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

Our hearts and prayers continue to go out to the people of Lee County and other areas affected by the devastating tornadoes of Sunday, March 3 rd . Sadly, an employee of Lee-Russell Council of Governments, our counterpart in East-Central Alabama, lost his life. Also, several employees suffered immense property damage. On a positive note, Federal, State and local response has been tremendous.
Our Region (Mobile, Baldwin and Escambia Counties) continues to prosper with low unemployment and numerous economic development projects that SARPC is many times involved in either directly or indirectly. The new VA Clinic is a huge boost to our Region in providing much needed services to our Veterans! GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!


John F. "Rickey" Rhodes

VA clinic ribbon cutting.

Veterans attending VA clinic ribbon cutting.

New VA Clinic.

Mobile MPO Certification Review

March 26 th  and March 27 th  there will be a Certification Review of the federal transportation planning process.  Tuesday will be a series of meetings followed by a public meeting that evening in order to obtain input from committee members and the public.  If you have any comments, concerns, or kudos, please plan on attending the public meeting on Tuesday night, March 26 th  from 5:30 -7: 0 0 at the GM&O Building SARPC Board Room.

Mobile MPO Meetings

There will be a Technical Coordinating and Citizens Advisory Committee   (TCC/CAC) meeting on April 24 th , followed by a  MPO meeting May 8 th .  The agenda items include a draft  2020-2023 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and a draft Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP).  There are also numerous projects modified in the current 2016-2019 TIP.  Finally, there will be a discussion concern the 2045 Long Range transportation Plan (LRTP).

Freight Data
APM Terminals has provided us with their third quarterly survey report. Just as last quarter, for one day APM Terminals had on-board tablets for drivers to answer a series of questions in terms of where they came from and where they are going.  APM Terminals will continue to gather this information quarterly for our benefit of validating truck data for the travel demand forecasting model. This third survey report had 88% of trucker visits answering the survey, the best percentage yet,  which helps refine our understanding of container truck trip patterns in the area.  See more   HERE .

Transportation Improvement Program( TIP)

The TIP represents a four year program (2016-2019) for improvements in the various transportation systems located within the Mobile study area as identified in the Mobile MPO's Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), the twenty-five year plan for the Mobile Urban Area Destination 2040. The LRTP establishes the transportation programs that are needed to meet travel demand by the study year and study area. LRTP projects that become funded are moved into the TIP and submitted to the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT), where they are programmed into the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). For MPO projects, TIP project selection is based on priorities established by MPO member governments and the availability of funds through the Surface Transportation Attributable program. For other projects, ALDOT has discretion of project funding based on availability of funds from various types of funding categories.  Most often, projects in the TIP are derived from the LRTP. The TIP guides ALDOT in its annual allocation of funds for transportation improvements and becomes a part of the STIP.
ArcGIS Online is now being utilized by MPO staff to map all federally funded surface transportation projects within our area. Check it out.
2016-2019 E-TIP HERE


Funding & Resource Announcements

Economic and Community Development Planning

REDI Program - TA for Rural Economic Development Plans

The Rural Economic Development Innovation (REDI) initiative application is now available for rural communities and regions to apply for free technical assistance to develop, and implement, economic development plans. Download the application or request it here at RD.Innovation@osec.usda.gov
This assistance is designed to assist communities to develop evidence-based assessments; quantifiable goals; plans to improve the local and regional economy; and metrics to track implementation and progress. Application Deadline: April 5, 2019. Letters of Interest Due (Optional) : March 8, 2019.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

NSF Adds "Project Pitch" Requirement to SBIR Phase 1 Process

The National Science Foundation's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program- also known as America's Seed Fund powered by NSF - provides small businesses with equity-free funding to conduct research and development (R&D) work that will lead to the commercialization of innovative new products and services. NSF SBIR and STTR Program Phase I proposers are now REQUIRED to submit a three-page "Project Pitch" that outlines the project objectives, technical innovation and associated technical risks. Submit a Project Pitch at any time.
Small businesses that have been invited to submit a full proposal can do so in one of the following a submission windows:
  • Now - June 13, 2019
  • June 14, 2019 - December 12, 2019
For full details see: Program Solicitation NSF 19-554.

EDA 2019 Regional Innovation Strategies Program

EDA is now accepting applications for the 2019 Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) Program funding. The RIS Program , operated by EDA's Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE) again offers funding through two competitions:
FY19 i6 Challenge and FY19 Seed Fund Support (SFS) Grant Competition. All applications must be submitted no later than 11:59 pm ET on Thursday, April 4, 2019.  For information on eligibility and how to apply, interested organizations are encouraged to visit EDA's Regional Innovation Strategies webpage
for more info.


NEA Challenge America Grants for Arts in Underserved Communities

Grants to support projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations. Matching grants are for $10,000. Application deadline: April 11, 2019. Click here for  APPLICATION GUIDELINES .

Rural Development

HHS Webinar on Grants for Opioid Impacted Communities.

The Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) has released the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for a new Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) initiative called RCORP-Implementation (HRSA-19-082). HRSA plans to award approximately 75 grants to rural communities as part of this funding opportunity.Award recipients are encouraged to leverage workforce recruitment and retention programs like the National Health Service Corps (NHSC).
  • FORHP will hold a webinar for applicants on Wednesday, March 27 from 11:30-1 p.m., EDT.
Reference page ii in the NOFO for the dial-in and playback information for the webinar. For more information about this funding opportunity, please contact Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. To learn more about how HRSA is addressing the opioid epidemic, visit https://www.hrsa.gov/opioids.
Capacity Building Grants for Land Grant Universities

USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is seeking FY19 applications for its 1890 Institution Teaching, Research and Extension Capacity Building Grants (CBG) Program (USDA-NIFA-CBGP-006696). Applications submitted to CBG must address at least one of the following NIFA strategic goals: sustainable bioenergy; food security; childhood obesity prevention; or food safety. Closing Date: Thursday, April 18, 2019. Click here to Apply for Grant

Applicant Webinars for ReConnect Rural Broadband Program

USDA extended the application deadlines for the Rural eConnectivity Pilot Program: ReConnect. Stakeholders can join these upcoming Technical Assistance Webinars to learn more about the program and application process. Webinars will be held on:
This webinar series will provide a high-level overview of the funding opportunity available under the ReConnect Program. USDA Rural Development staff will discuss engineering requirements, financial requirements, types of funding available, eligibility provisions, notice of proposed service area, and evaluation factors. All webinars will be recorded and made available online for later viewing.

For more information about the ReConnect program, download the ReConnect Webinar Flyer 190228.pdf or visit the program website at http://reconnect.usda.gov. Apply by May 31.
Rural Broadband: FY19 Community Connect Grants Available

RUS is now accepting applications for FY 2019 for the Community Connect Grants program.This program helps fund broadband deployment into rural communities where it is not yet economically viable for private sector providers to deliver service. The application window closes April 15, 2019. Applications for this program are serviced by RUS national office staff, available at community.connect@wdc.usda.gov. See the Community Connect fact sheet, and the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for details.

Federal Funding Opportunities Closing Soon:
Below is a list of previously highlighted funding opportunities that are still open. Enter the Opportunity Number in Grants.gov to see announcement details. You can also search Grants.gov for a full list of current federal opportunities, including programs not listed below.
Opportunity Number
Opportunity Title
Posted Date
Close Date
FY 2019 Regional Innovation Strategies Program
Social and Economic Development Strategies -SEDS
Community Connect Grant Program
1890 Institution Teaching, Research and Extension Capacity Building Grants (CBG) Program
WaterSMART: Title XVI Congressionally Authorized Water Reclamation and Reuse Projects
FY 2019 SBIR/STTR Phase II Release 2
WaterSMART Grants: Small-Scale Water Efficiency Projects for Fiscal Year 2019
FY18 Economic Development Assistance Programs: Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance
Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects (NSFLTP)
Public Meetings, Events and Training   

Listening Session on 2018 Farm Bill - Invites Comment on USDA RD Programs
On Thursday, March 14, from 2:00-4:00 p.m. EDT, USDA Rural Development will conduct a listening session webinar to listen to questions and comments from the partners, stakeholders and customers who will be affected by the implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill.
Topics will include new tools in the 2018 Farm Bill to increase access to rural broadband e-Connectivity, expanding credit to rural communities, and other key provisions relating to USDA Rural Development programs.
Interested parties unable to participate in the listening session may submit comments on the 2018 Farm Bill to USDA Rural Development through March 30, 2019, via email to RD.Innovation@osec.usda.gov
Webinar on Integrating Water Quality and Hazard Mitigation Plans
Lessons Learned on Integrating Water Quality and Nature-based Approaches into Hazard Mitigation Plans

EPA is promoting integration of FEMA hazard mitigation plans and water quality plans to support projects that reduce natural hazards while emphasizing water quality benefits. This webcast will look at two completed pilot projects that have successfully integrated watershed planning, green infrastructure practices, and source water protection into FEMA hazard mitigation plans. Learn about community benefits, including the availability of FEMA and other federal funding for water quality projects that also mitigate hazards.
Webinar: March 14, 1 PM (ET)

  • Myra Schwartz, EPA Region 1
  • Carrie Robinette, FEMA
  • Josh Bruce, Oregon Partnership for Disaster Resilience
CDFA Federal Policy Conference; EDA, HUD, USDA, DOT, Treasury, EPA and SBA to Present Updates on Federal Financing
On April 16-17 in Washington DC, CDFA will host its 2019 CDFA Federal Policy Conference, featuring development finance experts and practitioners from key federal agencies, congressional offices, and policy organizations. The CDFA Federal Policy Conference will highlight rural and urban financing programs, the Opportunity Zones incentive, programs for supporting small business development, as well as financing programs for infrastructure, energy, brownfields remediation, and water systems financing. The event will be held at the Washington Marriott Georgetown, and space is limited to the first 250 attendees - register early to secure your seat!

Reports, Tools and Data

ETA Publishes FY 2018 Apprenticeship Data & Map of Active Programs by State

DOL's Employment and Training Administration has updated the Registered Apprenticeship data webpage with Fiscal Year 2018 statistics. Visit the webpageto review the data tables accompanied State-by-State maps for active apprentices, new apprentices, completers, active programs, and new programs.
Census Posts Latest American Community Survey Data (2013-2017)

The U.S. Census Bureau released the 2013-2017 American Community Survey (ACS) five-year estimates, which features more than 40 social, economic, housing and demographic topics. The 2013-2017 ACS data are available on www.data.census.gov . County-level geography profiles of the 3,142 counties are available in a visual format with maps, charts and graphs. For official ACS statistics, please access American FactFinder at factfinder.census.gov .


Mature Staffing Service (MSS)

The associates of Mature Staffing Service (MSS) are focused to provide qualified and dependable employees to organizations seeking employees.  Additionally, a concerted effort is made to contact representatives of non-profit organizations and government entities to inform them of the services MSS can provide: assistance in locating the right talent, handling all payroll processes which include Worker Compensation coverage, payroll taxes (federal and state), etc.  MSS takes the work and the risk while the employer gets to relax.  

Business Expo and Job Fair

Staff attends other career fairs in the region to inform job seekers of SARPC's Annual Business Expo/Job Fair on May 9 and to remind vendors to register now in order to have their organization listed on printed materials.  This expo is another service offered through MSS as a means to bring job seeker and employers together under one  roof.

The Business Expo/Job Fair Council meetings have been mutually beneficial to us as well as to the representatives attending. The Council I made up of representatives from community colleges, local businesses, and workforce development agencies. They are a vital part of the process in bringing this event to the region (the largest of its kind)
Help us spread the word by "liking' our Facebook page and sharing it with others.
Save the date for SARPC's 21s Annual Business Expo and Job Fair happening on May 9 from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. at The Grounds (formerly The Greater Gulf State Fair Grounds).

Tara Holland at the Daphne Career Fair

Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)

Participants in the Senior Community Service Program met for their quarterly meeting.  Students from the University of South Alabama Department of Human Resources conducted mock interviews with our SCSEP participants.  This was done in preparation for them to attend the job fair on May 9.  The students and the SCSEP participants receive mutual benefits from the process.

Living Well Alabama

The Area Agency on Aging's annual "Living Well Alabama" Leadership Training was held at SARPC January 29 to February 6.  Local volunteers were trained to lead and teach the Chronic Disease Self Management (CDSMP) program in Mobile, Baldwin and Escambia Counties. The program primarily targets older adults with any chronic disease.  This year the Area Agency on Aging was very pleased to have t wo retired SARPC employees as new volunteers who attended the training, Sheila Green and Jenny White. Pictured seated on far right is CDSMP Program Coordinator and Master Trainer, Carol Massey. Call Carol at 433-6541 for information on upcoming class or volunteer opportunities. Click HERE for report.

2019 Legacy Leadership Institute Graduates

The 2019 Legacy Leadership Institute graduated 22 new volunteers for the Area Agency on Aging on March 15, 2019. A partnership between SARPC and the University of South Alabama, this week-long model program is held annually in March for retired professionals who are placed in skilled volunteer roles with the Area Agency on Aging. Volunteers assignments include our State Health Insurance Program, Senior Medicare Fraud program, Long Term Care Ombudsman, Volunteer Guardian Program and A Matter of Balance and Chronic Disease Self Management evidence-based health promotion classes. 

1st row-L-R: Ruthie Ann Johnson, Dr. Ralph Sandler, Vera Ann McKissick, Mary Ann Campbell, Jill Sparks, Creola Jackson, Rosemary Carl Rivera, Betty Houston, Carol Edwards.
2nd row L-R: Patricia Perkins, Equilla Roberson, Judith Aronson, Joyce Fish, Carrie Dozier, Linda Friend-Knott, Julie McGee, Director, Area Agency on Aging.
3rd row L-R: Charles Smith, South Alabama RSVP Director, Karen Brown, McKay Neihl,Stephen Katz, Terry McCord, Nancy Barnes, Dr. Leo Mundy, Professor, University of South Alabama, Ann Dooms.

SARPC's Volunteer Guardian Program received Mobile Bar Foundation Grant

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