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Director’s Update – May 18, 2022

Dear Energy Community Supporter,

Thank you for your continued interest in the Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization (Energy Communities IWG) Director Updates. In addition to funding updates and deadlines, this edition features a recent “how to” webinar recap and a success story out of Pennsylvania. Highlights include everything from bikes and broadband, to electric vehicle batteries and clean water program — read on.

Federal Grant Management Webinar Recap

The Energy Communities IWG, in partnership with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development’s Rural Workforce Innovation Network, recently hosted a two-part webinar series focused on demystifying the federal grant application and management process.

Rural communities, especially those that are under resourced, often face challenges in knowing where to begin applying for much-needed financial assistance and in juggling multiple grant applications. This workshop was tailored for rural and energy communities and provided an in-depth explanation of the entire application and grant management process.

Check out the presentation slides here on the IWG’s past events page.

Success Story

Startup Alleghenies is a program in central Pennsylvania that helps aspiring entrepreneurs access the resources and tools to launch a successful business. Startup Alleghenies was created through a partnership between Johnstown Area Regional Industries (JARI) and Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission. With funding from Appalachian Regional Commission’s (ARC) Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative, Startup Alleghenies has served more than 160 businesses in seven coal-impacted counties since 2017.

One of those businesses is Hope Cyclery in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, founded by entrepreneur Jarrod Bunk. Jarrod and Hope Cyclery received entrepreneurial coaching, microloans, technical assistance and expansion support, which broadened the cornerstone of its mission: to provide more bicycles to community members in need including individuals experiencing homelessness, children and veterans. 

Read the full story here.

New Funding Opportunities

  • National Telecommunications and Information Administration Launches $45 Billion “Internet for All” Initiative. This initiative will build internet infrastructure, teach digital skills, and provide necessary technology to ensure that everyone in America has the access and skills they need to fully participate in today’s society. Click here for more.
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Awards $254 Million in Brownfields Grants. More than 200 communities received funding from EPA to advance environmental justice, spur economic revitalization, and create jobs by cleaning up contaminated, polluted, or hazardous brownfield properties. Read more here.
  • U.S. Department of Energy Releases Battery Materials Processing and Battery Manufacturing Funding Opportunity Announcement. This Bipartisan Infrastructure Law opportunity will help create clean energy jobs and lower energy costs for American families. The letter of intent deadline is May 27. Learn more and apply here.
  • U.S. Department of Energy Announces Electric Vehicle Battery Funding Opportunity. Electric Drive Vehicle Battery Recycling and Second Life Applications is a Bipartisan Infrastructure Law opportunity that will strengthen the U.S. domestic battery supply chain and expand the workforce in energy communities. Learn more and apply here.
  • U.S. Department of Energy Opens Carbon Management Funding Opportunity Application. This opportunity aims to expand the DOE Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management’s (FECM) carbon management portfolio through research and development projects. Apply here.
  • U.S. Department of Energy CarbonSAFE: Phase II — Storage Complex Feasibility Program Now Open. This program is intended to expand deployment of carbon storage technologies and carbon dioxide capturing systems and improve practices regarding how to permit carbon storage project sites safely, efficiently and cost-effectively. Click here for more information.
  • U.S. Department of Energy Invests $2.3 Billion to Cut U.S. Carbon Pollution. This investment will fund three efforts to advance diverse carbon management approaches that will address the impacts of climate change and create good-paying jobs. Read more in this DOE press release.
  • U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2.7 Million in Coal Communities Commitment Funds to Support Manufacturing in Trumbull County, Ohio. The investment will help diversify the regional economy and attract and retain manufacturing businesses by upgrading existing infrastructure. For more, click here.
  • U.S. Economic Development Administration Awards Coal Communities Commitment Grant to Athens, Tennessee. A $1.4 million grant will help upgrade the town’s wastewater treatment plant and is expected to create and retain almost 400 jobs. More in this EDA press release.

Upcoming Funding Deadlines

Events & Additional Resources

  • National Telecommunications and Information Administration Hosts “Internet for All” Initiative Webinars. This webinar series, being held May 16-26, 2022, will provide more information on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s high-speed internet programs and prepare applicants to write high-quality applications. Register today.
  • USDA Rural Development to Host Placemaking in Small & Rural Communities Online Conference May 23-24. This virtual conference showcases effective placemaking strategies for rural areas, introduces attendees to placemaking resources and tools, and connects them to placemaking experts and potential funders. Learn more and register here.
  • U.S. Department of Transportation Hosting Virtual Info Session on Transportation Equity on May 25. During this event, DOT leaders will discuss its first-ever equity action plan and highlight how transportation equity can empower underserved communities to build generational wealth for the future. Register on the DOT website.
  • Appalachian Regional Commission is Accepting Applications for the Appalachian Leadership Institute Class of 2022-2023. The all-inclusive, nine-month program runs from October-July and includes skill-building seminars and best practice reviews. Applications are due by June 1. Apply to be a fellow today.
  • White House Infrastructure School Webinar Recordings Available. Earlier this year the White House hosted a series of webinars that provided a deeper look at the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and programs within it. Watch the webinar recordings here.

On behalf of all IWG member agencies, thank you for your continued interest in programs that support people living and working in America’s energy communities. Please feel free to share this newsletter with others in your network who may benefit. And don’t forget to follow us on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

Best regards,

Brian J. Anderson, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization
Director, National Energy Technology Laboratory
U.S. Department of Energy

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