Rapid Response Teams (RRTs)
With RRTs, communities that need federal resources the most get help with the unique problems they face. Federal programs work together to help communities find resources and use those resources in ways that support their identified needs.
Federal agencies are responsive to RRT communities and want to make their programs work for each community.
RRTs support the expertise that local leaders have regarding their own communities and support evolving leadership to make sure the federal government works for the future of communities.
RRTs also help identify and provide technical assistance to communities. Technical assistance could range from identifying relevant funding opportunities to market studies, site specifics analysis, grant logistics, etc.
RRTs Implement Their Work by:
- Coordinating the identification and use of Energy Communities IWG member agencies’ resources.
- Establishing working relationships with community leaders and members.
- Providing dedicated technical assistance to address the community’s immediate needs and longer-term economic transition strategies.
- Assisting in making sure our programs work for communities’ efforts to transform and grow their economies.
The primary outcomes will be to catalyze projects and actions to achieve substantive progress toward the goals outlined in each RRT roadmap.
Examples of outcomes may include:
- Communities grow and thrive
- Economies transform and diversify
- Redeveloping a brownfield or reclaiming abandoned mine lands to create a new source of jobs and tax base
- Workers from a closed plant are provided with training
- The local community has identified leadership to continue energy transition activities
- Funding has been applied for and received
Frequently Asked Questions
RRTs work within energy communities at the time of a past or approaching fossil fuel facility closure to address worker and community needs using existing federal resources. The RRT framework is unique in the way it learns about and addresses fossil energy-related economic, environmental, community, and health challenges in each energy community. Each RRT is led by one key federal agency, which will then develop an interagency team to coordinate funding streams and technical assistance for the regions.
The purpose of RRTs is to provide on-the-ground technical assistance using experienced regional staff to coordinate federal funding opportunities to assist energy communities dealing with past or imminent fossil energy asset transitions such as coal mine and power plant closures.
Each on-the-ground RRT is designed to work with community members to identify economic transformation and revitalization goals, figure out ways to pursue those goals, and make the connections between programs across the federal family and up and down levels of government. RRTs aim to understand the needs of communities and work to make sure barriers to meeting those needs are smoothed over.
RRTs also help identify and provide technical assistance to communities. Technical assistance could range from identifying relevant funding opportunities to market studies, site specifics analysis, grant logistics, etc. RRTs create a single point of contact for a region to access federal funds and identify other resources without navigating the entire federal network of agencies and funding.
- Appalachian Regional Commission
- U.S. Department of Agriculture
- U.S. Department of Commerce
- U.S. Department of Education
- U.S. Department of Energy
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- U.S. Department of the Interior
- U.S. Department of Labor
- U.S. Department of Transportation
- U.S. Department of Treasury
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The Rural Partners Network (RPN) is an alliance of federal agencies and commissions working directly with rural communities to expand rural prosperity through job creation, infrastructure development, and community improvement. Led by USDA Rural Development, RPN members collaborate to identify resources to help rural people build the futures they envision for the unique places they call home.
RRTs are focused on energy communities where there is an unmet need. The RRT is comprised of federal, state and local agencies and partners. They make connections between state and local agencies, assist in identifying community leadership, conduct listening sessions with community members, increase grassroots engagement, and create a basic plan to address economic diversification, worker needs, and community challenges. Each RRT contributes to the development of a local and regional stakeholder network that is focused on leveraging the necessary inter-governmental and cross-sector resources to address community needs and to invest in opportunities for equitable and sustainable place-based economic growth and diversification.
To date, RRT locations have been chosen by identifying the regions with the highest loss of coal assets and with inadequate financial and local community resources to address those losses. If your community or region is interested in being considered for an RRT, please contact [email protected].
The Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization (Energy Communities IWG) and its member agencies are launching Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) across the nation to establish a network of assistance that is focused and sustainable in a community or region. Assistance is driven by locally identified needs and supported with federal, state, local, and outside expert resources.
There are three existing RRTs in Wyoming, the Four Corners and the Illinois Basin. Each region has a unique set of challenges the RRTs aim to address, including workforce training, economic diversification, reclamation of legacy energy assets, broadband access, infrastructure improvements and more.
RRTs are intended to work with energy communities who have experienced a recent or approaching fossil fuel facility closure to address worker and community needs using existing federal resources. RRT members work with community members to identify economic transformation and revitalization goals, figure out ways to pursue those goals, and make the connections between programs across the federal family and up and down levels of government. RRTs aim to understand the needs of communities and work to make sure barriers to meeting those needs are smoothed over.
This multi-government approach provides an opportunity for federal agencies to maximize their investment in community outreach and economic diversification.