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

Most of us in the SARPC region are counting our blessings and thankful that we received minimal effects from sub-tropical or tropical storm Alberto. We never know when disasters will strike so it's important that as a region we all work together to stategically plan and to be as preparred as possible. Your SARPC staff stays attuned to Federal, State, County, and Municipal notices, events, opportunities, and challenges to be in position to better serve our citizens. Have a great and safe Summer!!!!!

John F. "Rickey" Rhodes

SARPC staff attending Mobile Chamber's State of the City/County luncheon.

Dearborn YMCA Annual Luncheon.

Former Executive Director Russell Wimberly receives SARPC Recognition.


Mobile MPO Updates

On Wednesday, the Mobile MPO met and adopted several resolutions.  There was a resolution adopting the WAVE Transit's Targets and Performance Measures as per the FAST ACT, as well as the agreement between the Mobile MPO and ALDOT concerning all other  Performance Measures and Targets for Safety, System Performance and Freight, and Bridge and Pavement Condition. 

US 45 Feasibility Study Update

The next meeting is tonight, May 30th, at the Toulminville Library,  from 5:00PM to 6:00PM.  Last week MPO staff, Volkert and CERM met with the City of Prichard City Council at Prichard City Hall. It was a very informative meeting and we gained some insight into the needs of the project.
The Advisory Committee kick off meeting was held April 17th at the GM&O Building. The project consultants Volkert and CERM gave a short presentation on the goals of the project to a selected list of stakeholders that make up the Advisory Committee. There was a discussion about project expectations and public involvement at the meeting.  If you are interested in serving on the Advisory Committee, please contact Kevin Harrison.

Freight Data

The Mobile MPO has been trying to update its freight plan as an element to the Long Range Transportation Plan. We purchased data from INRIX to give a snap shot of where trucks are coming from and going to. In the travel demand modeling world, this is an important piece of information.  To help validate the truck data, we are working with APM Terminals to try and nail down where the container trucks are coming from and going to.  One day a quarter, APM Terminal will have on-board tablets for drivers to answer a series of questions in terms of where they came from, where is their return trip, if they came in from outside of Mobile County, which direction did they come from, etc; the data is exciting and interesting.  Below is a flow map from the survey data in terms of container trucks going to the container terminal at Choctaw Point. Click  HERE for the survey results.

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.


Funding & Resource Announcements

Disaster Recovery - EDA Announces $587M in Supplemental Funding for Recovery from Major Disasters of 2017

EDA has issued a NOFO (EDA-2018-DISASTER) inviting applications for $587 million in grants available to eligible entities to address economic challenges in disaster-impacted areas. These grants will support disaster recovery activities in areas receiving a major disaster designation as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and wildfires and other 2017 natural disasters. EDA disaster grants will be made by regional offices under the Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program, which can support a wide range of construction and non-construction activities. Through this program, EDA can support disaster recovery planning strategies as well as the implementation of disaster recovery projects. Projects, among other things, must have a nexus to applicable disaster recovery and resilience efforts and be consistent with at least one of the  DOC Disaster Recovery Investment Priorities. EDA plans to accept proposals on a rolling basis until all funds are obligated.

For more information, please contact Diane Burnett at dburnett@sarpc.org
New Solar Industry Technologies and Workforce - Department of Energy Announced up to $105.5M to Support Solar Technology
Under the Department of Energy's (DOE's) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO), DOE will fund about 70 projects to advance both solar photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar thermal power (CSP) technologies, as well as facilitate the secure integration of those technologies into the nation's electricity grid. Funding will also support efforts that prepare the workforce for the solar industry's future needs. Work funded by this topic will include initiatives focused on increasing the pipeline of skilled workers, including veterans, in the regions of the US where they are most needed by the solar industry.
The funding announcement can be found HERE .

Further background information on these issues can be found HERE.
New Job Creation and Business Development - HHS Announces Funding under the Community Economic Development Grant Program. Apply by June 15
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Community Services (OCS) will award approximately $17.2 million in Community Economic Development (CED) discretionary grant funds to Community Development Corporations (CDC) for well-planned, financially viable, and innovative projects to enhance job creation and business development for individuals with low income. 

CED grants will be made as part of a broader strategy to address objectives such as decreasing dependency on federal programs, chronic unemployment, and community deterioration in urban and rural areas.  CED projects are expected to actively recruit individuals with low income to fill the positions created by CED-funded development activities, to assist those individuals to successfully hold those jobs and to ensure that the businesses and jobs created remain viable for at least one year after the end of the grant period.  CED-funded projects can be non-construction or construction projects, however, short-term construction jobs associated with preparing for business startup or expansion are not counted when determining the number of jobs created under the CED program as they are designed to be temporary in nature. Applications are due by June 15.
NEW Alternative Energy: USDA Announces Availability of Resources for Renewal Biomass Refineries; Apply by July 19
The Rural Business-Cooperative Service within the Department of Agriculture had identified up to $5 million to encourage the use of renewable biomass as a replacement fuel source for fossil fuels used to provide process heat or power in the operation of eligible bio-refineries. To be eligible for payments, bio-refineries must have been in existence on or before June 18, 2008. The agency encourages applications that will support recommendations made in the  Rural Prosperity Task Force report to help improve life in rural America.
Applications will be accepted from April 20, 2018 through July 19, 2018.  Apply  HERE .

Water Infrastructure - EPA Credit Assistance for Regional Water Projects. Submit LOI by Jul 6

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of funding that could provide as much as $5.5 billion in loans through the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program. The WIFIA program is a federal loan and guarantee program at EPA that aims to accelerate investment in the nation's water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental loans for regionally and nationally significant projects.
Prospective borrowers seeking WIFIA credit assistance must submit a letter of interest (LOI) by July 6, 2018. For more information about WIFIA and this funding announcement, visit  HERE.
Rural Broadband Loans - USDA Rural Broadband Access Loans and Loan Guarantees Program

USDA's Rural Utilities Service is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2018 for the Rural Broadband Access Loans and Loan Guarantees Program (the Broadband Program). Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis throughout FY 2018. Applications can only be submitted online through the RD Apply  HERE through  September 30, 2018.

Full background can be found  HERE.
Grants for New Product R&D - NSF Funds Small Business R&D for Science and Technology Products. Apply by June 14
The National Science Foundation's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs seek innovative proposals that show promise of commercial and societal impact. Further information about the program is available at  seedfund.nsf.gov.

Rural Capacity Building - USDA Funding Available for FY2018 Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI). Apply by June 25
Qualified private, nonprofit and public including tribal intermediary organizations proposing to carry out financial and technical assistance programs will be eligible to receive the funding. The Intermediary will be required to provide matching funds in an amount at least equal to the RCDI grant. The respective minimum and maximum grant amount per Intermediary is $50,000 and $250,000. The Intermediary must provide a program of financial and technical assistance to recipients to develop their capacity and ability to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development that will support the community. 

Applicants are encouraged to consider projects that provide measurable results in helping rural communities build robust and sustainable economies through strategic investments in infrastructure,  partnerships, and innovation.

Key strategies include:
  •  Achieving e-Connectivity for Rural America
  •  Developing the Rural Economy
  •  Harnessing Technological Innovation
  •  Supporting a Rural Workforce
  •  Improving Quality of Life
Link to Notice in Federal Register

Business Development for Distressed Areas - SBA Invites SBDCs to Apply for 2018 PORTABLE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM FY 2018. Due June 8

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY NO. OSBDC-2018-06   The purpose of this Funding Opportunity is to invite proposals for funding from entities currently funded by SBA as a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Lead Center. Through this program, SBA seeks to fund SBDC Lead Centers serving economically distressed areas. Projects must provide technical assistance and/or training services to small businesses in communities that are economically impacted as a result of a recent business or government facility downsizing or closing, known as a "Qualifying Event." The Qualifying Event(s) must demonstrate negative impacts of job losses or small business instability in the SBDC Service Area. The goals and objectives of a successful application must demonstrate an increase in small business success and viability through such measures as job creation and retention, increases in sales, business starts, and capital infusion. SBA is particularly interested in collaborative efforts (community, regional, statewide, industry sector, etc.) that may serve as best practices and models of such small business assistance. Applicants are encouraged to design and develop innovative programs and services to address the purpose of this Project.
Each proposal must describe recent, serious economic conditions resulting from diminished business or government operations within a discrete area served by an SBDC network. Proposals must include detailed plans to deliver technical assistance to the affected area with corresponding objectives and milestones to be accomplished. Only applications from SBDC Lead Centers will be considered for funding. Opening Date: April 24, 2018 Closing Date: June 8, 2018. Visit the announcement on Gants.gov for application packet and additional guidance.
E-Training for HazMat Workers - NIH Seeks SBIR Applicants for New Product/Tool Development. Apply by July 31
RFA-ES-18-006: This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) encourages Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant applications from small business concerns (SBCs) that propose to further the development of Advanced Technology Training (ATT) products for the health and safety training of hazardous materials (HAZMAT) workers; skilled support personnel; emergency responders in biosafety response, infectious disease training and cleanup; emergency responders in disasters and resiliency training; and for ATT tools to assist in research into the acute and long-term health effects of environmental disasters. ATT as defined by the Worker Training Program (WTP) includes, but is not limited to, online training, virtual reality, and serious gaming, which complement all aspects of training from development to evaluation including advance technologies that enhance, supplement, improve, and provide health and safety training for hazardous materials workers. The major objective of the NIEHS WTP is to prevent work related harm by assisting in the training of workers in how best to protect themselves and their communities from exposure to hazardous materials. The financial support for this initiative comes directly from NIEHS Worker Education and Training Branch SBIR funds. Apply by July 31.

Grants for New Product R&D - NSF Funds Small Business R&D for Science and Technology Products. Apply by June 14
The National Science Foundation's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs seek innovative proposals that show promise of commercial and societal impact. Information on science and technology topics of interest is available  here). Further information about the program is available at  seedfund.nsf.gov.
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
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Grant Program
Desalination and Water Purification Research Program for Fiscal Year 2018
State Trade Expansion Program (STEP)
Reentry Projects (RP)
Local Food Promotion Program
Farmers Market Promotion Program
NOAA Coastal Resilience Grants Program (FY 2018)
Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Program (HVRP), including Incarcerated Veterans Transition, Homeless Female Veterans and Homeless Veterans with Families
Historic Preservation Fund Grants-in-Aid: Tribal Heritage Grants
Community Connect Grant Program
State Occupational Licensing Review and Reform
FY 2018 FOA for DOD's Office of Naval Research (ONR) Manufacturing Engineering Education Program
Special Research Grants Program - Aquaculture Research
Specialty Crop Block Grant Program - Farm Bill
NRCS' Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) for FY 2018 - Caribbean Area
Labor-Management Cooperation Grant Program
Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program
Food Safety Outreach Competitive Grant Program 2018
ROSES 2018: Earth Science Applications: Disaster Risk Reduction and Response
Industry Partnerships for Cybersecurity of Energy Delivery Systems (CEDS) Research, Development and Demonstration
Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Education and Human Resources

Public Meetings, Events and Training 

SARPC hosts a 2020 Census Workshop

On May 9, 2018, Vicki Mack, PH.D. a Partnership Specialist from the Atlanta Regional Office of the U.S. Census Bureau conducted a workshop and provided information about forming Complete Count Committees.

Those in attendance learned about forming Complete Count Committee (CCC) and understanding the value of the census and the importance of an accurate count in their community.
NEW Census Bureau Releases 2016 County Business Patterns

The newly released 2016 County Business Patterns (CBP), provides detailed annual information on the number of establishments, first quarter employment, and first quarter and annual payroll at the national, state, metropolitan area, county and congressional district levels for nearly 1,200 industries defined by the North American Industry Classification System ( NAICS ).

Highlights include:
  • The number of all establishments rose 1.2 percent from 7,663,938 in 2015 to 7,759,807 in 2016.
  • The largest employment gains in Construction occurred in California (36,817), Florida (33,463) and New York (27,662).
  • The greatest number of employees was in Health Care and Social Assistance (NAICS 62), which rose 2.7 percent to 19.7 million employees working at 890,519 establishments in 2016.
  • Food Services and Drinking Places, (NAICS 722) had the largest increase in first quarter employment with an increase of 4.2 percent from 11,164,851 in 2015 to 11,636,640 in 2016.
  • The largest percentage increases in first quarter employment among states occurred in Florida (5.0 percent) and Arizona (3.7 percent).
CBP data can be accessed using multiple tools available via the Census Bureau's website, including American FactFinder , QuickFacts , Census Business Builder and My Congressional District .


Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)

During the Senior Community Service Employment Program's quarterly meeting, participants were assisted with Human Resource students to familiarize them with interview questions and professional soft skills. The students presented an ineffective interview and then presented an effective interview. Afterwards, each SCSEP participant was interviewed by a Human Resource student. This process benefits the participants by giving them an idea of what to expect and how they can improve their skills to make them more marketable in their job search.

Additionally, the participants gave Shelia congratulations on her retirement. This was Ms. Green's last meeting with the group.

20th Annual Business Expo and Job Fair

The 20th Annual Business Expo and Job Fair was a big success due to the support of sponsors and vendors. The event drew 101 businesses. Vendors reported their approval of the quality of job seekers attending.
In addition to vendors inside the event, there were four business vehicles on site. Cintas showcased their rolling store which contained boots, shoes and shirts.

The gentleman pictured at the entrance to the Cintas vehicle is the Manager of the office of Small Business Advocacy with the Alabama Department of Commerce. They were a Gold Sponsor for the event.

Also, the Alabama Career Center's bus was on site which contained laptops for individuals to apply for jobs online. For example, if a job seeker spoke with a recruiter at a booth inside the event and was instructed to place their application online. The job seeker would step outside the event, enter the bus and place their application before ever leaving the event. Not only is this a time saving process, but it also is beneficial to those who may not have access to a computer.

Schneider trucking placed one of their typical rigs in front of the entrance to the event as well as the Veterans cab.

Schneider was chosen from trucking businesses nationwide to have the customized veteran's design made and place on one of their cabs. Each year a different design is made and a prominent company is chosen to promote this honor to all those who have served and for all who have given their lives for our freedom.
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 or 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.

Volunteer Guardians Visit Mobile Probate Court

Volunteer Guardians of Mobile County met with Probate Judge Don Davis and his staff on March 29 th . After an informative and historical overview of the Volunteer Guardian Program, Judge Davis held a lively "Questions and Answers" dialogue with the guardians. This unique program is the only one of its kind in Alabama and is a partnership between the Area Agency on Aging and the Mobile County Probate Court.

Thank you Mobile County Volunteer Guardian for your service! Pictured from L to R Mrs. LaVeral Graf, The Honorable Judge Don Davis, Mrs. Catherine Smalls, Mr. Bill Luc, Ms.  Tracey Wilson Goens , Ms.  Carol Robbins , Ms.  Malia McGaha , Mrs. Martha Mareno, Mr. Paul Uffman, Mrs. Teresa Bedford, Mr.  James Alter , Mr. Bill Finegan and Ms. Darla Dean, VG Coordinator.

A Matter of Balance Class

Bobbie Ragler, (L) volunteer instructor, pictured with  A Matter of Balance  class graduates at Baptist Oaks senior apartments in Mobile on May 24, 2018.

Gulf Coast Masters Games held April 25 to May 24th

The Gulf Coast Masters Games kicked off at the Via! Center in Mobile on April 25 th with horseshoes, softball throw, nerf and Frisbee toss, basketball throw and billiards, followed by Orange Beach on May 10 and at the City of Mobile's Adult Activity Center on May 24 th . Games continue through July 12 th. Games include bowling, shuffleboard, table tennis, checkers, dominoes, doubles dominoes. Local champions will compete at the Alabama Masters Games in Valley, AL in October.

South Alabama RSVP honors it volunteers with events

On May 16th  Escambia County volunteers were honored at an appreciation luncheon held at Southern Pine Electric Cooperative in Brewton. The Brewton Garden Club gave a presentation on their beautification efforts in Brewton.   The  Baldwin County RSVP volunteer appreciation event was held on May 23 rd at the Daphne City Hall, with Mayor Dane Haygood as speaker.

Volunteers received certificates of appreciation and gifts to thank them for their contributions to their local communities.

Escambia RSVP Volunteers:  Kim Johnson, Barbara Poole Harris, Merry Jo Graham, Donna Vile, Alex Worede, Cynthia Elmore, Bonnie Matson, Sara Stallworth, and Charles Smith - RSVP Coordinator.

Baldwin RSVP Volunteers:  Idell Shivers, Jeanette Ciancetta, Mary Coats, Faye Craig, Cre Newton, Bill Biggs, Debbie Boelte, Craig Shay, Rebecca LaNasa, Cecelia Runderson, Christine Greene, Wanda Reetz, Roger Reetz, Mary Goodlin, Dr. Bobbie Ragler, Don Wheater, Vivian Silliman, Mayor Dane Haygood, Vickie Hinman-HR Director, Jane Ellis-Advisory Council, Dawn Young-Advisory Council, Judy Horsey-Advisor Council, Dawne Biggs-RSVP Baldwin Coordinator, Charles Smith-RSVP Project Director.

Older Americans Month Celebrations

May is Older Americans Month with the 2018 national theme being "Engage at Every Age." This theme brings attention to the important of activities that promote wellness and social connection, such as participation in local senior centers. South Alabama celebrations included good food, fellowship, games, dancing, singing, and prizes. These events were attended by 700 South Alabama seniors, and were held in Mobile County on May 1 st at the Bayou la Batre Community Center for Mobile's 17 senior nutrition centers; at the Brewton Civic Center on May 24 th sponsored by the Escambia County Council on Aging for its 4 senior nutrition centers; and on May 25 th at the Baldwin County Coliseum, sponsored by the Baldwin County Council on Aging, for the 6 nutrition centers and other local senior centers in the County.

May 1, 2018 - Mobile County Older Americans Month lunch.

May 24, 2018 - Escambia County Older Americans Month lunch - seniors line dancing.

May 25, 2018 - Baldwin County Older Americans Month lunch.

On May 8 th Councilwoman Bess Rich and City of Mobile presented an Older Americans Month proclamation to acknowledge the 10 senior centers serving older adults in the City of Mobile Community. (10 senior centers: Connie Hudson Mobile Regional Senior Community Center, Dearborn Street YMCA, Dumas Wesley, Providence, Tillman's Corner, Hillsdale SAIL Center, Thomas Sullivan SAIL Center, Trinity Gardens SAIL Center, Parkway SAIL Center and Via! Health, Fitness & Enrichment Center) Pictured with the proclamation are Carl Lewis of the Connie Hudson Center, Neda Arnold from the Thomas Sullivan Senior Center, Ashley Nicole Flowers, Director of the Connie Hudson Center, and Susan Broadhead, SARPC's Nutrition Coordinator.
Upcoming Events

Caregiver College

June 13 from 8:30 to 4:00 PM at Cottage Hill Baptist Church. Call Della Sanchez at 706-4650 for information.
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is June 15

Each year, an estimated 5 million older adults are abused, neglected, or exploited. Older Americans lose an estimated $2.6 billion or more annually due to elder financial abuse and exploitation, funds that could be used to pay for basic needs such as housing, food, and medical care. Unfortunately, it occurs in every demographic and can happen to anyone-a family member, a neighbor, even you. It is estimated that only one in five of these crimes are discovered.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) was launched on June 15, 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations (UN). WEAAD aims to provide an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic, and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect. In addition, WEAAD is held in support of the UN International Plan of Action acknowledging the significance of elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue. This observance serves as a call-to-action for individuals, organizations, and communities to raise awareness about elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

Access  the latest World Elder Abuse Awareness Day campaign materials available from the  USC Center on Elder Mistreatment. Logos, web banners, stationary templates, sample press releases, and more are available.

Please contact the National Center on Elder Abuse at 1-855-500-3537 or  ncea-info@aoa.hhs.gov with any questions. 

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