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

At the last SARPC Board of Directors meeting on September 25th several new Board Members were announced or elected. Dr. Phyllis French has been selected to serve as a Citizen representative by the Baldwin County Commission. Mr. Jess Nicholas has been selected to serve as an Economic Development representative by the Escambia County Commission. Also, Mr. Rob Middleton of Mobile was elected by the full Board of Directors to serve as an at-large citizen position to fill the vacancy due to the passing of long-time SARPC Board Member Norman J. Walton, Jr. 

We welcome these outstanding citizens to the SARPC Board and look forward to their leadership as we strive to enhance the quality of life in our Region (Mobile, Baldwin and Escambia Counties).


John F. "Rickey" Rhodes

Executive Director John F. "Rickey" Rhodes and FBI Specialist Tommy Loftis at the Mobile Municipal Association meeting in Creola.

Part of nice group at the Mobile Municipal Association Meeting hosted by the City of Creola on Sept. 19th.

Executive Director  John F. "Rickey" Rhodes and Former Executive Director Russell Wimberly


The Mobile MPO has developed a Transportation Planning Survey

Please help up by providing input on your transportation priorities and projects for the Mobile Urbanized Area. The Mobile Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is seeking your input via an online survey. The Mobile MPO, comprised of locally-elected officials, sets regional transportation policy and determines where to allocate federal funds.

Envision2045 is multi-modal in scope, encompassing long-range plans for highway, public transportation, and bicycle and pedestrian networks. Regional growth, economic development, and accessibility within the study area along with environmental concerns necessitate that the long-range plan addresses not only improved vehicular travel but also improvements to alternative modes. Preservation of the existing transportation system coupled with enhancement of all modal choices will contribute to the improvement of the overall quality of life in the region.

The South Alabama Regional Planning Commission (SARPC) invites decision makers, stakeholders, and members of the general public to participate in the survey. SARPC is seeking feedback on transportation major infrastructure projects, initiatives and policies. Transportation priorities such as congestion, freight, transit, roadways, bicycle and pedestrian, and other transportation modes will be addressed in the 2045 Long Range Transportation Plan.

Your comments can help SARPC's planners to develop a wide-ranging, action-oriented transportation plan. The Envision2045 plan being developed will also serve as a basis for allocating limited federal money aimed at roadways, bridges, and public transportation facilities.

To complete the survey, please visit: https://www.envision2045.org/.

RPO Updates

The South Alabama Regional Planning Commission (SARPC) had a meeting of the Rural Planning Organization (RPO) Committee  last  Thursday, September 19, 2019 at the Baldwin County Central Annex at 22251 Palmer Street in Robertsdale, Alabama.
Items discussed were current and future transportation projects in the rural areas of our region by the ALDOT Southwest Regional Office.
Other items on the agenda included:
  • Adoption of the minutes of the previous meeting
M obile Area Transit System Feasibility Study

Recently the consultant selection committee listened to presentations from the  three shortlisted firms concerning  Mobile Area Demand Response Transit System Feasibility Study. The groups that presented were, Burk-Kleinpeter, Mott-MacDonald, and VIA Mobility. All firms did a great job at presenting, and were scored and ranked by the committee. The consultant selection committee selected VIA Mobility to perform the study. VIA Mobility has partnered with local group Goodwin Mills and Cawood as a sub consultant. We would like to get the study under way as soon as the new fiscal year begins and are currently in contract negotiation. We will keep you posted. 
Click on link below to see the Scope of Work

Transportation Improvement Program( TIP)

The TIP represents a four year program (2020-2023) 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.
2020-2023 E-TIP HERE


Funding & Resource Announcement s

Opportunity Zones

EDA's Opportunity Zone Web Page

EDA now has an EDA Opportunity Zone Web page for economic development stakeholders and others to use as a resource to further help foster job creation and attract private investment to support development in economically distressed areas across the United States.

Innovation and  Entrepreneurship

USDA FY20 and FY21 SBIR Opportunities. Apply by Oct 23 for FY20 Funds.
The Department of Agriculture announced the opening of the solicitation process for the FY 2020 and FY 2021 for its SBIR program.  Funds may be awarded up to $100,000 for a Phase I project. Projects dealing with agriculturally related manufacturing and alternative and renewable energy technologies are encouraged. Click here for the solicitation

Open Federal Funding Opportunities:

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 EDA Disaster Supplemental
Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects (NSFLTP)
FY18 Economic Development Assistance Programs: Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance
FY 20 and FY21 SBIR Phase I RFA
FY 20 and FY21 SBIR Phase I RFA
FY19 Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant Program

2020 Census

If you were unable to attend ADECA's workshop in Montgomery regarding the 2020 Census Grant Program, here is the link to the video of the workshop that was held as well as all the information about the grant program.

Applications are due Friday, October 11, 2019
Please let us know if you have any questions about the program.

Reports, Tools and Data

BLS Data (QCEW) Now Incorporated into Census Business Builder v2.6

The Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) data are now available in the Census Business Builder, a web data tool from the U.S. Census Bureau that provides demographic and economic data to business owners and regional analysts in a user-friendly format that is simple to access.

The first collaboration of this type between the Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau, this data-sharing project makes data more accessible for local users and enhances the efficiency of digital service delivery.
For the latest version, follow the links below:
* Regional Analyst Edition: https://cbb.census.gov/rae/#
* Small Business Edition: https://cbb.census.gov/sbe/#

HUD Encourages Partnerships Between CDBG Recipients and Non-Profit Organizations

HUD has issued new clarifying guidance to further advance and leverage partnerships between Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) grantees and subrecipients at the local level. This guidance describes key tools and resources available to assist CDBG grantees in facilitating partnerships with nonprofit organizations and other key stakeholders to complete community development, revitalization, and rehabilitation projects in local communities. View the Partnership Opportunities for CDBG Grantees Memo.

DOL Launches Online Help Desk to Provide Compliance Assistance to Federal Contractors and Stakeholders

The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) launched the Contractor Assistance Portal, an online help desk to provide enhanced compliance assistance to federal contractors and stakeholders. For more information, please call OFCCP's toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251 or visit http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/.

EDA 2018 Annual Report Available

Last month, EDA released its Annual Report of the agency's activities during Fiscal Year 2018.
* Click here to view FY18 investments by state
* Between FY 2012 and FY 2017, EDA invested over $1.6 billion in 4,058 projects to help communities and regions build the capacity for economic development. Clear here to view these past awards: ( Underlying Data(XLSX))

Disaster Recovery Resources & Info

Primary site for Disaster Recovery Assistance: https://www.disasterassistance.gov /

Where to Find Federal Disaster Declarations

  • Amended Declarations: Existing Declarations may be subsequently amended to expand covered areas, provide notification that an incident has been closed, or make other necessary changes.


Funding and other Assistance Available for Economic Recovery:

EDA Announces New Funding Available for Areas Impacted by 2018/19 Disasters

Economic Development Administration (EDA) has published the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY2019) Disaster Supplemental Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) making $587 million available to eligible grantees in communities impacted by Presidentially declared natural disasters in 2018, and floods and tornadoes in 2019. There are no application deadlines and the agency will accept proposals on a rolling basis until the publication of a new Disaster Supplemental NOFO, cancellation of this NOFO, or all funds are obligated.
  • The FY19 Disaster Supplemental NOFO (EDA-2019-DISASTER) is available on Grants.gov HERE
Note that EDA's 2018 Supplemental Funding for communities impacted by 2017 Disasters ( EDA-2018-DISASTER ) is a separate funding opportunity. Please contact your EDA regional office for more information about eligibility and availability of these funds. For more information, please visit the EDA and Disaster Recovery page.

EDA Supplemental Funding for Areas Impacted by 2017 Disasters
In early 2018, EDA also received supplemental funding to support economic recovery in areas impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and wildfires and other 2017 natural disasters. Please contact your EDA regional office for more information about eligibility and availability of these funds. See the following links for details:

Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)

The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) promotes economic self-sufficiency for older individuals who are working to achieve employment. The program provides useful part-time community service assignments while promoting transition to unsubsidized employment. The program serves persons 55 and older who qualify by income.

We are pleased to announce the addition of Jubilee Youth Sanctuary Leadership Academy as a new host agency. This organization works with high risk youth. It is their goal to teach respect, community awareness and personal development.

For more information on the SCSEP, please contact Tara Holland @ 251-706-4627.

Mature Staffing Service (MSS)

Mature Staffing Service provides skilled and dependable employees to non-profit organizations and government entities seeking employees. Our services are tailored to the staffing needs of each individual employer.
MSS handles all employment costs associated with new workers including: payroll taxes, FICA, Workers' Compensation and unemployment compensation.
For more information about our staffing service, please call Shannon Raley @ 251-706-4639.

Community Involvement, Events, Meetings and Training

It is important that EEDS staff go to events to network and market our programs and support our community partners. Here are a few highlights:
The University of South Alabama hosted the Gulf Coast Real Estate & Economic Education Conference. The conference brought together disciplines from real estate and economic development and explained how the two influence each other. Two of SARPC Board members were presenters: Lee Lawson of the Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance, and David Rogers of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce.
Terri Pringle and Alyssa Nelson pictured with Dr. Valerie and the attendees of the Leadership Boost Camp.

The Leadership Boost Camp by Dr. Valerie James was hosted at the Mobile Area Water and Sewer System. Dr. V, as she prefers, presented ideas on how small business owners can improve their management and organizational skills while at the same time enjoying the process. Additionally, it was a beneficial networking event to promote the Revolving Loan Fund program.
For more information on our Revolving Loan Fund, please call Alyssa Nelson at 251-706-4676.  

The "Women who Rock It" Annual Women's Forum was hosted by the Community Foundation of South Alabama. This forum was birthed from a desire to celebrate women's accomplishments and network with women in our region.

This was a beneficial event for networking with active community partners as well as women in business. It was an encouragement for all of the women in our community to continue reaching for the stars.
Tara Holland (L) and Alyssa Nelson (R)

Staff members attended the Mobile Chamber's 2019 Small Business of the Year Awards Breakfast and Business Expo. This is a great opportunity to network with other agencies and spread awareness about all of our economic development programs.

The Mobile Chamber of Commerce Business Expo is one of a kind!
Terri Pringle conducted the Revolving Loan Fund Presentation to the Mobile Chambers' Growth Alliance Task Force (GATF). The GATF is committed to helping minority business owners launch, grow, and retain their businesses in Mobile. This presentation and connection with GATF has produced interest in the Revolving Loan Fund Program.
Congratulations!  Mobile County Municipal Association elected EEDS staff member 
Tara Holland as their Secretary.

Alyssa Nelson presented information on the Revolving Loan Fund to small business owners at the Church Street Incubator in Atmore, Alabama.
Note: The Keynote speaker at the Women's forum was Captain Kay Hire, pictured above. She is a former NASA astronaut, Captain in the U.S. Navy Reserve, is a Mobile native and Murphy High School graduate. Captain Hire has flown two Space Shuttle missions and was the first female in the U.S. military to be assigned to a combat crew.


2019 Gulf Coast Masters Games

The Area Agency on Aging is sponsoring the district Masters Games Tournament for Baldwin, Mobile and Escambia counties. The Masters Games of Alabama were organized in 1989 to involve senior adults in recreational activity and fitness. Any resident of the state of Alabama age  50 and older is eligible to participate in the games. The winners for the local events may compete in statewide com-petitions.

This year's games were held over the summer in Mobile, Chickasaw, Robertsdale and
Orange Beach and included basketball free throw, billiards,Frisbee throw, Nerfball throw, softball throw, horseshoes, shuffleboard, table tennis, checkers, dominos, doubles dominoes and bowling. Opportunities to compete at the state level in swimming, golf and 3-on-3 basketball are also available.

Local champions can compete statewide in Valley, Alabama October 7-10, 2019 and a chartered bus will be available. South Alabama senior athletes bring back many state medals annually. 

Seniors have lively billiards competition with local Gulf Coast Masters Games at the VIA! Center in Mobile in May, 2019. Local champions will go on to compete statewide at the Alabama Masters Games in Valley, Ala., Oct. 7-10.

Hall of Fame Class of 2019

A Matter of Balance

Ms. Bobbie Holt-Ragler, one of the Area Agency on Aging's top volunteer instructors for our "A Matter of Balance" fall prevention program,  has been named recipient of the 2020 College of Nursing Community Impact Award by the University of South Alabama. Ms. Ragler stated "I am honored  to receive the award and very appreciative to all of you for your support.  It is because of caring individuals and the work we share as partners in the community and of course your information submitted on my behalf that caught the attention of the award committee."  The award dinner is scheduled for May 14, 2020. 

ADECA announces its 2020 Census Grant Program
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering a one-time 2020 Census Grant Program to support the accurate count of the Alabama Counts! Census campaign.  The grant program was created through a $1 million appropriation as part of the FY 2020 Education Trust Fund.  One of the traditionally classified "hard-to-count" groups is the aging population.  Grants would include those agencies who propose a project to maximize senior participation in the upcoming Census.  The application period opened on September 4, 2019 and applications are due on Friday October 11, 2019.  The applications will be processed and rated in October and grant awards will be announced in mid-November 2019.  Funded projects may commence on January 1, 2020 and run through June 2020.  The application is available at icount@census.alabma.gov and additional information can be found at www.census.alabama.gov/grants.

2020 Directory of Senior Resources

The new 2020 Directory of Senior Resources are now available for distribution.  Contract the Area Agency on Aging at 251-706-4680  for copies to distribute in your community.   

Train the Trainer

Medicare Open Enrollment

2019 Senior Lifestyle Expos

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