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Promise Zone in White House Budget

Partnering With Communities to Expand Opportunity – The Budget improves the coordination of resources to meet unique community needs and growth opportunities, including through the Administration's Promise Zones initiative, which is creating partnerships between the Federal Government, local communities, and businesses to create jobs, increase economic security, expand educational opportunities, increase access to quality, affordable housing, and improve public safety.  The President named the first five Promise Zones in 2014 and will designate an additional 15 Zones by the end of calendar year 2016. In support of Promise Zones, the Budget requests $250 million for the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Choice Neighborhoods program and $150 million for the Department of Education's Promise Neighborhoods program. The Budget also includes Promise Zone tax incentives to stimulate growth and investments in targeted communities.

Supporting Innovative Projects to Improve Upward Mobility – Building on Promise Zones, the budget also includes a new initiative, the Upward Mobility Project, that will allow up to ten communities, States or consortia of States and communities to combine funds from four existing block grant programs designed to promote opportunity and economic development and reduce poverty to test and validate promising approaches to help families become more self-sufficient, improve children's outcomes, and revitalize communities so they can provide more opportunities for their residents. Projects must utilize evidence-based strategies, track program performance, and evaluate intervention effectiveness. The funding streams that States and communities can apply to use – including the Department of Health and Human Services' Social Services Block Grant and Community Services Block Grant, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Community Development Block Grant, and HOME Investment Partnerships Program – share a common goal of promoting opportunity and reducing poverty. In addition to these funds, participating communities will be eligible to receive a total of $1.5 billion in new funding over five years, to combine with the added flexibility with currently provided resources.

KCEOC's work in the PZ 2014

KCEOC, an implementing partner with the Promise Zone reported the following statistics for 2014

How many houses did you complete in the Promise Zone in 2014? 3

How many children were in Head Start and Early Head Start from the Promise Zone in 2014? 1,180

What were the gross sales of the Craft Village for 2014?  $21,442.55

How many craft workshops did you hold in the Promise Zone in 2014? 29 (Note- The number includes all workshops conducted by KCEOC including 17 job clubs, 10 empty bowl pottery, and 2 housing education.  The craft workshop closed in December 2014, no further reports will be made regarding this program; however, all other workshops conducted by KCEOC will be reported)

How much energy assistance did you distribute in the Promise Zone in 2014 and to how many people?  $276,280/41 Households

How much emergency fund assistance did you distribute in the Promise Zone in 2014 and to how many people? 792,184/3,752 Households

How many women from the Promise Zone were helped in 2014? 4,654 (Note- This is all females that we serve-ages 0 to 70+.  Our system doesn’t break it down by gender per age groups.  I could do a calculation to get an estimated number if you need me to)

How many Emergency Fund Service Volunteers did you have from the Promise Zone in 2014? 5,017 (includes all KCEOC volunteers)

Obama Proposes $1 billion Lifeline for Appalachia

Obama proposes $1 billion lifeline for parts of Appalachia where coal jobs have vanished

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.February 2, 2015 


Eastern Kentucky and other areas of Appalachia hit hard by a sharp drop in coal jobs could get a $1 billion lifeline under the budget proposal put forth Monday by President Barack Obama, though the budget faces difficult prospects in Congress.

The White House budget includes a proposal for the release of $1 billion from the abandoned mine land fund over five years for redevelopment projects aimed at improving the economy of distressed coal communities.

One example would be planting trees on old, non-productive sites that were surface-mined before 1977.

That work could create a significant number of jobs relatively quickly, while also restoring the environment and building the base for an improved wood-products industry in the long term, said Justin Maxson, president of the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development, who took part in a White House briefing on Obama's proposal.

"I think it's a huge opportunity for Appalachia," Maxson said of the budget proposal.

The White House said the budget also proposes $20 million in additional spending for programs such as training to help laid-off miners get back to work; an additional $25 million for the Appalachian Regional Commission to help entrepreneurs in areas affected by the wrenching transition in the coal economy; and $97 million in grants or loans for infrastructure projects calculated to create jobs in those areas.

In addition, the proposal would pump money into the United Mine Workers of America health and pension funds that are underfunded. The plans cover 100,000 mine workers or their families, many of them in Appalachia, according to the White House.

And finally, the proposal includes billions in tax credits to push the use of technology at coal-fired power plants to capture carbon-dioxide and store it underground or use it.

Bill Estep: (606) 678-4655. Twitter: @billestep1

Corbin Livable Community

Eight Appalachian Communities Create “Livable Communities” Action Plans to Develop Local Food Systems

January 2015


Eight towns in the Appalachian Region have created action plans for developing and promoting local food systems through their participation in the Appalachian Livable Communities technical assistance program provided by ARC, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The towns were selected inDecember 2013andApril 2014for the technical assistance program, which focused on the development of local food systems as a means of promoting economic diversification and the revitalization of traditional downtowns. Representatives from each town worked with small-town-development experts through the program to create achievable plans for the local production, distribution, and promotion of healthy foods.

The Appalachian Livable Communities partnership, launched in 2012, helps Appalachian small towns and rural communities improve their livability by promoting economic development while safeguarding the local landscape. The partnership is the model for therecently announcedfederal Local Foods, Local Places initiative, which aims to help communities create more livable places by promoting local foods. In December, eight Appalachian communities were selected through a Local Foods, Local Placesgrant competitionto receive technical assistance and implementation support to help them integrate local food systems into their economic development action plans.

The new Livable Communities action plans are available below. For more information, contact Ed Fendley in the EPA Office of Sustainable Communities atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or Wilson Paine in the ARC Office of the Federal Co-Chair atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



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