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

Now that Spring is officially here (don't tell that to those in the northeast) we realize that living in our Region is special! With so many economic development projects announced in our Region of late our quality of life is certainly enhanced as unemployment ratios decline. Your SARPC staff has been busy attending important functions in our Region and we recognize how fortunate we are to have such leadership on our Board of Directors. We thank you and all of the member governments that we serve for your leadership and support as we provide and deliver varied services and programs to Mobile, Baldwin and Escambia Counties.

John F. "Rickey" Rhodes

SARPC staff attending Gulf Coast RCND Annual Meeting.
Job Fair at Mobile Civic Center

US 45 Feasibility Study Update

SARPC staff has met with Volkert and CERM as the kick off and introductory meeting to the project; Notice To Proceed was given a couple of weeks ago. The study will have its own web site and will begin shortly as the stakeholders meeting has to be set. Public participation is important for this project, so we expect our stakeholders to be heavily involved.  Volkert and SARPC staff are currently compiling data for the project. SARPC, Volkert and CERM have finalized the Advisory Committee, and we are looking to have a meeting the week of April 16th; we will keep you posted with the progress of the Study.

SARPC Funds Two New Buses for AltaPointe

SARPC has received 2 small transit buses for AltaPointe through FTA 5310 Funds which. The buses were purchased using 80% Federal money.  The FTA 5310 Program provides financial assistance for transportation services planned, designed, and carried out to meet the special transportation needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities.

Executive Director Rickey Rhodes presenting AltaPointe with two new buses.

Transportation Improvement Program( TIP) Now Online

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

Comprehensive, Cooperative, and Continuing Agreement Concerning Mobile's Transportation Planning Process

The Mobile MPO 3-C Agreement has been finalized and executed.  HERE.


Coastal Zone Management Grant Applications
The Coastal Zone Management Grant Applications are due April 6, 2018. The grant is available to Mobile and Baldwin Counties. This is a 50/50 grant/match program. The match can be in the form of cash or in-kind or a combination of the two. The grant funds can be used for a variety of planning documents such as a comprehensive plan, stormwater management plan and zoning ordinance.

USDA Announces Funds Available for Rural Energy for America (REAP) Program. Disaster Areas Eligible. Apply by Apr 30.
The Rural Business-Cooperative Service within the Department of Agriculture has issued a Solicitation of Applications (NOSA) prior to passage of a final appropriations act to allow potential applicants time to submit applications for financial assistance under Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for Federal Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, and give the Agency time to process applications within the current fiscal year.

The REAP has two types of funding assistance: (1) Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Assistance, and (2) Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants. The Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Assistance provides grants and guaranteed loans to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements to their operations. Noted among the criteria for selection:
  • Projects owned by a veteran;
  • Projects owned by a member of a socially-disadvantaged group including Federally declared disaster areas;
  • The proposed project is located in an  impoverished area , has experienced long-term population decline, or loss of employment.
This NOSA is being issued prior to enactment of full year appropriation for 2018. The Agency will publish the amount of funding received in any continuing resolution or the final appropriations act on its Website.

The application closing date for this cycle is April 30. Application materials may be obtained by contacting one of Rural Development's Energy Coordinators, as identified via  HERE.  For more information, click  HERE.

USDA's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) Invites Applications for FY18 Community Connect Grants. Proposals Due May 14.

The purpose of the Community Connect Grant Program is to provide financial assistance in the form of grants to eligible applicants that will provide service at the Broadband Grant Speed to all premises in currently unserved, lower-income, and extremely rural areas. RUS will give priority to rural areas that demonstrate the greatest need for broadband services, based on defined criteria. The Agency will publish the amount of funding received in any continuing resolution or the final appropriations act on its  Website.

The deadline for proposals is May 14.  View announcement in Grants.gov at: RDRUS-CC-2018 or visit the March 15 FEDERAL REGISTER for complete background, eligible applicants, reference materials, specification of eligible/ineligible grant activities, and instructions for the submission of proposals. Click  HERE.

NSF Invites SBIR and STTR Applications to Fund R&D for Science and Technology Products. Proposals Due June 14.

The National Science Foundation's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs- 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. The funding is intended to allow recipients to bring innovative new products and services to market that drive the commercial success of the small business. 
The NSF STTR and SBIR programs seeks innovative proposals that show promise of commercial and societal impact. They invite the submission of proposals in almost any area of science and technology.
Further information about the program, including the webinar schedule, short videos, a step-by-step guide on how to submit a proposal, and a list of FAQs, is available at  seedfund.nsf.gov.

Federal Awards Announced:

Previously Announced 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 2018 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program
1890 Facilities Grants Program
FY 2018 - FY 2019 Pollution Prevention Grant Program
Desalination and Water Purification Research Program for Fiscal Year 2018
NOAA Coastal Resilience Grants Program (FY 2018)
Farmers Market Promotion Program
Local Food Promotion Program
Historic Preservation Fund Grants-in-Aid: Tribal Heritage Grants
FY 2018 FOA for DOD's Office of Naval Research (ONR) Manufacturing Engineering Education Program
Specialty Crop Block Grant Program - Farm Bill
Labor-Management Cooperation Grant Program
ROSES 2018: Earth Science Applications: Disaster Risk Reduction and Response


20th Annual Business Expo and Job Fair
To date, there are over 60 vendors signed up for the expo on May 10 from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. at The Grounds (Greater Gulf State Fairgrounds)
Partners are coming together to bring a full range of available jobs, training opportunities and education to assist the job seeker.
The Southwest Partnership for Training and Employment has arranged for their resource bus to be on site to provide the internet access to job openings. Free workshops will be available throughout the event time to train the job seeker in networking skills, resume development and interviewing skills.
Additionally, businesses are signing up to take advantage of over 2,000 consumers which will visit the booths. In the past business have reported they acquire more leads at this expo than any other trade shows.
For a list of vendors attending and more information visit sarpc.org.
We hope to see you there.

Mature Staffing Service

Our service takes the frustration and cost of releasing employees and finding qualified workers off of you and on to us. We are responsible for Worker Compensation costs, payroll taxes, and removing an employee who is just not a good fit.  Try it and see how easy it is.

Contact Shannon Raley at (251) 706-4639 or email her  HERE.

SAPA - South Alabama Purchasing Association

Do you are your staff get frustrated with the bidding process in trying to find the best price for supplies?  Here is some good news......  If your organization is a non-profit or a government entity, you will want to check out the savings the South Alabama Purchasing Association can provide.  SAPA has contracts with companies which provide:  fuel, office supplies, vehicle parts and batteries, asphalt, pine straw, hay, etc.

For more information call Wayne Smith at (251) 463-1271 or EMAIL.  You will be glad you did.


Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program

The Area Agency on Aging has assisted some 2,500 adults apply for the 2018 Alabama Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program since January. The program provides local seniors with vouchers for free locally grown produce at markets located throughout Mobile, Baldwin, and Escambia counties.

Applications must be submitted  HERE  and SARPC's Aging and Disability Resource Center will complete these for seniors who do not use online services.

Social Work Month in March Looks at Vital Role of Social Workers in Improving our Society

The South Alabama Regional Planning Commission is celebrating Social Work Month by honoring its professional Social Work Staff in March. The 2018 theme "Social Workers: Leaders. Advocates. Champions" is designed to inform the public and legislators about the crucial role social workers for generations have played in improving the well-being of people and helping our nation become a better place to live. For instance, social workers such as social reformer Jane Addams, former Labor Secretary Frances Perkins, and civil rights leaders Dorothy Height and Whitney Young have helped Americans secure voting rights, Social Security, unemployment insurance, and other programs. At SARPC licensed social workers lead the Area Agency on Aging, its Caregiver program, its Aging and Disability Resource Center, its Volunteer Guardian Program and support our seniors and the disabled through the Elderly and Disabled Medicaid Waiver Program.

Social work is a fast-growing profession with more than 680,000 social work professionals in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Clinical social workers are the largest group of mental health providers in the United States and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is one of the biggest employers of social workers with a master's degree. Social workers are trained to look at situations in a holistic way, helping bring together people and communities to find ways to address pressing individual, group and societal issues such as hunger, affordable housing, equal rights for all and making organizations and government accountable. Social workers also follow the NASW Code of Ethics, which calls on members of the profession to enhance human well-being and meet the basic needs of all people, with particular attention on the needs and empowerment of those who are vulnerable, oppressed or living in poverty. During March, take the time to thank social workers for their contributions in improving the quality of life for all our citizens.

May is Older Americans Month

Across the country, older Americans - a rapidly growing population - are taking part in activities that promote wellness and social connection. They are sharing their wisdom and experience with future generations, and they are giving back to enrich their communities. They're working and volunteering, mentoring and learning, leading and engaging.

For 55 years, Older Americans Month (OAM) has been observed to recognize older Americans and their contributions to our communities. Led by the Administration for Community Living's Administration on Aging, every May offers opportunity to hear from, support, and celebrate our nation's elders. This year's OAM theme, "Engage at Every Age," emphasizes the importance of being active and involved, no matter where or when you are in life. You are never too old (or too young) to participate in activities that can enrich your physical, mental, and emotion well-being.
It is becoming more apparent that remaining socially engaged can improve the quality of life for older adults. The South Alabama Regional Planning Commission will use OAM 2018 to focus on how older adults in our area are engaging with friends and family, and through various community activities. Throughout the month, the South Alabama Regional Planning Commission's Area Agency on Aging will help sponsor local OAA celebrations in the region, with the senior nutrition centers joining for countywide events on May 1st at the Bayou La Batre Community Center, May 24th at the Brewton Civic Center, and on May 25th at the Baldwin County Coliseum. These events will feature a day of fun and activities and a picnic style lunch.  We encourage you to get involved by hosting an Older American Month celebration or making an OAA proclamation in your community.
And, join the U.S. Administration on Community Living and the Administration on Aging in celebrating by participating the Selfie Challenge! They want to see how you're engaging. Simply take a selfie (or have someone take your photo) and tweet it with the hashtag #OAM18.
For more information:
Follow ACL on Twitter and Facebook
Follow AoA on Twitter and  Facebook

Contact your Area Agency on Aging: Visit  HERE, 251-706-4680, or Facebook @agingsouthalaama

Be Ready Caregivers!

The Area Agency on Aging is holding "Be Ready Caregiver" workshops  through May to train caregivers in how to prepare for an emergency or disaster. A "grab and go" disaster kit/duffle bag will be provided for those participating in the workshop, while supplies last. Funding is provided through the Alabama Department of Senior Services and the Alabama Department of Public Health.  For information contact Della Sanchezat 251-706-4650 or EMAIL.

2018 Legacy Leadership Institute Held March 12-16

2018 Legacy Leadership Institute on graduation day March 16. Pictured are  William Benbow, Charles Smith, Don Wheater, Dawne Biggs, Craig Shay, Debbie Boelte, Belinda Harris, Vera Davis, Frances Williams,  Bertha Johnson, Patricia Chastain, Dannie Anderson, Lillian Cockrell, Lozeli Coates, Alice Burroughs, Rubye Dreading, Willies Dreading,  Maria Johnson, Dorothy Williams, Francetta Threatt, Ivan Boatwright, Jr., Robert Durling, Diana Durling, Dr. Leo Mundy, Freda Mabry, Joyce Lundy. (insert names). Charles Smith and Dawne Biggs are with the Area Agency on Aging's RSVP program.

Graduation was held on March 16 for the 25 volunteers who participated in the Area Agency on Aging's 2018 Legacy Leadership Institute.  This one week program held on the campus of the University of South Alabama utilizes faculty and visiting speakers to educate attendees on aging issues and impactful volunteering.  It is designed to help retired professionals and baby boomers find their niche in the world of volunteering among opportunities at the Area Agency on Aging and in their communities  For information contact Charles Smith at 251-236-3881 or  EMAIL.

Upcoming Events
Living Well Classes:  Prichard Municipal Complex beginning April 19, and Corpus Christi Parish beginning May4   
A Matter of Balance Classes:  Baptist Oaks beginning April 4
Gulf Coast Masters Games will be held from April 25 to July 12th.  Upcoming games will be held April 25 at the Via! Center in Mobile; May 10th at the Orange Beach Senior Center; and May 24th at the City of Mobile Adult Center

Parkinson's Moving Day

Team "Happy Feet" from the Area Agency on Aging will be participating in the upcoming Parkinson's Moving Day Walk.  To join our team or make a donation, contact Della Sanchez at 251-706-4650.

Crawfish For a Cause

The Blake's 2ND Annual Crawfish Boil, held on March 15th, benefited the Area Agency on Aging's Dementia Friendly Churches initiative and raised $750.00.    Beth Reinert, a Legacy Leadership Institute graduate of the Area Agency on Aging, gives generously of her volunteer time to lead the Dementia Friendly Alabama project in Mobile County.  For information contact Della Sanchez at the Area Agency on Aging at 251-706-4650 or EMAIL.

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