Creating Regional Solutions Since 1971
January 2021
News
State Curfew In Effect to Curb COVID

A "Modified Stay at Home Order" requiring people to stay home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. is in effect. It's the latest executive order from Gov. Roy Cooper as state health officials chart new high records in COVID-19 hospitalizations and the nation watches the movement on vaccine availability. The new EO means restaurants, bars, entertainment establishments, personal care businesses and more will have to close by 10 p.m., but it will be permissible to travel to and from work, get food and fuel, access medical care and social services, and take care of family. Anticipating various questions about the new order, the governor's office has prepared a FAQ. “We already have strong safety protocols and capacity limitations in place – including a statewide mask requirement. With this additional action beginning Friday, we hope to get these numbers down,” Governor Cooper said in a press release.
The Census Bureau has launched a new tool — the COVID-19 Data Hub — designed to help guide the nation as it begins recovery efforts from the sweeping COVID-19 pandemic by providing economic and demographic data.

Seven Rules of Zoom Meeting Etiquette From the Pros

Video-meeting apps have grown up—now users need to, too.

Zoom saw daily meeting participants soar to a peak of 300 million in the latest quarter, up from 10 million before the pandemic. Roughly two-thirds of U.S. workers who have been working from home would prefer to continue working remotely as much as possible when pandemic restrictions lift, according to a recent Gallup poll.

So it’s time to get serious about video meetings. No more dogs and cats; no more avatar stand-ins. It’s time to enter a remote meeting as if it were a conference room. Here are a few rules from the pros.
Funding/Grants
EDA Invites Applications for Economic Development Grant Opportunities
The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) invites applicants to submit applications under its Public Works program and Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) programs. Through these programs, EDA invites applications to request grant assistance for clearly defined construction or non-construction assistance projects that will advance job creation, job retention and private investment or enhance economic development decision-making, respectfully. 

Through EDA’s grant programs construction may support the construction of new public assets or the renovation of existing public assets, which include but are not limited to water/sewer lines, tanks, systems, pumps; incubators; access roads; workforce training facilities; commercialization centers; port improvements; and other similar projects.  EDA’s non-construction projects can support a wide array of activities, including highest and best use analysis, cluster and supply chain mapping studies, and regional technical assistance projects. Matching share funds are required and must be committed at the time of the project and for the same scope of work. For Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Programs the match is generally 50 percent, although communities may qualify for a higher grant rate. To learn more and to discuss potential projects, please contact Hillary Sherman at hsherman@eda.gov

To access the funding notice and application forms, please go to: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=321695
Interested an EV charging station at your site?
 
VW Settlement Level 2 Charge Rebate Program RFP available
 
Applications Accepted Starting Jan. 25th until funds are exhausted
 
  
On November 17, 2020, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NC DEQ) released the Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Level 2 ZEV Infrastructure Rebate Program under the Volkswagen Diesel Settlement Environmental Mitigation Trust. This RFP for the Level 2 ZEV Charging Infrastructure Program will assist interested parties in applying for funds using a first-come, first-served rebate process to install ZEV Level 2 charging infrastructure, as described in the North Carolina VW Mitigation Plan until all funds are exhausted. The primary goal is to increase use of ZEVs in place of gas-powered cars to mitigate nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and greenhouse gas emissions in the state. 
 
A second question and answer webinar will be held from 1pm – 2:30pm on January 13, 2021, for interested stakeholders and applicants. During this webinar, staff will answer questions regarding requesting new user access the DAQ Grants Management System, the Request for Proposals, Level 2 application, and required documentation.
 
NCDEQ anticipates awarding a total of approximately $1.1 million towards Level 2 charging infrastructure projects in Phase 1. Rebate applications will be prioritized by the urban-suburban/rural split described in the NC VW Mitigation Plan, with about 68% of the funds allocated for urban and suburban counties, and a minimum of 32% allocated for rural counties.
 
You may register from the link on the Level 2 Program webpage or here.
 
For additional information and documents regarding the RFP, please visit: https://deq.nc.gov/volkswagen-settlement/level-2. The recording of the Applicant Level 2 Webinar held on December 11, 2020, is now viewable on our webpage in the Workshop Documents tab.
Small Businesses Encouraged to
Apply for Grant
The city of Rocky Mount invites all interested and eligible small businesses with 25 or fewer employees, based in the city of Rocky Mount, to apply for CARES Act Community Development Block Grant (CDBG-CV) funding to assist in the preparation, prevention and response to coronavirus.

Innovations to Transform the Direct Support Professionals Workforce
 
The direct support professions (DSP) workforce is essential in ensuring individuals with ID/DD have the support they need to live independently in their communities. However, home and community-based service providers are seeing a shortage in the DSP workforce. The Administration for Community Living (ACL) is seeking innovative solutions to address this shortage, with the goal of encourage the development of inventive business models to help stabilize the DSP labor market.

This prize competition includes three phases, with cash prizes awarded to winners for each phase.
 
Submissions must be received by Friday, February 12, 2021.
2021 ACL Funding Opportunity Announcements
All opportunities close Tuesday, February 2, 2021.
Chronic Disease Self-Management Education (CDSME)
Evidence-Based Falls Prevention

Empowering Communities to Reduce Falls and Falls Risk (HHS-2021-ACL-AOA-FPSG-0015). This opportunity aims to help communities reduce falls and/or falls risk among older adults and adults with disabilities through the implementation of evidence-based programs.
GENYOUth COVID-19 Emergency School Nutrition Funding

GENYOUth is providing grants up to $3,000 per school for meal distribution and delivery efforts. Schools participating in the National School Lunch Program can apply to cover a range of resources including equipment for individual servings and protective gear for food service sanitation and safety. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. For more information, click here.

Emergency Meal Distribution Equipment Grants

Action for Healthy Kids is providing select school districts with equipment credits for $1,000 - $2,000 per site to purchase equipment to ensure kids are fed during school closures and during the summer. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. For more information, click here.

RWJF Pioneering Ideas: Exploring the Future to Build a Culture of Health

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is accepting proposals to influence health equity within four areas of focus: Future of Evidence, Future of Social Interaction, Future of Food, and Future of Work. RWJF is seeking perspectives that could alter the trajectory of health by helping to support unconventional approaches and breakthrough ideas where everyone in the United States can live their healthiest life possible. Proposals are accepted on a rolling basis. For more information, click here.
 
USDA ERS 25 Years of Food Security Measurement: Request for Proposals

To mark the 25th anniversary of U.S. household food security measurement, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (USDA ERS) will fund a suite of competitive grants on food security measurement methods, data, and future research needs. This Request for Proposals invites proposals for research projects funded up to $50,000 (primarily small projects using secondary data or reviews of the existing research literature) and up to $100,000 (larger projects including primary data collection and new analysis). For more information, click here. 
Planning and Development
This January, Farm to School to Healthcare is presenting a virtual Youth Food Summit for youth and adults who are engaged in agriculture, food access and/or food justice activities. The purpose of the summit is to create a platform to uplift the work of youth from across northeastern NC and to educate adult partners about best practices for working alongside youth. If you are interested in joining us, the Youth Food Summit will be on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 18th, from 10:00am – 2:30pm.

Please share widely with both youth and adult partners!
This is not your fault. It is not your fault that you made a decision to live a rural county that your family is from; and that you all live here, this is not on you. This is on a set of failures, a failure that we don’t have enough competition coming in to make sure you have fast enough internet that exists here. This is not your fault.” 

These are the words of Arlane Gordon-Bray, I-zone Community Engagement and Industry Partner for the Edgecombe Public Schools and the person in charge of just one out of the 19 BAND-NC Digital Inclusion awards given out this summer as part of a program developed by NC State’s Institute for Emerging Issues and its partner sponsors.

Click here to join Chris Mitchell from the Institute for Local Reliance for a podcast which illuminates how IEI and its partners are implementing the goal of all 100 counties in North Carolina developing digital inclusion plans, $5,000 awards at a time. Speakers include Maggie Woods, Policy Program Manager at the Institute of Emerging Issues (IEI), from NC State, Amy Hoffman, Digital Inclusion and Policy Manager at the Broadband Internet Office within the NC Department of Information Technology, and Arlane Gordon-Bray.

As another BAND-NC grant recipient, UCPCOG is currently engaged in a region-wide digital inclusion planning effort, engaging digital inclusion stakeholders in all 5 counties. For more information the regional digital inclusion plan, contact Ben Farmer. 
10 ways government leaders can reduce costs

Governments have been front and center in fighting against the pandemic, creating new fiscal pressures. Now is the ideal time to leverage your government facilities to reduce costs and recapture lost revenue. Learn how to transform your real estate portfolio to position your organization for long-term savings.
WorkForce Development
To help local North Carolina communities develop action plans grounded in data, myFutureNC partnered with Carolina Demography to create and publish myFutureNC County Attainment Profiles that highlight their educational attainment levels and performance on key myFutureNC metrics. The county profiles are intended to facilitate decision-making on local priorities to increase educational attainment by highlighting county and regional performance and specific opportunities for improvement.
 

The ncIMPACT Initiative issued a report that profiles 10 efforts—which we refer to as “Bright Spots”—that demonstrate how local communities are working to increase educational attainment in North Carolina.
 
Visit this link on our website to learn more: 

Thank you to the Career Center Manager of Roanoke Rapids, Taylor Hawkins, for heading up the food drive in the Halifax County area to help families this season. What a wonderful gesture in the TP Region this season! Kudos to the Career Center staff for those donations.
AGING
How COVID-19 Will Change Aging and Retirement

Among other things, expect more aging in place and a wave of innovation to help make that happen


As the pandemic wreaks havoc on our mental and physical health, it is also quietly reshaping how Americans will face retirement and old age in the years to come.

The virus is bringing sweeping change, mainly by “accelerating developments already under way,” says physician and entrepreneur Bill Thomas. For example, “isolation of older people has long been a problem, but Covid is focusing attention on the issue and adding urgency” to address it.

Some changes in store will be stressful. Rising government deficits and falling bond yields are creating so much uncertainty about financing retirement that most people who can continue to work will—and for as long as possible, says Laura Carstensen, director of Stanford University’s Center on Longevity.

“It’s going to make people rethink retirement altogether,” she says.


Operation Food Search of St. Louis, MO is making the business case for food as medicine. After a successful one-year pilot, results showed significant improvement in food security as well as a lower rate of early births and low birth weight, both resulting in savings for the St. Louis Medicaid population. Read more about this program and the three-year randomized, controlled study that begins in 2021 here. The onset of COVID-19 put the “Full Cart” program into high gear for the organization Feeding Children Everywhere. The program operates as a virtual foodbank, with a high level of customer service, discreetly shipping food to food insecure families across the country. Partnering with other organizations to address the root causes of hunger is a part of the organization’s mission. Read more about this work here.
Workshops/Webinars
Essentials of County Government

Click HERE to register for Essentials of County Government!  
 
The UNC-Chapel Hill School of Government and the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners have partnered to offer newly-elected county commissioners a crash course on the essentials of county government. In this course, we will introduce newly-elected commissioners to the basic functions of county government and the role of the governing board. In short, we are here to help you successfully transition from campaigning to governing.  
 
What to Expect:

This year we will be conducting the course virtually and will be exploring three themes, one per month. For each theme, participants will be expected to complete 30-60 minutes of pre-work, followed by a 3-4 hour live, interactive session on Zoom. At the conclusion of each session, commissioners will have the opportunity to “ask the expert” to learn more about specific topics of interest. Take a look at the agenda for the live Zoom sessions HERE.
 
When Can You Take The Class?  

Track 2 Live Session Dates/Times:
  • January 22, 2021, 9:00am-1:00pm - County Government: Roles and Responsibilities
  • February 25, 2021, 9:00am-12:30pm - Budgets, Fiduciary Duty, & Financial Condition
  • March 23, 2021, 9:00am-1:00pm - Ethics, Conflicts of Interest, and Open Government

For more information about the program, click HERE.  
NC Broadband Matters Jan 19 Free Zoomcast:
What's The Difference Between Fiber and Wireless Broadband Networks?

Access to fiber broadband networks is the gold standard when planning your broadband networks. But so often, going for the best is described as “expensive,” and so underserved communities are told to think about “wireless.” What does that mean? Join our NCBM Board technology experts to learn what the real difference is between these technologies, how “future-proof” each is, and the truth that almost every wireless network relies on fiber to get the job done.

Join NC Broadband Matters Board experts, Doug Dawson with CCG Consulting, Gene Scott with Wilson Greenlight, Mark Boxer with OFS, and Alan Fitzpatrick with Open Broadband to to learn and finally understand the difference between these two types of technologies.
 
The webinar is free to attend but registration is required.
ALL REGISTRANTS WILL RECEIVE AN ARCHIVE VIDEO OF THE ZOOMCAST.
Keys to Economic Recovery from COVID-19
 
What strategies will help local economies recover more quickly from the COVID-19 pandemic? The ncIMPACT Initiative at the UNC School of Government and NCGrowth at the Kenan Institute for Private Enterprise are collaborating on a project to assess the short term impacts of local factors and local government actions that aim to help people feel safe engaging in activities that improve the economy.
Register for a free series of webinars where we will share what we learn and collect your input as the project progresses. Let's dive into the data and learn from each other as we navigate next steps in North Carolina.
Upcoming Webinar Dates:

January 27: Using Data to Drive Decisions in the Face of Crisis
All webinars begin at 2:00 p.m. EST

This project is supported by the North Carolina Policy Collaboratory at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with funding from the North Carolina Coronavirus Relief Fund established and appropriated by the North Carolina General Assembly.
Learn more and register once for the series at: https://go.unc.edu/s2N4T
Legal Basics for Advisory Boards Webinar

January 21, 2021
10 am – 2:45 pm (with a 45-minute lunch break)
Online | Zoom
 
We are pleased to announce that registration is now open for the Legal Basics for Advisory Boards Webinar on Thursday, January 21, 2021, from 10 am – 2:45 pm, with a 45-minute lunch break from 12 – 12:45 pm. The class will be held via Zoom, and will be available for on-demand purchase after the live webinar date.
 
Registration: To register for this course, please visit the course webpage. The registration fee is $150. 
 
Topics: Municipalities and counties throughout the state rely on advisory boards for recommendations on a wide range of local government issues. This online crash course for advisory board members is designed to help them do their important work effectively and lawfully. Participants will gain a basic understanding of topics relevant to all local government advisory boards, including the open meetings law, the public records law, and board procedures. (NOTE: This course will not cover procedural requirements specific to planning boards or quasi-judicial proceedings.)
 
Materials: Any related documents will be posted under the “materials” tab on the course web page. Each registrant will receive Suggested Procedural Rules for Local Appointed Boards in an e-format.
 
Faculty coordinator: Trey Allen at tallen@sog.unc.edu
 
For more information: Contact Rachel Mintel, program associate, at mintel@sog.unc.edu
Working Better Together: Governing Guidance - Online Course for Local Elected Officials and Managers

Once the campaign is over, reality sets in for local governing boards. Whether you’re the newly elected official or incumbent members of the Board or Council, the body itself becomes a completely new governing entity as new members come to office. Adjusting to new relationships and different personalities can be hard work for both the elected officials and local government Managers. We know from research and experience that when the group, team or board functions well, outcomes are better and effectiveness soars. While most public officials want to contribute positive leadership, working well together as a group is not automatic, easy, or simple.
 
Join us for an engaging, interactive online course designed specifically for elected boards and local government managers on February 19 led by CPLG Adjunct Professor Leslie Anderson of Asheville. Learn how to best work together as a Board and professional staff so you can all be effective leaders in your communities. In “Working Better Together: Governing Guidance” you will learn the best practices that work with your board and management staff as well as the key behaviors needed to elevate everyone’s performance. You will have an opportunity to learn helpful resources, share experiences, ideas, and stories.
 
If you have any questions about the course, please contact Patrice Roesler at proesler@sog.unc.edu
 
Register Now for a FREE One Hour Webinar


January 21, 12:30-1:30 pm

Learn about recent developments in electrification of transit and school buses. Join us to gain an understanding of advances in battery technology, financing of the buses and planning considerations when adding electric transit buses or school buses in your fleet.

Speakers include:
Rick Sapienza, NC Clean Energy Technology Center
Patrick G Stephens, Go Triangle
Eric Reynolds, Proterra Powered 
Mark Childers, Thomas Built Buses
NCDHHS/EDPNC COVID-19 Webinar Recording Available

The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina and the NC Department of Health and Human Services recently hosted a webinar to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on small businesses and the ways in which businesses can protect themselves and their customers. A recording of the webinar can still be viewed online at the link below.
 
121 W. Nash St. Wilson, NC 27893
252-234-5952