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Publications and Resources

AskUSDA Contact Center
USDA launched the AskUSDA Contact Center to transform how the public interacts with USDA to provide a streamlined approach to improve customer service. Contact AskUSDA by phone at (833) ONE-USDA. Representatives are available 9:00 a.m.- 5:30 p.m. EST on weekdays. The website is available 24/7 and includes live chat agents available 10:00 a.m. -6:00 p.m. EST on weekdays. Inquiries may also be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Job Quality Tools Library
The Aspen Institute, with support from Prudential Foundation, developed a library of online tools to support leaders working in a variety of fields related to economic opportunity to engage in practical action to improve jobs offering tools, resources, and guidance to help leaders strengthen job quality across labor markets.

Using Data Systems To Improve Workforce Development Outcomes in A Changing Landscape
U.S. Department of Labor’s WorkforceGPS program features three new publications in support of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act with information on data integration and continuous program outcome improvement: A Changing Workforce Development Landscape; Registered Apprenticeship Program RAP; and Putting Data to Work.

Rural Opportunities to Use Transportation for Economic Success Applicant Toolkit
U.S. Department of Transportation offers a new resource to support the Rural Opportunities to Use Transportation for Economic Success initiative. This toolkit helps support communities to better identify and navigate agency grant funding opportunities.

A Research Strategy for Enhancing Sustainable Recreation and Tourism on Public Lands
USDA Forest Service, in collaboration with the Igniting the Science of Outdoor Recreation Working Group, developed a research-based strategy for outdoor recreation and tourism on public lands.

Event Opportunities

Supporting Solar
Dec. 17 | Webinar
The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office hosts a stakeholder webinar to give an overview of work supporting solar entrepreneurs and commercialization pathways of new solar technologies, with special guests from the American-Made Solar Prize, the Small Business Innovation Research program, and a competitive funding program.

Tourism Discussions: A Lesson in Flexibility
Dec. 17 | Webinar
This webinar is part of the National Extension Tourism (NET) webinar series and features real-time tourism and community development tips on flexibility and re-planning coming straight from the leadership of the 2020 Coastal Georgia Tourism Conference. It will feature online facilitated discussions around development with outdoor recreation, local grown food/drink, and heritage and culture.

USDA ERS Rural America at a Glance, 2020 Edition
Dec. 18 | Webinar

USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) will present findings from their 2020 publication which summarizes population trends, employment, poverty, income in rural areas and recent demographic and economic conditions in rural areas resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic recession.

The Agricultural Outlook Forum
Feb. 18-19 | Free Virtual Conference
The 97th annual Agricultural Outlook Forum theme is “Building on Innovation: A Pathway to Resilience”. This is the largest annual meeting and premiere event, independent of commercial interests, organized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It aims to facilitate information sharing among stakeholders and generate the transparency that supports well-functioning open markets and will feature a panel of distinguished guest speakers and breakout sessions.

2021 Cultural Wealth Conference: “The Role of the Arts and Cultural Capital in Rural Innovation and Entrepreneurship”
Feb. 23 – 25 | Virtual Conference
The Rural Policy Research Institute, with the support of USDA, is hosting this conference on the important role that arts and cultural capital play in rural innovation, community well-being, and rural community sustainability, while also exploring the role of arts and culture in rural communities through both qualitative and quantitative studies.

How Community Development Organizations Change When They Embrace Arts and Culture
Recorded Webinar
PolicyLink developed a series of webinars to support ArtPlace America’s Community Development Investments initiative to share experiences and lessons for community development corporations, nonprofit housing developers, health services providers, park associations and economic development agencies.



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