Welcome to SARPC's digital newsletter. Our goal is to publish a newsletter bi-monthly that provides highlights of projects and activities being undertaken at the agency. If you have any questions or would like to request additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us.
In This Issue
FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR


Your SARPC staff remains committed to representing this Agency and our Board of
Directors with the highest professional standards and services possible.  Our Region,  consisting of Escambia, Baldwin and Mobile Counties is very diverse with many  challenges and opportunities and it is our mission to work closely with our 32 local  Governments in providing numerous programs that strategically  enhance  our
quality of life in South Alabama.
 
Have a safe and wonderful summer and please visit our office when possible.


Thanks!
John F." Rickey" Rhodes



TRANSPORTATION

The Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee held a meeting today at the GM&O Building. Ms. Debbie Quinn, Chair of the Alabama Trails Commission was a guest speaker.
 
The Technical Coordinating/Citizens Advisory Committee of the Mobile MPO met May 17th and discussed several topics.  The DRAFT Unified Planning Work Programs (UPWP) was discussed which is essentially the MPO staff budget for FY 2018.  A Feasibility study for US45 is included in the FY 2018 UPWP.  
 
Also, City of Mobile Councilmembers Levon Manzie and Fred Richardson were present to discuss concerns on the types of projects that are being federally funded in the LRTP.  The TCC/CAC acknowledged their concerns, and we thank them for presenting to the committee. 
 
The recommendations from Wednesday's TCC/CAC meeting will go before the Mobile MPO on June 7th.  We will also have Mr. Tim Barnett with ALDOT at the MPO meeting to discuss how safety projects can be combined with other types of projects.  If there is a resurfacing project going on in your area, and you know of a safety issue, there is 90/10 funding that is available to you to help "split" the funding for a combined safety project.  Please plan on attending the Mobile MPO meeting on June 7th at 10:00 AM in the SARPC Board Room.
 
There are several funding opportunities available: ALDOT has announced the FTA 5310 call for projects, the Mobile Urban Area FTA 5310 Funds call for Projects have been announced, as were the Mobile Urban Area Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP).  Please visit our website for these announcements www.mobilempo.org .


Safety Performance Measures

By July 1, 2017, ALDOT should have developed the statewide performance measures for safety. The Mobile MPO, and all MPO's including the Eastern Shore MPO, will have until February 27th, 2018 to either adopt ALDOT's methodology for performance measures, or adopt their own.  
 
There are five safety performance measures:
 
* number of fatalities
* rate of fatalities
* number of serious injuries
* rate of serious injuries
* number of non-motorized fatalities and serious injuries combined
 
The Mobile MPO will have to develop targets for these five performance measures (using ALDOT's methodology or our own) and create an annual System Performance Report, and then decide on whether we have met our targets or not.  Statewide, if ALDOT does not meet the targets of the performance measures, they will lose the flexibility of their safety funding.  At the MPO level, if we do not meet our targets, well, we must try harder. 
 
Performance measures and targets must be specified for Safety (see above), Transit (ALDOT Multi-modal), Freight (ALDOT and MPO) and Highway (ALDOT contracted with Jeff Carroll of South Carolina). The LRTP and the TIP must be modified as it must be explained how each project in both documents are working towards achieving all performance measure targets.


COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Grant Opportunities
 
Recent grant opportunities that have been announced which may be of interest to you and your regional stakeholders include:

NIST Invites Proposals from Current MEP Centers to Pilot Test Approaches to Provided Technology Acceleration Assistance to Small and Mid-Sized Manufacturers 

NIST inviting proposals from current MEP Centers to pilot test approaches to providing needed technology acceleration assistance to small and mid-sized U.S. manufacturers through the establishment of meaningful and results oriented collaborations with the public-private manufacturing innovation Institutes operating as part of Manufacturing USA.
This NOFO is targeting the issuance of up to five (5) cooperative agreements to existing MEP Centers to embed personnel in the five (5) Manufacturing USA Institutes identified below:
  • Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI)
  • Advanced Robotics Manufacturing (ARM) Institute
  • National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL)
  • Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment (RAPID) Institute
  • Reducing Embodied-energy and Decreasing Emissions (REMADE) Institute
 
Applications are due June 2.  Please click here for the solicitation.

National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program

The Department of the Interior's Fish and Wildlife Service annually provides grants of up to $1 million to coastal and Great Lakes states, as well as U.S. territories to protect, restore, and enhance coastal wetland ecosystems and associated uplands. The grants are funded through the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, which is supported by excise taxes on fishing equipment and motorboat fuel.

Applications are due June 30, 2017.

FWS Coastal Program announces funding to coastal communities

The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced funding to provide direct technical assistance and financial assistance to coastal communities and landowners to restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat on public and private lands. Projects should specify benefits for species and habitats considering the expected effects of climate change. FWS will favor conservation activities and projects that incorporate ecosystem adaptation and help coastal ecosystems and communities adapt to the effects of sea level rise and greenhouse gases.

Applicants seeking funding under this program should review the program strategic plan and also contact the regional Coastal Program office prior to submitting an application for funding.

Applications are due September 30, 2017.

National Science Foundation announces Environmental Sustainability Grants

The National Science Foundation's Environmental Sustainability program promotes sustainable engineered systems that support human well-being while also being compatible with sustaining environmental systems. These systems provide ecological services vital for human survival. Research efforts supported by the program typically consider long time horizons and may incorporate contributions from the social sciences and ethics.

All proposed research should be driven by engineering principles, and be presented explicitly in an environmental sustainability context.

Applications are due October 20, 2017.

Environmental Protection Agency announces Wetland Program Development Grants
Wetland Program Development Grants (WPDGs) provide eligible applicants an opportunity to conduct projects that promote the coordination and acceleration of research, investigations, experiments, training, demonstrations, surveys and studies relating to the reduction and elimination of water pollution. WPDGs assist building programs to protect, manage and restore wetlands. States, tribes, local governments, interstate associations, and intertribal consortia are eligible to apply for the Regional WPDG Request for Proposals.

Application close date varies by region. Check the EPA website for full details.

EMPLOYMENT & ECONOMICAL DEVELOPMENT

19th Annual Business Expo and Job Fair

South Alabama Regional Planning Commission's 19th Annual Business Expo and Job Fair was held at The Grounds on May 11.  There were 99 vendors on site to screen for  prospective employees.  It was reported they were pleased with the quality of job seekers who came through. 

Vendors also had the opportunity to show case their products and services to approximately 2,000 consumers.  Several businesses reported they were there for the opportunity to find just the right person for their job openings as well as showcasing their products and services through the business expo aspect.  Some even said this is the best event region wide to get great leads. 

Through the job fair aspect the job seekers had 99 human resource personnel to speak to one-on-one.  What a great opportunity to practice their elevator speech on why they should be hired.  Additionally, they had the Alabama Career Center bus on site for   them to take advantage of this online facility to apply for any available jobs. 

Lastly, the job seekers had the opportunity to attend free workshops on resume development, networking skills, and interviewing skills throughout the time of the event. 
On average over 300 job seekers land a job the day of the event.  No telling how many receive a job as a residual.

The 19th Annual Business Expo and Job Fair was a great success.  We thank all the sponsors and volunteers for making this possible.  Now we look forward to the 20th Annual Business Expo and Job Fair to be held on May 10, 2018.  Hope to see you there!!!
 
Mature Staffing Service (MSS)

If you have staffing needs, then Mature Staffing Service (MSS) would like the opportunity to assist you.
 
MSS provides staffing services to government and non-profit organizations.  Whether the organization is searching for part-time temporary workers or full-time permanent workers, Mature Staffing Service is there to make the process seamless. 
 
Is it getting hard for you to squeeze in the time to process your payroll because there are so many other issues requiring your attention?  Let us lighten your load by handling all payroll processing such as:  worker's compensation, all payroll taxes, and direct deposit. 
 
You owe it to yourself to find out how Mature Staffing Service can help.  Call (251) 652-0585 today.

 
Revolving Loan Fund (RLF)

The Revolving Loan Fund is a source of capital available to entrepreneurs for start-up businesses or existing businesses.
 
The Revolving Loan Fund can be used for the purchase of property and buildings, equipment, and working capital needs.  The loan limits are $10,000 to $125,000.  The purpose of the RLF funds is to assist small businesses in their capital needs and to create and sustain jobs in the communities it serves. 
 
Let us know about your loan request today by calling (251) 652-0585.  We want to stand in the gap for you.

AREA AGENCY ON AGING


On May 31, 2017 Mobile County Commissioner Connie Hudson joins local seniors at the Wilmer Senior Center, along with Rickey Rhodes, SARPC Executive Director, and Julie McGee, Area Agency on Aging Director, to receive a new van to provide Wilmer seniors with rides to the Center, for recreational outings, and to deliver meals to the homebound.  The new van was purchased for the Wilmer Senior Center by the Mobile County Commission, thanks to the support of Commissioner Hudson. 

Older Americans Month 2017

Each May, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) leads our nation's celebration of Older Americans Month (OAM). ACL designed the 2017 OAM theme, Age Out Loud, to give aging a new voice-one that reflects what today's older adults have to say.

This theme shines a light on many important trends. More than ever before, older Americans are working longer, trying new things, and engaging in their communities. They're taking charge, striving for wellness, focusing on independence, and advocating for themselves and others. What it means to age has changed, and OAM 2017 is a perfect opportunity to recognize and celebrate what getting older looks like today.

Let's amplify the many voices of older Americans and raise awareness of vital aging issues across the country. Join us as we speak up and out loud for OAM!

Older American Month activities were held throughout the region, at the Baldwin County Coliseum on May 12, at the Flomaton Senior Center on May 23, and on May 26 events were celebrated in Mobile County at Bayou la Batre, Dumas Wesley Community Center, MOWA Senior Center and at the Saraland Senior Center.  All locations hosted the senior nutrition centers in their areas.  
Senior from the Vaughn Senior Center show off their tie dye t-shirts at the Baldwin County Older Americans Month picnic.


Senior from the Vaughn Senior Center show off their tie dye t-shirts at the Baldwin County Older Americans Month picnic.

Upcoming events
  • June 6 - Medicare Seminar - Mobile County 9:00 am - 12:00 pm @ South Alabama Regional Planning Commission - GMO Bldg.
  • June 8 - Graduation Class/MOB Little River 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • June 9 - Hillcrest Senior Center/Safety Day 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • June 10 - St. Francis Catholic Church Health Fair 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • June 15 - Grand Bay Health Fair 8:00 am - 1:00 pm
  • July 5 - MOB Class Via Health and Fitness - All Day
  • July 7 - Hillcrest Senior Center 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
  • July 9 - Community Action/Baldwin 10:00 am - 1:00 pm 
Via Heath, Fitness and Enrichment Center's annual Mobile Bay Bears Bowl for Via

Via Heath, Fitness and Enrichment Center's annual Mobile Bay Bears Bowl will be held  Tuesday June 20th , at the Eastern Shore Lanes at the Eastern Shore Center, from 5:30-8:00 PM .  A team is 6 bowlers, everyone gets a t-shirt, the table gets a pizza, and a picture of beer and soft drinks, there are prizes for best dressed team (many choose a theme), other team prizes, door prizes, and just a relaxed evening of bowling against some other teams.
 
Click Here for details.


National Association of Area Agencies on Aging's (n4a) Analysis of the President's FY 2018 Budget Proposal

May 23, 2017

After a months-long delay and preview of steep cuts to federal funding in March's "skinny budget," President Trump released his Administration's first full budget request for funding federal programs next year. Overall, the budget takes deep cuts to domestic and safety-net programs, increases in defense spending and tax cuts for higher-income earners and corporations.
 

Discretionary Funding Key Aging Program Impacts
 
Older American Act and AoA/ACL Programs
 
Administration for Community Living (ACL), HHS

 
Programs serving older Americans under OAA were primarily level funded in this year's budget, but the overall ACL $1.9 billion request is $129 million (6.3 percent) below FY 2017. The budget largely preserves all the OAA programs administered by the Administration on Aging/ACL, but targets for elimination the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) and cuts funding for existing disability programs that were shifted to ACL under the workforce investment reauthorization two years ago.
 

Older Americans Act Title III Programs
 
In what can be considered a win for advocates in this incredibly difficult budget environment, funding for OAA Title III B Home and Community-Based Supportive Services ($347 million), III C Nutrition Services ($447 for Congregate and $226 for Home-Delivered Nutrition Services), and III E Family Caregiver Support ($150 million) was flat. Unfortunately, the budget request does not reflect the ultimate increases for III B and III C services that were included in the final FY 2017 funding bill, as mentioned above, but that should not be read as a cut.
  

Aging and Disability Resource Centers
 
Funding for Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) was also level funded at $6.1 million and the Administration indicated continued commitment to evolving and building out the ADRC/No Wrong Door (NWD) network across the country. Since $10 million in annual mandatory funding for ADRCs expired in September 2014, advocates and Administration officials have been unable to fill that gap with additional discretionary (annually appropriated) or restored mandatory funding. This funding request recognizes that the bulk of infrastructure funding for ADRCs is occurring via investments by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) through other initiatives such as the Balancing Incentive Program and Veteran-Directed HCBS program. However, funding authority for both BIP and VD-HCBS will need to be reauthorized to ensure that states are able to continue building on ADRC infrastructure with those funds.
 

Transportation
 
The President's FY 18 budget request for the Department of Transportation (DOT) includes a $2.4 billion cut (13 percent) over FY 2017 funding. Funding for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), would fall $500 million below last year, including a $49 million (15 percent) cut to FTA Section 5310, transportation programs focusing on serving seniors and people with disabilities. The request also includes $5 million in funding for the n4a and Easterseals-led National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC), as part of the Federal Transit Administration's technical assistance program to assist local communities and states in the expansion and provision of transportation services for older adults and people with disabilities.
 

Eliminations of Key Programs
 
State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)
 
The President's budget request reflects recent proposals in Congress to zero-out the full $52.1 million for State Health Insurance Assistance Program, citing duplication with other federal resources such as 1-800-MEDICARE. SHIP elimination accounts for 40 percentage of the proposed $129 million cut to the ACL/AoA budget. Advocates will need to continue to push lawmakers to reject SHIP elimination. Funding for SHIPs was cut by $5 million in the final FY 2017 funding bill, and with the Administration's requested elimination of the program in FY 2018, the pressure is mounting on advocates to educate policymakers about the important individualized, cost-effective, person-centered, volunteer-driven counseling services that SHIPs provide in every state.

 

SCSEP, Senior Corps
 
The Administration also proposed eliminating OAA Title V Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), administered by the Department of Labor (DOL), and the Senior Corps programs (RSVP, Foster Grandparents and Senior Companion) under the Corporation for National community Service (CNCS). Both moves reflect the larger budget request, which significantly reduces federal investments in workforce development and volunteer-based programs.
 
Congress recently approved a $34 million cut to SCSEP, and the President's budget would roll back an additional $400 million in FY 2018 based on the belief that SCSEP "is ineffective in meeting its purpose of transitioning low-income unemployed seniors into unsubsidized jobs." As the only workforce development program that specifically targets older adults in or near poverty, SCSEP has long been a target of some policy-makers who don't understand the population or value the community service component, so advocates must ramp up education efforts to ensure that SCSEP activities are protected in final FY 2018 funding proposals.  
 
Additionally, volunteers secured through Senior Corps programs routinely supplement workforce needs at Area Agencies on Aging and other community-based organizations serving seniors. n4a is concerned that should the cuts to Senior Corps be realized in final funding bills, volunteer-driven local service delivery to older adults would be further threatened.
 

Other Eliminated Programs
 
Also on the chopping block in the budget request are critical state and community block grant programs that often supplement and support the work of the Aging Network. President Trump would completely eliminate the Community Services Block Grant (-$715 million) the Social Services Block Grant (-$1.7 billion) and the Community Development Block Grant (-$615 million). To varying degrees all of these programs fund state and local community and economic development efforts that provide key services to older adults.
 
The President also proposes zeroing out funding for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), a reduction of $3.9 billion that helps low-income households and families, including many older adults, with heating and energy bills throughout the year.
 
This Legislative Update is an n4a membership benefit. For more information about these and other federal aging policy issues, please contact n4a's policy team: Amy Gotwals (
agotwals@n4a.org ) and Autumn Campbell ( acampbell@n4a.org ), 202.872.0888.


One call does it all to access AAA programs and services

The Area Agency on Aging now has a one-call-does-it-all hotline. When you dial 1-800-AGE-LINE, your call will be answered by one of the staff in our Aging and Disability Resource Center, or ADRC, who will connect you with the programs and services you need. Locally, the direct line is 251-706-4680. If you or your loved one need services related to aging, call us today.

"WELCOME TO MEDICARE" SEMINARS IN BALDWIN AND ESCAMBIA COUNTIES

The new location for the Baldwin County "Welcome to Medicare" monthly seminar is at the Spanish Fort Community Center and is held the 2nd  Wednesday  of each month.  The new location in Escambia County is the Atmore Community Hospital and is held the first  Monday  of every month. 


In Mobile the monthly seminars continue at SARPC's office in the GM&O building the 1st Tuesday of each month. Welcome to Medicare seminars are held in Mobile and Baldwin County from 9am  until noon and Escambia County 10am-11:30am .  For additional information, contact James Roberson at 706-4617.

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