Resources

Resource Index

 

ARC HOSTING WORKSHOP ON 2018 POWER INITIATIVE
The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is hosting five public workshops to provide more information about the 2018 POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative, which is aimed at helping Appalachia’s coal-impacted communities to diversify their economies. The workshops will focus on the objectives of the 2018 POWER Initiative, review eligibility requirements, and offer guidance on how to develop a competitive funding proposal. The workshops will also include information on the latest research about coal-impacted communities, case studies about successful POWER investments, and time for networking. Each meeting is free and open to the public, will run from about 9 am to 3:30 pm, and will include a light breakfast and lunch. All of this is in support of the 2018 POWER Request for Proposals (RFP), which is tentatively scheduled for release on January 29. The Pennsylvania workshop will be held Wednesday, February 14, at California University of Pennsylvania. Registration is now open at www.arc.gov/workshops. The dates and locations of the remaining workshops are also listed at www.arc.gov/workshops. For more information on the POWER Initiative, visit ARC’s website.  

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PENNSYLVANIA OUTDOOR CORPS HIRING 10-MONTH CREW MEMBERS
The Student Conservation Association, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry have launched a multi-year partnership to field a statewide conservation corps program, the Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps. The Corps is now hiring 10-Month Crew Members for the following locations: Philadelphia, Wilkes-Barre, Williamsport, Harrisburg, Altoona, Uniontown, Meadville, and Lewistown. The Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps offers paid work experience, job training, and educational opportunities to teens and young adults as they protect and restore public lands and waters. Outdoor Corps members tackle hands-on projects in state parks, state forests and other natural lands. In addition, the program provides learning opportunities in resource management, team leadership, environmental topics and recreation skills. Corps members are also provided with career development training during their period of employment. For more information, visit www.thesca.org/serve/program/pennsylvania-outdoor-corps.

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RURAL HEALTH NETWORK DEVELOPMENT PLANNING GRANTS AVAILABLE
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration Office of Rural Health Policy is accepting applications for the Rural Health Network Development Planning Grant Program. The program provides grants to promote the planning and development of healthcare networks to achieve efficiencies; expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of essential healthcare services; and strengthen the rural healthcare system as a whole. The application deadline is February 23. For more information, visit https://grants.hrsa.gov/2010/Web2External/Interface/FundingCycle/ExternalView.aspx?fCycleID=0f63e220-e50d-45fa-bfb9-a819707a2e5a.

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FARM TOWN STRONG CAMPAIGN FOCUSES ON HEROIN/OPIOID CRISIS ON FARM COMMUNITIES
The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and the National Farmers Union (NFU) have launched a new campaign, “Farm Town Strong,” to raise awareness of the impact of the heroin/opioid crisis on farming communities. The campaign also provides resources and information to help farm communities and encourage farmer-to-farmer support to overcome the crisis. The groups have launched a new website, FarmTownStrong.org, to provide easy access to information and resources that can help struggling farm families and rural communities.  The Farm Town Strong campaign comes on the heels of a recent survey commissioned by AFBF and NFU that highlighted how the opioid epidemic has hit farmers and farm workers especially hard. While just under half of rural Americans say they, a family member, or friend have been directly impacted by opioid abuse, for farmers and farm workers it’s 74 percent.  A strong majority of respondents also support increasing public awareness of anti-opioid resources and reducing the stigma that surrounds addiction to help solve the opioid crisis.

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PENNSYLVANIA GRANT AND RESOURCE DIRECTORY AVAILABLE
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives Democratic Caucus has released the 2017-2018 Pennsylvania Grant and Resource Directory. The directory includes a general overview of state government programs, including grants and resources, along with contact information. The directory also includes a list of online grant writing guides and a list of Pennsylvania Community Foundations. Click here for a copy of the directory.

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GRANTS TO PROVIDE ARTISTS WITH BUSINESS TRAINING, FINANCIAL RESOURCES
The Surdna Foundation is offering grants to nonprofit organizations through its Thriving Cultures program. Through the program's Artists and Economic Development funding area, the foundation supports efforts that provide artists with business training and financial resources. The focus is on nonprofit organizations that: operate business and entrepreneurship training programs for artists and cultural organizations, provide financing to artists and artist-centered enterprises, and offer arts and culture-based programs and services that directly engage and support the people who live and work in the area as a strategy for equitable economic development. Letters of inquiry are accepted throughout the year. Visit the foundation’s website to review the program guidelines.  

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GRANTS FOR HOMEOWNERSHIP PROGRAMS
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is offering grants to nonprofit organizations through its Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program to purchase home sites and develop or improve the infrastructure needed to set the stage for sweat equity and volunteer-based homeownership programs for low-income persons and families. The application deadline is January 25, 2018. Click here to review the application guidelines.  

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GRANTS FOR TRANSITIONAL HOUSING FOR HOMELESS VETS
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is accepting applications for its Grant and Per Diem (GPD) Program. Funding is on a per diem basis for organizations providing transitional housing for homeless veterans. The application deadline is February 28, 2018. Visit the department’s website for more information.

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GRANTS FOR RURAL HEALTH SERVICES, RURAL HOUSING FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
The Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council is preparing to issue a 3rd Request for Proposals (RFPs) Book in December 2017, with two grant opportunities specifically targeted to Pennsylvania rural communities as follows. 1) Rural Healthcare Access Grants to ensure generic healthcare locations, equipment and services in rural Pennsylvania are accessible to all. This grant is intended to ensure that: people with disabilities and unserved/underserved community members are at the planning table when these vital services are developed and implemented; people with disabilities and unserved/underserved community members are monitoring and evaluating the accessibility of healthcare locations and services; healthcare professionals are receiving training that includes disability awareness and other cultural competence related topics directly from people with disabilities and unserved/underserved community members; and healthcare locations, whether fixed, mobile or virtual, are accessible to all. 2) Housing & Services Demonstration grants to ensure that people with disabilities have housing options that enable them to live in their own home, in a non-congregate setting, with services and supports as needed and chosen freely and separately from their housing. The council will fund one demonstration project to join in the collaborative housing work already in progress. Council has a strong preference for this project to focus the work in rural Pennsylvania regions. To learn more about these funding opportunities, subscribe to the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council website at www.paddc.org.

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QUARANTINE EXPANDED FOR SPOTTED LANTERNFLY
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has expanded the areas quarantined due to Spotted Lanternfly, but unlike past quarantine expansions, is now applying the designation at the county level to provide an additional level of protection. The quarantine now covers Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, and Philadelphia counties. The quarantine now includes areas where the insect is not yet confirmed, but where there is a high risk of its rapid spread beyond the region. The state is asking the public and those traveling through quarantined counties to:

Anyone who finds the insects or egg masses outside quarantined areas should report sightings to badbug@pa.gov. Include photos, if possible, to help confirm the sighting. Suspect specimens can be submitted to the department’s headquarters in Harrisburg or to any of its six regional offices. Specimens also can be submitted to county Penn State Extension offices. Do not submit live specimens. You may also call the Invasive Species Report Line at 1-866-253-7189. Please provide details, including the location of the sighting, and your contact information. Calls may not be returned immediately, as call volume is high. Businesses that move goods can also play a role. Companies in quarantined areas must obtain a Phytosanitary Certificate or compliance agreement from the department to move articles outside the area. Those moving materials within a quarantined county need a permit to help ensure egg masses or insects are not spread beyond already-infested areas. Businesses should contact a Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture regional office to ensure that they are complying with quarantine restrictions and not spreading insects or eggs. More information on Spotted Lanternfly and what you can do to control its spread is located online.

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RURAL HEALTH INFORMATION HUB ONLINE
If you’re looking for an online source for current and reliable resources and tools on rural health needs and the work being done to address them, check out the Rural Health Information Hub (RHIhub), formerly the Rural Assistance Center. RHIhub is funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy to be a national clearinghouse on rural health issues. RHIhub also provides free assistance customized to your needs. Call (800) 270-1898 or email info@ruralhealthinfo.org.

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INVESTING IN AMERICA’S WORKFORCE REPORT AVAILABLE
The Federal Reserve System has released the report, “Investing in America’s Workforce: Report on Workforce Development Needs and Opportunities,” which shares insights from focus groups with leaders from around the county on what is needed to improve workforce outcomes and investments. The focus groups were conducted as part of a new initiative, called Investing in America’s Workforce: Improving Outcomes for Workers and Employers, which seeks to reframe workforce development from the provision of social services to an important investment in our national economy. The report also outlines ideas to make workforce development more investable, for example: classifying workers as assets instead of expenses; offering financial products that allow organizations to increase capacity and scale; using outcomes-based funding models; and directing philanthropic capital to promote innovation, collaboration, and capacity building. For more information, visit https://www.investinwork.org/.

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MAPPING TOOL SHOWS SNAP HOUSEHOLD PARTICIPATION RATES BY COUNTY
The Food Research and Action Center hasreleased an interactive mapping tool that provides household participation rates for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, by county in each state. SNAP Maps is based on the American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year data (2011–2015) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Characteristics of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Households: Fiscal Year 2015. Each county is grouped into one of three census categories: Metro, Small Town, and Rural. SNAP participation nationally was highest among households in rural (16 percent) and small town (16 percent) counties compared to households in metro counties (13 percent). Check out the tool, analysis and other resources here.

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USDA RURAL DEVELOPMENT GRANTS, LOANS AVAILABLE
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development has several loan and grant programs available for agricultural producers and rural small businesses. The Rural Energy for America Program offers guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase or install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements. Agricultural producers with at least 50 percent of gross income coming from agricultural operations and small businesses located in eligible rural areas may apply. Value-Added Producer Grants help agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of bio-based, value-added products. Generating new products, creating and expanding marketing opportunities, and increasing producer income are the goals of this program. Business and Industry Guaranteed Loans help bolster the existing private credit structure through the guaranteeing of loans for rural businesses, allowing private lenders to extend more credit than usual. Lenders with legal authority, sufficient experience, and financial strength to operate a successful lending program (i.e. federal or state chartered banks, savings and loans, farm credit banks, credit unions, etc.) may apply for this program. For more information on these loan and grant opportunities, contact the Pennsylvania USDA Rural Development office at 717-237-2189 or visit www.rd.usda.gov/pa.

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FORD FAMILY FOUNDATION OFFERING YOUTH DEVELOPMENT AND EDUCATION GRANTS
The Ford Family Foundation is accepting applications for Youth Development and Education Grants, which support educational projects, programs and out-of-school time facilities in rural communities that encourage the development of skills, confidence and support needed for school-aged youth (5-18 years) to connect with quality mentors, excel in school, develop leadership skills, graduate with a plan for the future and become successful citizens. Typical grant sizes range from $25,000 to $150,000 per year. While there are exceptions, the foundation prefers to fund no more than one-third of the proposed budget. The fund types include programs, operating requests and capital projects. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. For more information, visit the foundation’s website.

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KELLOGG FOUNDATION GRANTS AVAILABLE
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is accepting grants applications to support programs that focus on developing a healthy start and quality learning experiences for all children, helping families get stable, high-quality jobs and connecting employers with talented candidates, and/or advancing racial equity, developing leaders, and fostering community engagement. Award amounts have ranged from $5,000 to $1,500,000. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. To learn more and to apply, visit the foundation’s website.

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FORD FOUNDATION OFFERING GOOD NEIGHBOR GRANTS
The Ford Family Foundationis offering small grants to organizations working in rural communities with populations of less than 35,000 in response to unexpected needs or simple projects. These grants are highly competitive and limited; priority is given to short-term grant requests for simple projects, unforeseen emergencies that interrupt programming or services, and one-off events or activities. Grants can range from $1,000 to $10,000 and funds are released within 60 days. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. For more information, visit the foundation’s website.

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