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Technical Assistance for Energy Communities Webinar Series – Webinar #1

January 10 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EST

Many energy communities need help identifying, applying for, and managing financial assistance that could diversify and revitalize their economies. These communities often also struggle to coordinate with other organizations in their region to pursue larger opportunities that typically involve collaborative applications.

In these instances, technical assistance (TA) can begin to fill the gaps and address challenges facing energy communities. TA is the process of providing targeted support usually in the form of consulting and advice rather than direct financial awards to a community or organization with a development need.

The Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization (Energy Communities IWG) is hosting a three-part webinar series highlighting federal and non-federal technical assistance opportunities to benefit energy communities.

Webinar #1: 1:00-2:00 pm on Tuesday, January 10, 2023

The first webinar will focus on the federal READY Appalachia and Rural Partners Network technical assistance programs. Experts will delve into the details of these programs and how energy communities can access them.

Webinar #2: 1:00-2:00 pm on Tuesday, January 17, 2023

The second webinar will focus on the thriving communities and environmental justice programs led by the U.S. Department of Transportation and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Webinar #3: 1:00-2:00 pm on Tuesday, January 24, 2023

The third webinar will highlight non-federal technical assistance programs.


TopicSpeakersEastern Time
Welcome & OverviewBriggs White
Deputy Executive Director
Energy Communities Interagency Working Group
1:00 p.m.
IWG Technical Assistance Opportunity Demonstration Briggs White
Deputy Executive Director
Energy Communities Interagency Working Group
1:05 p.m.
Technical Assistance Spotlights 

READY Appalachia
Bettina Jones
Program Analyst, Community Capacity
Appalachia Regional Commission

Rural Partners Network
Christine Sorensen
Lead Management and Program Analyst
U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development

Discussion with all speakers

1:10 p.m.
Q & A1:45 p.m.
Closing RemarksBriggs White
Deputy Executive Director
Energy Communities Interagency Working Group
1:55 pm
Event Concludes2:00 pm


Bettina Jones

Bettina Jones is a Program Analyst in Community Capacity at the Appalachian Regional Commission. There, she manages ARC’s new capacity building initiative, READY Appalachia. She previously worked in ARC’s Division of Critical Infrastructure, where she managed infrastructure grants. She also has experience as a Main Street Manager in Pennsylvania and as a grant writer and project manager for nonprofit organizations in North Macedonia (in Eastern Europe). She has a PhD in Economics, and her dissertation focused on North Macedonia’s strategies to attract foreign direct investment (FDI).

Christine Sorensen

Christine Sorensen is the Lead Management and Policy Analyst, for the USDA Rural Development Rural Partners Network.  Christine has been a member of the team designing and implementing the federal interagency collaborative network, Rural Partners Network, from its inception.

As part of her work, she has been assisting with the design of the program, community selection process (both Tribal and within the states), community engagement, communications, and strategy development. 

Christine’s previous work has included roles as a small rural economic development director, regional CDFI chief loan officer, state and regional rural development coordinator, and national program coordinator for USDA RD initiatives such as Stronger Economies Together and the Rural Economic Development Innovation. She has a passion for rural policy and community driven assistance and capacity building support for underserved rural communities and regions.


January 10
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EST
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