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Innovation Matters, Educational Opportunities 12/15/2021

Publications and Resources

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
On Nov. 15, 2021, President Joe Biden signed an infrastructure deal providing a vital investment into our nation’s infrastructure and clean energy landscape.

Charting a Course for an Equity-Centered Data System
This Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report encourages all parties to combine efforts to transform public health data systems to reimagine how data is collected, shared, and used to better identify the investments needed to improve health equity.

USDA Support for Food Banks and Emergency Food Systems
USDA Food and Nutrition Service piece outlines USDAs expected investment, of approximately $2 billion, to support the nation’s emergency food system in fiscal year 2022.  

The USDA Indigenous Food Sovereignty Initiative
USDA is partnering with tribal-serving organizations on seven projects to reimagine federal food and agriculture programs from an Indigenous perspective and inform future USDA programs and policies.

Rural Development and Rural Health Practices: Trends and Opportunities for Alignment
This Aspen Institute piece describes trends and catalysts between rural economic community development and rural public health care and also notes how connections can propel rural prosperity. 

Events and Learning Opportunities

USDA Rural Development Events:

12/17:USDA Rural Development’s NEW Biofuel Producer Program Informational Webinar 

12/20: Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program Lender Webinar

2/24 - 2/25: Agricultural Outlook Forum 

Find past workshop recordings at the USDA Rural Development YouTube Channel.

Other Learning Opportunities:

Recorded: Impact of COVID-19-Organizations Serving Low- to Moderate-Income Communities

Various Dates: NTIA Broadband Grant Program Public Listening Sessions                        

1/18: Reaching Your Agritourism Target Market: Booking Sites for Farm Stays/Experiences

Educational Opportunities, November 24, 2021

Publications and Resources

Native Learning Center's Hoporenkv Podcast
Learn more about USDA Rural Development's ReConnect Program on the latest episode.

Investing in Rural Prosperity
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis' extensive study examining policy, governance and economic development in rural and tribal communities with strategies for local capacity building in rural America.

Tourism Led Development: A Likely Entrepreneurial Development Opportunity Strategy Guide
e2 Entrepreneurial Ecosystems offers this guide to provide strategies for growing a more resilient and diverse economy around rural tourism.

Resilient Strategies Guide
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, with the support of community partners, offers this Guide and many other Resources, including a listing of upcoming events, through the Creating Resilient Water Utilities initiative which provides technical assistance to drinking water, waste water and storm water utilities around the country.

Measuring the Economic and Human Impact of Nonprofit Organizations in Rural America 
National Rural Housing Coalition impact report highlights key federal programs that support affordable housing and community infrastructure, including water and wastewater disposal.

Land-Based Wind, Offshore Wind and Distributed Wind Reports
Three market reports released by the U.S. Department of Energy detail trends in wind development, technology, cost and performance through the end of 2020, reveal that Wind energy grew at a record pace representing the largest source of new additions to the U.S. electric-generating capacity.

Events and Learning Opportunities

USDA Rural Development Events:

11/30 & 12/1: USDA RD Water & Wastewater Environmental Programs Tribal Consultation

Find past workshop recordings at the USDA Rural Development YouTube Channel.

Other Learning Opportunities:

11/30: Building Development Muscle in Rural and Native Nation Communities 

12/2: Connecting Communities: Impact of COVID-19 on Organizations Serving Low to Moderate Income Communities

11/20, 12/3: 2021 Housing Assistance Council's Biennial National Rural Housing Conference

12/6-12/8: Native American Indian Housing Council 2021 Legal Symposium

12/7-12/9: Intertribal Agricultural Council (IAC) Annual Conference

Innovation Matters Education Opportunities 07/15/2021

Events and Learning Opportunities

USDA Rural Development Events:

7/15: Rural Workforce Innovation Network (RWIN) Workshop: Resources for Employers and Employees in the Clean Energy Industry
Join USDA and members of RWIN to learn about resources to support rural employees and employers in the clean energy industry. USDA hosts monthly RWIN workshops. Visit www.rd.usda.gov/rwin to sign up for future workshops.

7/21: Rural Placemaking Innovation Challenge (RPIC) Office Hours
USDA staff will be available for Q&A about the application process.

7/28: OneRD Guarantee Lender Office Hours
USDA invites lenders to attend office hours to learn more about the OneRD Guarantee Loan Initiative.

Other Learning Opportunities:

7/16: Pathfinders: Climate-Smart Solutions from Rural America and Native Nations
Join Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group, the Housing Assistance Council, the Rural Community Assistance Partnership and Rural LISC to hear stories and glean practical tips from rural regions that are leading the way to this better future through climate-smart innovations. 

7/20: Talent Forward: Addressing the Workforce Shortage
Join US Chamber of Commerce Foundation to address worker shortage challenges from multiple vantage points — with a focus on solutions.

8/10-8/11: Create Thriving Communities Virtual Event
Affordable Housing Finance and Multifamily Executive takes a deep dive into the critical need for missing middle housing. Content will focus on all angles of finance, design, development, and management.

8/12: Telecom Program FY2022 Request for Services Best Practices Webinar
Join the RHC program team as we walkthrough the FCC Form 465 and discuss best practices for submitting your FY22 request for services

COVID-19 Recovery Resources

Biden-Harris Administration Extends Foreclosure Moratorium to Provide Relief to Homeowners
The U.S. Department of Agriculture extended through July 31, 2021, the moratorium on foreclosures from properties financed by USDA Single-Family Housing Direct and Guaranteed loans. These actions will bring relief to hundreds-of-thousands of residents in rural America who have housing loans through USDA.

Biden-Harris Administration Extends Moratorium of Residential Evictions in USDA Multifamily Housing Communities in Accordance with CDC Guidance

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended through July 31, 2021, the moratorium on evictions of the hundreds-of-thousands of Americans who live in multifamily housing communities supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The Emergency Connectivity Fund
Universal Service Administrative Company
The Federal Communications Commission is making funds available to help schools and libraries provide the tools and services their communities need for remote learning during the COVID-19 emergency period. Deadline: Aug. 13, 2021

Crisis Community Care Fund
Pride Foundation
The Pride Foundation is making grants available for groups and organizations meeting emerging needs of LGBTQ+ communities due to the impacts of COVID-19 in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. Rural, Black, Indigenous, and people of color are priority populations. Application Deadline: Year-round

Innovation Matters Education Opportunities 06/22/2021

Publications and Resources

USDA Resource Guide for Rural Workforce Development
USDA unveiled a resource guide to help rural community leaders start and expand employment opportunities and access resources to train, recruit and create a sustainable rural workforce.

USDA Publishes Federal Register Notice for Public Input on Racial Justice and Equity
USDA published a notice requesting public input on its efforts to advance racial justice and equity across the Department. It will be available for public input until July 15, 2021, via the Federal Register.

Top Tips for Helping Your Small Business Survive a Disaster or a Crisis
Natural disasters can be a nightmare for small businesses. SCORE outlines tips that can help you take step-by-step approach to survive and rebuild a business after any kind of calamity.

Atlas of Rural and Small-Town America
View the diversity of challenges and opportunities across America's counties. View indicators about people, jobs, income, veterans, and county types. The atlas has been updated to include annual unemployment/employment data for 2020; earlier estimates were revised. 

NTIA Creates First Interactive Map to Help Public See the Digital Divide Across the Country NTIA map links poverty usage and broadband access by compiling data sets to show where high-poverty communities are located with relation to internet usage patterns and access to computers and related equipment

Event Opportunities

OneRD Guarantee Loan Initiative Quarterly Lender Feedback Forum  
June 23 | Virtual Forum
USDA Rural Development invites lenders to join the second session of a quarterly feedback forum who are interested in applying to, or have applied to, programs under the OneRD Guarantee Loan Initiative.

BroadbandUSA Webinar Series: NTIA Broadband Grant Programs
National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) offers various workshops to discuss the three new broadband grant programs: 

Broadband Infrastructure Deployment Grants Program

Tribal Broadband Connectivity Grants Program

Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program

CDFA Rural Development Finance Webinar: Best Practices for Rural Development Finance Agencies
Aug. 31 | Webinar
Discover best practices of development finance agencies to help you identify the right partner for your projects.

Cooperating to Enhance Native American Food Economies
Aug. 2- 5 | Virtual

This webinar series will explore the role of cooperatives in developing agriculture infrastructure and food systems in Indian Country.



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