBABxFGZ5aaaaBABxBL0GVVwaa?m=9@v-0-v&m=Upjqk1gxZmj.xjwU1gz_olU.2klS.og3&;d=LX&5=&j=xflfmo0u8tCsEtC" target="_blank">Report Calls for 'Big Bet' on Reducing Unintended Pregnancies

A philanthropic investment of $1 billion in efforts to prevent unintended pregnancies could generate an economic return of between $3.2 billion and $6.4 billion for American children and families, a report from the //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcibbRjQAANxFeD6aBABxFGZ5aaaaBABxBL0GVVwaa?m=9@v-0-v&m=Upjqk1gxZmj.xjwU1gz_olU.2klS.og3&;d=LY&5=&j=xflfmo0u8tCsEtC" target="_self">Bridgespan Group finds. The report, //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcibbRjQAANxFeD6aBABxFGZ5aaaaBABxBL0GVVwaa?m=9@v-0-v&m=Upjqk1gxZmj.xjwU1gz_olU.2klS.og3&;d=LZ&5=&j=xflfmo0u8tCsEtC" target="_self">Billion Dollar Bets: Reducing Unintended Pregnancies (21 pages, PDF), examines how philanthropy could support a nationwide effort to improve women's access to the most effective contraceptive methods and drastically lower the number of unintended pregnancies — one of the "billion dollar bets" //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcibbRjQAANxFeD6aBABxFGZ5aaaaBABxBL0GVVwaa?m=9@v-0-v&m=Upjqk1gxZmj.xjwU1gz_olU.2klS.og3&;d=La&5=&j=xflfmo0u8tCsEtC" target="_self">identified in an earlier Bridgespan report, //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcibbRjQAANxFeD6aBABxFGZ5aaaaBABxBL0GVVwaa?m=9@v-0-v&m=Upjqk1gxZmj.xjwU1gz_olU.2klS.og3&;d=Lb&5=&j=xflfmo0u8tCsEtC" target="_self">"Billion Dollar Bets" to Create Economic Opportunity for Every American (33 pages, PDF). According to the report, nearly 38 percent of children born in the United States each year are unplanned, and rates of unintended pregnancies and births are higher among unmarried, African-American, less educated, and/or low-income women. The report also found that women who have unplanned or unintended pregnancies are more likely to lack access to information about long-acting reversible contraception (LARC). Previous research has shown that unplanned children are more likely to live in poverty, drop out of high school, and/or become teen parents themselves....


  1. //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcibbRjQAANxFeD6aBABxFGZ5aaaaBABxBL0GVVwaa?m=9@v-0-v&m=Upjqk1gxZmj.xjwU1gz_olU.2klS.og3&;d=Ld&5=&j=xflfmo0u8tCsEtC" target="_blank">'Giving Days' Create Long-Term Gains for Community Foundations

One-day online fundraising events known as "Giving Days" not only raise millions of dollars for local charities but also help strengthen the community foundations that organize them for the long term, a report from the //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcibbRjQAANxFeD6aBABxFGZ5aaaaBABxBL0GVVwaa?m=9@v-0-v&m=Upjqk1gxZmj.xjwU1gz_olU.2klS.og3&;d=Le&5=&j=xflfmo0u8tCsEtC" target="_self">John S. and James L. Knight Foundation finds. The report, //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcibbRjQAANxFeD6aBABxFGZ5aaaaBABxBL0GVVwaa?m=9@v-0-v&m=Upjqk1gxZmj.xjwU1gz_olU.2klS.og3&;d=Lf&5=&j=xflfmo0u8tCsEtC" target="_self">Beyond the Dollars: The Long-Term Value of Giving Days for Community Foundations (26 pages, PDF), evaluated a Knight Foundation initiative launched in 2012 that helped eighteen Giving Day organizers run forty-nine events over four years and found that the events mobilized the participation of 20,297 nonprofits and engaged 367,495 donors who made more than 600,000 donations totaling some $116.3 million. The report also found that Giving Day events boosted the visibility and credibility of community foundations among donors and nonprofits and helped position them as information and data-collection hubs for their local nonprofit communities. According to the report, 48 percent of the surveyed nonprofits and donors heard about their local community foundation for the first time as a result of a Giving Day, while 36 percent of donors said they made a larger donation as a result of a Giving Day than they would have otherwise....


  1. http://blogs.usda.gov/2016/08/12/using-data-for-social-good/">Using Data for Social Good

We are entering a new era of information openness and transparency.  Open data has the potential to spur economic innovation and social transformation.   Focusing just on economic impacts, in 2013, for example, the consulting firm McKinsey estimated the possible global value of open data to be over $3 trillion per year…

  1. Changing rural demographics contributed to rising child poverty

Using data from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey and a modified official poverty measure, ERS researchers found that rural child poverty rose from 18.7 percent in 2003 to 22.1 percent in 2014. The bulk of this 3.4-percentage point increase—3.2 percentage points—was due to rising income inequality, and not a decline in average incomes. A portion of this increase in inequality, in turn, was driven by changing rural demographics. An increase in the number of children in the average rural family raised poverty by 0.6 percentage points, while declines in the number of adults of prime working age and in the share of household heads that were married raised rural child poverty by 0.9 and 0.7 points, respectively. A slight increase in the average age of the household head helped reduce rural child poverty by 0.5 percentage points. The most beneficial demographic change was a rise in the share of rural household heads with a college degree, which rose from 15.8 to 19.5 percent, helping to reduce child poverty by 0.9 percentage points. The net impact of all these demographic changes was to contribute 0.9 percentage points towards the increase in rural child poverty.


  1. Health Extension Toolkit
    Intended for a wide audience and designed as a tool for states to use as they collaborate to improve the quality of primary care practices as well as community health, using a model based on the agricultural Cooperative Extension Service. Includes chapters on engagement, the Health Extension model, primary care, population health, and sustainability, and features profiles on lead states Pennsylvania, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Oklahoma.
    Sponsoring organization: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
  1. Redemption rates of WIC benefits at large stores differs across States

In fiscal 2015, 8 million women, infants, and children under age 5 participated in USDA’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Participants in 48 States and the District of Columbia received paper vouchers or electronic benefit cards redeemable at authorized retail stores for a set of nutrient-rich supplemental foods. WIC participants in Mississippi pick up their WIC foods at distribution centers, and prior to 2016, Vermont participants had their WIC foods delivered to their homes. Using two USDA administrative data sources, a recent ERS report found that over three-fourths of the WIC benefits redeemed in stores in fiscal 2012 were redeemed at large stores (supercenters, supermarkets, and large grocery stores), ranging from 50 percent in California to 99 percent in Nevada. Large stores accounted for 91 percent or more of WIC retail redemptions in 17 States and 81-90 percent in 13 States. Other types of stores, such as medium and small grocery stores and WIC-only stores, account for a sizable share of WIC redemptions in some States.


  1. Learn More About the Benefits of NMTCs | New Markets Tax Credits Webinar - Last Chance to Register! August 25th 1-4pm EST

To many economic development practitioners, the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) offers promise as a tool to get deals done - but understanding how to use it in an actual project is often very challenging. This course takes participants through a general understanding of the program to its detailed, step-by-step application in actual deals. NDC, as the recipient of one of the nation's largest, total NMTC allocations, is at the leading edge in developing and applying the best models for this powerful economic development tool.

  1. Mapping Broadband Health in America
    Mapping tool for visualizing broadband access, demographics, and health data at the national, state, and county levels. Includes a rural filter based on the percent of the population that is rural.
    Sponsoring organization: Federal Communications Commission

Suzette's Letter, August 5, 2016


  1. 1.Social Determinants of Health for Rural People
    This topic guide has been updated with new frequently asked questions and updated statistics. It focuses on the health inequities that rural resident’s experience. Learn how income-level, educational attainment, race/ethnicity, housing quality, and other factors impact health. The guide is maintained by Maren Niemeier, RHIhub Information Resources Manager.
  1. 2.//foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcfbbJmQAAIxEjD6aBAGtFGZ5aaaaBAGtBL-B42eaa?p=6@y74A4&j=Xmmnnyjucjm.umtXyjw_riX.zniV.lj0&;g=J3&2=&m=uiiijrxx5w~vBv7" target="_blank">Foundations Combine Forces to Improve Health Care, Reduce Costs

A coalition of five national health foundations has announced the launch of a collaboration aimed at transforming care delivery for chronically ill patients with the greatest need. In an article in the //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcfbbJmQAAIxEjD6aBAGtFGZ5aaaaBAGtBL-B42eaa?p=6@y74A4&j=Xmmnnyjucjm.umtXyjw_riX.zniV.lj0&;g=J4&2=&m=uiiijrxx5w~vBv7" target="_self">New England Journal of Medicine, leaders of the //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcfbbJmQAAIxEjD6aBAGtFGZ5aaaaBAGtBL-B42eaa?p=6@y74A4&j=Xmmnnyjucjm.umtXyjw_riX.zniV.lj0&;g=KV&2=&m=uiiijrxx5w~vBv7" target="_self">Commonwealth Fund, the //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcfbbJmQAAIxEjD6aBAGtFGZ5aaaaBAGtBL-B42eaa?p=6@y74A4&j=Xmmnnyjucjm.umtXyjw_riX.zniV.lj0&;g=KW&2=&m=uiiijrxx5w~vBv7" target="_self">Peterson Center on Healthcare, and the //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcfbbJmQAAIxEjD6aBAGtFGZ5aaaaBAGtBL-B42eaa?p=6@y74A4&j=Xmmnnyjucjm.umtXyjw_riX.zniV.lj0&;g=KX&2=&m=uiiijrxx5w~vBv7" target="_self">John A. Hartford, //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcfbbJmQAAIxEjD6aBAGtFGZ5aaaaBAGtBL-B42eaa?p=6@y74A4&j=Xmmnnyjucjm.umtXyjw_riX.zniV.lj0&;g=KY&2=&m=uiiijrxx5w~vBv7" target="_self">Scan, and //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcfbbJmQAAIxEjD6aBAGtFGZ5aaaaBAGtBL-B42eaa?p=6@y74A4&j=Xmmnnyjucjm.umtXyjw_riX.zniV.lj0&;g=KZ&2=&m=uiiijrxx5w~vBv7" target="_self">Robert Wood Johnson foundations said their organizations would contribute resources in an effort to meet three urgent goals: help health system leaders and other stakeholders develop a deep understanding of the population of chronically ill patients and their needs; identify effective ways to deliver higher-quality, integrated care at a lower cost to that population; and accelerate the spread of those approaches across the country. In their article, the foundation leaders argued that their target population merits heightened attention both because it has complex and costly health and social care needs and because it is disproportionately affected by poor quality care. What's more, the need is urgent, they argue, because the number of such patients, many of them older adults, is growing....

  1. 3.Food Hub Financial Benchmarking Study

Counting Values presents a set of financial and operational performance benchmarks for food hubs. This study aims to establish the basis for comparing results across a business sector that is both new and multipurpose.

  1. 4.HUD Publishes the Renewable Energy Toolkit for Affordable Housing

This toolkit enable recipients of HUD Community Planning and Development (CPD) grants to integrate renewable energies into their affordable housing development programs under HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA), or Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG). Integration of renewable energy into affordable housing is important because it maintains affordability through reduced energy costs, which can facilitate improved operations and maintenance.

  1. Fewer Than Half of WIC-Eligible Families Receive WIC Benefits
    Examines the characteristics of families eligible for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) who receive WIC benefits compared to those who do not. Includes information on rural versus urban families participating in WIC. Identifies nonparticipating WIC-eligible families that could be targeted for outreach.
    Sponsoring organization: Carsey School of Public Policy
    Date: 2016
    1. 6.Food acquisition locations differ by household income and SNAP participation

Understanding where U.S. households acquire food, what they acquire, and what they pay is essential to identifying which food and nutrition policies might improve diet quality. USDA’s National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey (FoodAPS) provides a complete picture of these key aspects during a 7-day period in 2012 by including both food at home and food away from home acquisitions. Higher-income households are more likely to visit large grocery stores (88 versus 83 percent) and small or specialty food stores (20 versus 14-15 percent) than households that participate in USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and lower-income non-SNAP households. SNAP households are more likely to report an acquisition in the ‘all other stores’ category compared with both non-SNAP groups (51 versus 39-41 percent), which includes convenience stores, gas stations, and pharmacies. Considering food away from home, SNAP households are least likely to visit restaurants/other eating places when compared to lower-income non-SNAP and higher-income households. In addition, a larger share of SNAP households obtain food from schools (20 percent) than lower-income non-SNAP households (12 percent) and higher-income households (14 percent). Finally, higher-income households are twice as likely to get food from work than the other two groups, which is not surprising given their greater employment rates. The data for this chart can be found in the ERS report, Where Households Get Food in a Typical Week: Findings from USDA’s FoodAPS, released on July 27, 2016.


  1. 1.What Works? Strategies to Improve Rural Health
    A guide for rural community health improvement. Explains how to find strategies that are likely to be effective. Identifies interventions related to health behaviors, healthcare access and quality, social and economic factors, and the physical environment.
    Sponsoring organization: County Health Rankings & Roadmaps
    Date: 07/2016
  1. 2.EPA Round-Table Discussion for Environmental Justice Communities on the Benefits of Addressing Climate Change

The U.S. EPA is providing a round-table discussion for Environmental Justice Communities as an opportunity to share information, find common ground, work collaboratively with community groups, and acknowledge stakeholders perspectives on a variety of topics about the Presidents Climate Action Plan and the Clean Power Plan.

Event Details: You must register to attend this event. Register Here.

Who Should Attend: Environmental Justice Communities and Organizations

When: Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Time: 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM (CDT)

Location: EPA Region 5 -- Ralph Metcalfe Federal Building, Lake Michigan Room (77 West Jackson Blvd. Chicago, IL 60604)

Cost: FREE (There is Limited Seating Available. First Come, First Served)

  1. 3.Announcing OBLR's "Leveraging for Brownfields Revitalization" Webinar Series

The Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization (OBLR) is proud to announce a webinar series focusing on tools and best practices for assisting communities in successfully leveraging resources for brownfields revitalization. Individual webinars will provide useful information for communities on how to establish effective strategies to build support for revitalization projects, and how to use existing resources to attract additional funding for critical community revitalization projects. The "Meet the Funders" webinars in the series will highlight funding resources and technical assistance available from specific federal agencies or from philanthropic organizations.

Suzette's Letter, July 22, 2016


  1. WA State Office CED Video

We are so proud to share this video from Washington State Office about what CED is for them. In the video, you will notice that program staff were interviewed as to how they view CED and what that looks like operationally.  The video offers a diversity of perspectives but also communicates a common vision – “making all of the pieces in the community function together.” Special thanks to Paul Johnson (CED Lead) and our friends in Washington, nicely done!


  1. ‘Economic Development’ Most Mentioned Topic in Mayoral State of City Speeches

A recently released analysis of mayoral State of the City addresses finds that economic development was the most frequently mentioned topic in such speeches for the third straight year. The National League of Cities’ (NLC) State of the Cities 2016 report reviews speeches from 100 mayors across the United States and in cities with populations ranging from 50,000 to more than 300,000. Economic development was mentioned in 75 percent of mayoral speeches, making it the biggest issue on mayors’ agenda – ahead of public safety (70 percent) and city budgeting (52 percent) – according to a NLC press release. Read more...

  1. Bank of America Commits $40 Million for Youth Success

Bank of America has announced a three-year, $40 million commitment to connect a hundred thousand teens and young adults to the skills and employment experiences they need for twenty-first century jobs.

The funding will support a range of programs and initiatives, including summer internships, education and job training, and talent recruitment initiatives at BofA itself. Through its Student Leaders program, for example, the bank will connect nearly seven hundred community-minded high school juniors and seniors from across the country with paid summer internships at local nonprofits. Participants in the program also will gather in Washington, D.C., for a summit focused on leadership and building a more diverse and inclusive society. Funding over the three years of the initiative will be targeted to low-income communities that are disproportionately affected by barriers to workforce participation and nonprofits that are leveraging their expertise to connect youth with employment opportunities, including the Urban Alliance, Jobs for the Future, and Boys & Girls Clubs of America....


  1. The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) | Lifeline Program

Provides reduced rates for telecom services to eligible low-income consumers

Since 1985, the federal Lifeline Program has provided a discount on phone service for qualifying low-income consumers to ensure that all people across the United States have the opportunities and security that phone service brings, including being able to connect to jobs, family, health care, and emergency services. This benefit is available to eligible low-income consumers in every state, territory, commonwealth, and on Tribal lands. In today’s digital environment, there are still over 60 million people without a connection to the internet. The FCC enacted changes to the Lifeline Program to include broadband internet access as a Lifeline service to keep pace with ever-evolving technology and help narrow the digital divide. For more information, contact Jessica Zufolo at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Read the Fact Sheet. More information is available on the USAC website.

Upcoming Lifeline Program Webinars

July 27, 2016, 3:00 – 4:00 PM EDT
Register Here

August 10, 2016, 3:00 – 4:00 PM EDT
Register Here

September 14, 2016, 3:00 – 4:00 PM EDT
Register Here

October 12, 2016, 3:00 – 4:00 PM EDT
Register Here

November 9, 2016, 3:00 – 4:00 PM EDT
Register Here

December 14, 2016, 3:00 – 4:00 PM EDT
Register Here

  1. WEBINAR / TELECONFERENCE: August 4, 2016 (1:00-2:00PM ET) – Agricultural Marketing Service e-Round Table

AMS administers programs and offers services that facilitate the marketing of agricultural products domestically and abroad.  To ensure we are making our programs and services as widely available and effective as possible, AMS wants to engage in a two-way dialogue with Tribal Colleges and Universities as well as other institutions and organizations that serve Native American farmers and ranchers. 

Fact Sheet: Creating Opportunities for American Farmers and Business

Please RSVP to this webinar and teleconference by contacting Kimberly Duncan, Outreach Specialist, by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or by phone at (202) 260-8605.

  1. PROFIT: Crop Insurance, Financial Management Updates, and Food Safety Risk Prevention

The PROFIT series consists of eight in-person workshops and eight online webinars, each focused on risk management solutions unique to farmers, ranchers and food businesses in Indian Country.

In July, the series will offer two webinars:

  • July 26, 2016 (2:00-4:00 PM CT): “Participating in New Market Ventures – How Best to Evaluate Your Risk”


  • July 27, 2016 (2:00-4:00 PM CT): “Business Planning and Tax Concerns for Farmers and Ranchers, New and Experienced”


  1. IN PERSON / WEBINAR: July 29, 2016 (1:00-3:00PM ET) – Rural Business Lending National Stakeholder Forum

Please join Doug O'Brien, Senior Policy Advisor for Rural Affairs, White House Domestic Policy Council, and Rural Business-Cooperative Service Administrator Sam Rikkers at a national forum to announce the new final rule for the Business & Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loan Program. The forum will highlight major changes to improve program delivery, make the regulations easier to understand, and reduce delinquencies. Additional information is available in the attached flyer.

To participate online, register at: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/njphkhxlsyvr&eom

  1. Save the Date! Economic Assessment of Local Foods – Practical Tools and Advice for Local Food Practitioners Conference (Travel Scholarships Available)

We have posted a brief application online for the travel scholarships to the Economic Assessment of Local Foods – Practical Tools and Advice for Local Food Practitioners pre-conference workshop at the Food Distribution Research Society’s annual conference. Please go to the following website, http://www.localfoodeconomics.com/benchmarks/ and complete the brief survey (link is below the Save the Date graphic) by July 27, 2016.


  1. https://www.sba.gov/tools/sba-learning-center/training/take-your-business-global-introduction-exporting?SOCMEDJULExportingGOVD=&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery">Take Your Business Global - An Introduction to Exporting

This course is intended to be a guide for small businesses to help determine if exporting, as a business strategy, makes sense and whether the basic ingredients for export readiness are in-place.

  1. Webinar | Unexpected Ways to Grow Your Blog Subscriber List

http://event.on24.com/wcc/r/1214981/75B30E67553AF90294A6AAAA99A11A58?partnerref=sba&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery">Register | Tuesday, July 26, 2016 | 2pm ET

 How can we afford to write new content weekly? The internet is cluttered with advice on how to grow your blog subscriber list. In this webinar, you'll learn how to optimize and automate your content marketing to save your team time while building a truly efficient and effective content creation engine.

  1. Webinar | Protecting Your Business Data in Todays Inter-Connected World

http://goo.gl/forms/hGHatBaXu78Bx6n13?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery">Register | Thursday, July 28, 2016 | 8:30am - 9:30am PST

The threat landscape in cyber-space keeps evolving. Cloud technologies are designed to continuously identify and mitigate risks, and can help small businesses leverage the best of breed security and privacy capabilities, while focusing on their core competencies. Join this webinar to learn more about how cybersecurity threats are evolving, what risks they pose, and best practices to protect your business information in the digital age.



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