• Simple Item 5
  • Simple Item 4
  • Simple Item 6
  • Simple Item 3
  • Simple Item 1
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Suzette's Letter, October 21, 2016

PUBLICATIONS

  1. Growing Rural Economies and Opportunities through Social Media

From Facebook to Snapchat, rural businesses are exploring how to use social media to improve their customer’s experience and expand their customer base. Over the last eight years, USDA and the Obama Administration have partnered with rural communities to build more opportunities that support rural small business owners, farmers and ranchers through applied research. 

  1. Food insecurity fell in 2015 for minority-headed households and households with children

The prevalence of food insecurity in the United States declined from 14.0 percent of households in 2014 to 12.7 percent of households in 2015. Some types of households saw greater declines than others. Food insecurity for both Non-Hispanic Blacks and Hispanics dropped from 2014 to 2015: the former declined from 26.1 to 21.5 percent, while the latter from 22.4 to 19.1 percent. Households with children younger than 18 saw a significant decline in food insecurity—from 19.2 percent in 2014 to 16.6 percent in 2015. Among these households, those headed by single mothers saw their food insecurity prevalence drop from 35.3 percent to 30.3 percent. The prevalence of food insecurity for households with children under 6 years old dropped from 19.9 to 16.9 percent as well.

  1. Pew Research Highlights State of American Jobs, Skills

The majority of Americans say new skills and training are critical to their future job success and to remain competitive in changing workplaces, according to a new report issued by the Pew Research Center in association with the Markle Foundation. This was particularly true for individuals working in STEM occupations, where roughly two-thirds of employed adults responded that ongoing training and skills development would be essential to their development. The State of American Jobs combines an analysis of government economic data with a survey of more than 5,000 adults conducted during the summer of 2016. The report includes: analysis on trends in job and wage growth by occupations; public assessments of the job situation and worker readiness; views on job satisfaction; the types of skills required for work; and, public views about the value of college education. Read more...

EVENTS/LEARNING

  1. October is National Cooperative Month!

As part of this month’s celebration, USDA’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) is holding a series of training and informational webinars to showcase the many important ways cooperatives empower our daily lives. For the full calendar of events for Co-op Month, visit http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/all-programs/cooperative-programs, or to request special accommodations, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

2-3:15 pm EST Facilitator: Scott Cessarich, RBS Cooperative Programs

Speakers: Jesus Lucero, USA Cooperative Youth Council, Hnin Hnin, Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive, and Morgan Crawford, North American Students of Cooperation

Webinar/Audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/57tvjzrooxe4&eom 

 

10:30 am-12 pm EST Facilitator: Claudette Fernandez, RBS Cooperative Programs / Community Economic Development

(Whitten Bldg - 107A) Speakers: Cornelius Blanding, Federation of Southern Cooperatives, Mai Nguyen, California Center for Cooperative Development, and Nikki Marin Baena, Southern Reparations Loan Fund

Webinar/Audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/8gljluzevxt8&eom

  1. NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Informational Webinar

The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program helps fund organizations implementing programs throughout the United States that train beginning farmers and ranchers, through workshops, educational teams, training and technical assistance. Eligible applicants include collaborative state, tribal, local or regionally-based networks or partnerships of public or private entities such as state cooperative extension services, community-based organizations, colleges or universities; and other organizations providing services to beginning farmers and ranchers. NIFA will host a free informational webinar for interested applicants on Oct. 26 from 1-3 p.m. EST.

  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:

  • November 15, 2016 @ 1:00 p.m. MST
    "Set! Designing your Community Food Sovereignty Assessment"

    Identifying priority issues for focus in the CFSA; designing the assessment tools, methods and questions; publicizing the work and setting up logistics for success. An organization or tribe will share experiences and best practices. Register here:
    https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7049058483607326210
  • 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
  1. White House Rural Council Innovation Exchange

We invite you to join a White House Rural Council Innovation Exchange for a discussion with rural experts on the unique challenges and opportunities rural communities face and the innovative and strategic approaches that have led to successful outcomes in small towns across America. While the presentation will focus on Federal engagements with rural and tribal communities, staff working with resource-strained or high-need urban and suburban communities are encouraged to attend as several strategies presented will be transferrable.

  • Logistics: Tuesday, October 25th from 1:30pm-2:30pm EST. Call-in: (877) 369-5243; Code: 0964758#. Please respond to this calendar invite to RSVP.
  • Format: Agency presentations followed by audience Q&A. Participants are encouraged to submit questions and/or your own rural success stories in advance to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

  • Presenters:

Bert Wyman, White House Rural Council

Stephanie Bertaina, Office of Sustainable Communities, EPA

Claudette Fernandez, Community Economic Development, USDA

Max Finberg, AmeriCorps VISTA, CNCS

Jennifer Hughes, National Endowment for the Arts

Jason Walsh, White House Domestic Policy Council

  • Pre-reading: In advance of this session, we invite you to read the White House Rural Council’s Rural Strategies that Work memorandum, released earlier this month. Authored by the Chair of the White House Rural Council and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack, OMB Director Donovan, Domestic Policy Council Director Muñoz and National Economic Council Director Zients, the memo details how agencies have addressed rural challenges such as limited institutional capacity, geographic isolation, low population density and persistent poverty.
  1. 5.2017 BFRDP Applicant Webinars Announcement

The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) staff at NIFA will give a webinar to present information for the FY17 Request for Applications. The webinars are for applicants and their partners involved in networks and collaborations that offer education, training and technical assistance to new farmers. October 26, 2016 | 2-3:30 PM (ET)

 

  1. 6.Applicant Process Webinar November 16, 2016 | 1-2:00 PM (EST)

This webinar is hosted by the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project as part of a BFRDP Education Enhancement Team.  There are resources and tools to support inexperienced applicants with the application process. Visit New Entry’s BFRDP Assistance Page at https://nesfp.org/BFRDP for more information and assistance from this project.

Suzette's Letter, October 7, 2016

PUBLICATIONS

  1. Growing Rural Economies and Opportunities through Social Media

From Facebook to Snapchat, rural businesses are exploring how to use social media to improve their customer’s experience and expand their customer base. Over the last eight years, USDA and the Obama Administration have partnered with rural communities to build more opportunities that support rural small business owners, farmers and ranchers through applied research. 

EVENTS/LEARNING

  1. October is National Cooperative Month!

As part of this month’s celebration, USDA’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) is holding a series of training and informational webinars to showcase the many important ways cooperatives empower our daily lives. For the full calendar of events for Co-op Month, visit http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/all-programs/cooperative-programs, or to request special accommodations, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

1-2:15 pm EST Speaker: Margaret Bau, RBS Cooperative Programs

Webinar/Audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/x3d3w44ec7ex&eom  

 

2-3:15 pm EST Facilitator: Meegan Moriarty, RBS Cooperative Programs

Speakers: Todd R. Eskelsen, Schiff Hardin, LLP and Marlis Carson, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives

Webinar/Audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/fjn0raup3sgh&eom 

2-3:15 pm EST Facilitator: Margaret Bau, RBS Cooperative Programs

Speakers: Dr. David Proctor, Rural Grocery Initiative, Kansas State University and Marnie Thompson, Fund 4 Democratic Communities

Webinar/Audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/v92f7ysqo9k0&eom  

 

  1. Oct 19, 2016 Farm to School and the Role of Cooperatives – Producer and Buyer Perspectives

2-3:15 pm EST Facilitator: James Barham, RBS Cooperative Programs

Speakers: Andrea Northup, USDA Food Nutrition Service, Jennie Rengert, Fifth Season Cooperative, Krista Garand, Durango School District, and Janet Fogel, Mancos School District

Webinar/Audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/jlm99m0d6tul&eom 

 

2-3:15 pm EST Facilitator: Scott Cessarich, RBS Cooperative Programs

Speakers: Jesus Lucero, USA Cooperative Youth Council, Hnin Hnin, Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive, and Morgan Crawford, North American Students of Cooperation

Webinar/Audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/57tvjzrooxe4&eom 

 

10:30 am-12 pm EST Facilitator: Claudette Fernandez, RBS Cooperative Programs / Community Economic Development

(Whitten Bldg - 107A) Speakers: Cornelius Blanding, Federation of Southern Cooperatives, Mai Nguyen, California Center for Cooperative Development, and Nikki Marin Baena, Southern Reparations Loan Fund

Webinar/Audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/8gljluzevxt8&eom

  1. The Arts Block: A Case Study on Ethical Redevelopment

On October 18 at 1pm EDT the Community Solutions - Community of Practice is hosting The Arts Block: A Case Study on Ethical Redevelopment, a webinar with guest presenters Theaster Gates and Calvin L. Holmes, President of Chicago Community Loan Fund. In this webinar, Gates will provide an overview of how he and his team (in partnership with a range of local partners, funders, and philanthropist) leverage arts and culture as an economic engine on Chicago’s disinvested South Side, and the people-first ethical principles that guide their work in community development. Holmes will discuss community building, housing, and workforce development. The Chicago Community Loan Fund (CCLF) is one of largest 10 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) in Illinois.  CCLF is a major partner of the Stony Island Arts Bank - a hybrid gallery, media archive, library and community center. The radically restored building serves as a space for neighborhood residents to preserve, access, reimagine and share their heritage. This is the 8th in a series of bi-weekly innovation calls for the Community of Practice to gather on a specific topic.

  1. NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Informational Webinar

The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program helps fund organizations implementing programs throughout the United States that train beginning farmers and ranchers, through workshops, educational teams, training and technical assistance. Eligible applicants include collaborative state, tribal, local or regionally-based networks or partnerships of public or private entities such as state cooperative extension services, community-based organizations, colleges or universities; and other organizations providing services to beginning farmers and ranchers. NIFA will host a free informational webinar for interested applicants on Oct. 26 from 1-3 p.m. EST.

  1. Welcoming America Toolkit Describes Tactics to Support Immigrant Entrepreneurs

Although much has been written on the value of immigrant entrepreneurship, relatively little research to date focuses on strategies for supporting these individuals. Welcoming America, a national nonprofit and non-partisan organization focused on immigrant inclusion, has addressed this gap by releasing a how-to-guide for those interested in supporting immigrant entrepreneurship in their cities. Produced with Global Detroit, an initiative focused on southeast Michigan’s international community, Seeds of Growth describes practical ways for regions across the nation to leverage opportunities associated with including immigrant entrepreneurs in local economic development strategies and programs. Read more...

  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:

  1. October 18, 2016 @ 1:00 p.m. MDT
    “Ready! Starting the Community Food Sovereignty Assessment Process”

    Understanding food sovereignty and what it means to each community or tribe; a few examples of food sovereignty work in Indian Country; defining and engaging the community to be assessed; identifying the “core group” who will work on the Community Food Sovereignty Assessment (CFSA); developing a timeline for the assessment work.  Register here:  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7092073577509146114
  1. November 15, 2016 @ 1:00 p.m. MST
    "Set! Designing your Community Food Sovereignty Assessment"

    Identifying priority issues for focus in the CFSA; designing the assessment tools, methods and questions; publicizing the work and setting up logistics for success. An organization or tribe will share experiences and best practices. Register here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7049058483607326210
  1. 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
  1. 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, September 30, 2016

PUBLICATIONS

  1. 1.Millennials’ Take on Economy

Millennials internalized the effects of the most recent recession and revealed their beliefs about the economy and jobs future in a recent poll conducted by EY, a professional services company, and the Economic Innovation Group. Nearly one-third believe their community is still in a recession and 78 percent are worried about having good-paying job opportunities, according to the poll. Hard work is an important factor to get ahead in life, say 88 percent of the 18-34 year olds, and two-thirds say having a college education is important, but just 49 percent believe the benefits of a college education will be worth the cost. More than half feel a great deal of confidence about the military and colleges and universities, but other institutions such as the government, organized religion and the news media garner far less confidence. While 78 percent consider entrepreneurs successful and 62 percent have considered starting their own business, 42 percent cite the lack of financial means as the top obstacle to launching a startup. Instead, Millennials appear to prefer to climb the corporate ladder, with 44 percent saying the best way to advance their career is by staying at one company and working their way up the ladder and another 25 percent cite moving between different companies and advancing along the way.  Only 22 percent felt that starting their own company would be the best way to advance.

  1. 2.EDA Seeks Comments on Regional Innovation Program

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) requests public comment on the overarching regulatory framework for the Regional Innovation Program. Comments should focus on the structure and implementation of the Regional Innovation Program, including Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) grants. Through the RIS program, EDA awards grants for capacity-building programs that provide proof-of-concept and commercialization assistance to innovators and entrepreneurs, as well as operational support for organizations that provide essential early stage funding to startup companies. Comments should address one or more of several topics including, but not limited to:

  • Purpose and scope of the Regional Innovation Program and/or RIS program;
  • Program eligibility and matching share requirements; and,
  • RIS Application components, evaluation, and selection criteria.

Comments must be submitted by November 21. 

 

  1. 3.Broadband Availability and Rural Entrepreneurship

Because existing evidence points to the presence of broadband as having a positive connection to the economic health in rural areas, numerous states and the federal government have made increasing broadband in these places a top priority.  In particular, many rural areas view broadband as an important tool in attracting entrepreneurs and other creative-class employees. Although this tactic is well intentioned, new research suggests that the association between expanded rural broadband availability and the proliferation of entrepreneurship and creative-class employees may not be as strong as one might think, and that the relationship may actually be negative. Read more...

 

  1. 4.Tom Vilsack's Lonely Fight for a 'Forgotten' Rural America
    Sep 26, 2016 -- Details Secretary Tom Vilsack's efforts to address the opioid epidemic, the evolution of his career, and his focus on the needs of rural America.
    Source: The Washington Post

 

  1. 5.Committee Passes Bill to Reform the Indian Health Service

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs passed the Indian Health Service Accountability Act of 2016 which is anticipated to improve patient safety and quality of care by increasing accountability and transparency at the Indian Health Service. The committee passed this act based on feedback from tribes and the administration to address what they characterized as persistent failures by the Indian Health Service.
Source: United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs

  1. 6.State of Obesity 2016: Better Policies for a Healthier America
    Report on obesity related trends and topics. Includes data and statistics for both adults and children and provides examples of successful programs and policies across the country. Also addresses obesity and chronic disease trends in both urban and rural areas.
    Sponsoring organization: Trust for America's Health
    Date: 09/2016

 

  1. 7.SNAP Participation Shows Marked Decline

The number of people participating in USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has been declining now for several years from a high of nearly 48 million people back in 2013 to a little more than 43 million in June. That is a drop of about 4.4 million people. This downward trend is encouraging but should [...]

 

  1. 8.In 2015, 42.2 million people lived in food-insecure households

USDA measures food security status at the household level. Food-insecure households were, at times, unable to acquire adequate food for one or more household members due to insufficient money and other resources. Statistics on the number of persons residing in food-insecure households should be interpreted carefully. Within a food-insecure household, different household members may have been affected differently. Some members—particularly young children—may have experienced only mild effects of food insecurity or none at all, while adults were more severely affected. In 2015, 42.2 million people lived in food-insecure households. Out of these individuals, 14.6 million lived in households in the severe range of food insecurity, described as very low food security. Households with very low food security were food insecure to the extent that eating patterns of one or more household members were disrupted and food intake was reduced at some point during the year. The statistics for this chart are from Statistical Supplement to Household Food Security in the United States in 2015, AP-072, released on September 7, 2015.

  1. 9.American adults who eat at fast food places averaged 2.7 visits a week in 2014

Eating out accounts for a significant share of Americans’ food budgets and diets. ERS analysis of data from the Eating and Health Module of the American Time Use Survey provides a snapshot of which household types are purchasing “fast food” and how often. Fast food in the analysis includes prepared food from a deli, carry-out and delivery food, and food from a fast food restaurant. Over an average week in 2014, 58.2 percent of American adults purchased fast food and those who purchased fast food did so an average of 2.7 times. Couples with children were the most likely to purchase fast food (64.5 percent), whereas single-person households were the least likely (51.1, percent). However, single-person households had the highest average number of weekly fast food purchases. Men who purchased fast food did so an average of 3 times per week, whereas women who had purchased fast food averaged 2.5 times.

  1. 10.Median Household Income Increases First Time Since 2007

The U.S. Census Bureau announced on Tuesday that median household income increased to $56,516 in 2015, a jump of 5.2 percent from the 2014 median income of $53,718 and the first increase since 2007. However, real median household income in 2015 was 1.6 percent lower than in 2007, the year before the Great Recession, and 2.4 percent lower than the median household income peak, which occurred in 1999. Ten states (HI, KY, MT, NH, OR, RI, TN, VT, WI and WY) and the District of Columbia saw median household incomes increase by more than 5 percent, although with the margin of error it is possible that some of these states saw increases of less than 1 percent, according to data presented in Table 1 of Household Income: 2015. Only Puerto Rico saw the median household income decline from 2014 levels; ID and NJ saw increases of less than 1 percent. The U.S. Census Bureau also announced that the nation’s official poverty rate in 2015 was 13.5 percent, a 1.2 percentage point decrease in the poverty rate from 2014. The decrease represents the largest annual percentage point drop in poverty since 1999. The findings are contained in Income and Poverty in the United States: 2015.

  1. 11.Communities That Work Partnership Highlights Best Practices in Matching Jobs to Skills

The Communities That Work Partnership, a national project to support industry-led workforce development efforts, has released seven case studies highlighting what it considers to be best practices for regions seeking ways to strengthen talent pipelines for local employers and improve access to quality employment for jobseekers. Launched in April 2015 by the Aspen Institute Workforce Strategies Initiative and the Economic Development Administration, with additional support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the partnership has two goals: to accelerate regional economic development through peer learning, and to document stories of how regional teams can improve links between the demand side and supply side of regional systems. Read more...

  1. 12.White House Blog: Local Foods, Local Places Empowers Creative Economic Development in Rural and Urban Communities

Local Foods, Local Places, an effort to support communities that are building local food systems, is empowering local leaders and citizens to strengthen their communities

Learn more about the Local Foods, Local Places

  1. 13.Rural America at a Glance - United States Department of Agriculture Fact Sheet

An important indicator of economic recovery is employment. After several years of stagnation, the pace of employment growth in rural areas increased in 2014. Employment gains were significantly higher over the past year compared to previous years in the recovery period, although rural employment remains below pre-recession levels. Rural areas continue to experience population loss, higher poverty rates, and lower educational attainment than urban areas.

View Rural America at A Glance - United States Department of Agriculture Fact Sheet

EVENTS/LEARNING

  1. October is National Cooperative Month!

As part of this month’s celebration, USDA’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) is holding a series of training and informational webinars to showcase the many important ways cooperatives empower our daily lives. For the full calendar of events for Co-op Month, visit http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/all-programs/cooperative-programs, or to request special accommodations, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  1. a.

1-2:15 pm EST Speaker: Margaret Bau, RBS Cooperative Programs

Webinar/Audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/x3d3w44ec7ex&eom  

 

2-3:15 pm EST Facilitator: Meegan Moriarty, RBS Cooperative Programs

Speakers: Todd R. Eskelsen, Schiff Hardin, LLP and Marlis Carson, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives

Webinar/Audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/fjn0raup3sgh&eom 

2-3:15 pm EST Facilitator: Margaret Bau, RBS Cooperative Programs

Speakers: Dr. David Proctor, Rural Grocery Initiative, Kansas State University and Marnie Thompson, Fund 4 Democratic Communities

Webinar/Audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/v92f7ysqo9k0&eom  

 

  1. Oct 19, 2016 Farm to School and the Role of Cooperatives – Producer and Buyer Perspectives

2-3:15 pm EST Facilitator: James Barham, RBS Cooperative Programs

Speakers: Andrea Northup, USDA Food Nutrition Service, Jennie Rengert, Fifth Season Cooperative, Krista Garand, Durango School District, and Janet Fogel, Mancos School District

Webinar/Audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/jlm99m0d6tul&eom 

 

2-3:15 pm EST Facilitator: Scott Cessarich, RBS Cooperative Programs

Speakers: Jesus Lucero, USA Cooperative Youth Council, Hnin Hnin, Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive, and Morgan Crawford, North American Students of Cooperation

Webinar/Audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/57tvjzrooxe4&eom 

 

10:30 am-12 pm EST Facilitator: Claudette Fernandez, RBS Cooperative Programs / Community Economic Development

(Whitten Bldg - 107A) Speakers: Cornelius Blanding, Federation of Southern Cooperatives, Mai Nguyen, California Center for Cooperative Development, and Nikki Marin Baena, Southern Reparations Loan Fund

Webinar/Audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/8gljluzevxt8&eom

  1. Visionaries PBS Series Documentary: September 29, 2016, 5:30-7:00 pm Eastern Time

Highlights 7 Cooperative’s Stories in U.S. and Around World

• Location: Capital Visitors Center Washington, D.C.

• NCBA - Celebrating 100 years of service

  1. Department of Labor Online Skills Repository

The Department of Labor has launched an online skills repository, www.SkillsCommons.org.  Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grantees are required to openly license any learning materials developed through the grant and share those materials through this free and open repository, creating what has become the world’s largest Open Educational Resource (OER) project featuring job-driven workforce development materials, with more resources added regularly. SkillsCommons.org now contains learning materials and program support materials for job-driven workforce development in 16 high-demand fields including sectors within manufacturing, healthcare, energy, and information technology.  All 256 TAACCCT grantees, involving nearly 700 of the nation’s 1,100 community colleges, are contributing materials.  More than 6,000 resources are already available for download, featuring curricula for both short and long-term courses leading to industry-recognized credentials.  All teaching, learning, and supporting materials on SkillsCommons.org are available under a Creative Commons license that allows others to use and adapt the materials at no cost. 

Suzette's Letter, September 9, 2016

PUBLICATIONS

  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.

EVENTS/LEARNING

  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

Speaker:

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

 

  

promisetag

Our FB Feed