people in meeting

Release Date

November 20, 2018

Environmental Justice Small Grants Program: EPA Announces Funding Opportunity for Underserved Communities; Environmental Job Training and Youth Development among Project Opportunities

The Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Justice Small Grants (EJSG) Program provides funding directly to community-based organizations for projects that help residents of underserved communities understand and address local environmental and public health issues.

EPA this week has announced the opening of a new competition cycle for ESJG grants. EPA has identified $1,500,000 for investment in a projected 50 grants.

For purposes of the current solicitation, the term "underserved community" refers to a community with environmental justice concerns and/or vulnerable populations, including minority, low income, rural, tribal, indigenous, and homeless populations that may be disproportionately impacted by environmental harms and risks.

In general, the EJSG program awards grants that support community-driven projects designed to engage, educate, and empower communities to better understand local environmental and public health issues and develop strategies for addressing those issues, building consensus in the community, and setting community priorities. Community-driven projects are projects that include activities where community residents and/or representatives are integrally involved in the thinking behind and execution of those activities. Therefore, applying organizations should have a direct connection to the underserved community impacted by environmental harms and risks.

Types of projects the EJSG program has funded in the past include, but are not limited to, the following: Environmental Job Training, Youth Development, Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Resiliency, Green Infrastructure, Air Quality & Asthma, Water Quality & Sampling, Stormwater Issues, Green Infrastructure, Lead contamination, Pesticides and other Toxic Substances, Healthy Homes, and Illegal Dumping

These grants are for one-year projects. Given projected increases in extreme weather events and the vulnerability of underserved populations, the current opportunity will emphasize projects that address emergency preparedness and increase resiliency, as well as projects that include the needs of US military veterans and homeless populations.

FY2019 Request for Proposals - Environmental Justice Small Grant Program

Potential applicants are invited to participate in conference calls with EPA to address questions about the EJSG Program and this solicitation. Interested persons may access the pre-application assistance calls by dialing 866-299-3188 and entering the code 202-564-6349# when prompted. The following are the conference call dates and times:

Date Time (Eastern Time)
Thursday, December 6, 2018 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Thursday, December 13, 2018
(EJSCREEN Tutorial for applicants)
3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, January 16, 2019 (en Español) 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Wednesday, January 23, 2019 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Thursday January 31, 2019 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Release Date

November 20, 2018

OMB Publishes "Draft Federal Grants Management Data Standards for Feedback"; Responses Due January 15, 2019

In March 2018, the Office of Management and Budget launched the President's Management Agenda (PMA). The PMA lays out a long-term vision for modernizing the Federal Government in key areas that will improve the ability of agencies to deliver mission outcomes, provide excellent service, and effectively steward taxpayer dollars on behalf of the American people. The PMA established a Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) goal titled "Results-Oriented Accountability for Grants" with the intent to rebalance grants compliance efforts with a focus on results for the American taxpayer; standardizing grant reporting data, and improving data collection in ways that will increase efficiency, promote evaluation, reduce reporting burden, and benefit the American taxpayer.

Additional details regarding the CAP goal can be found at:

In order to bring grants management into the digital age and allow recipients to focus more time on performing work that delivers results, there is a need to develop and implement core grants management data standards and modernize grants management information technology solutions. In support of this goal, a draft of core grants management data standards have been developed and are now available for review. Once finalized, the core grants management data standards will contribute to a future state where grants data are interoperable, there are fewer internal and public-facing grants management systems, and Federal awarding agencies and recipients can leverage data to successfully implement a risk-based, data-driven approach to managing Federal grants.

OMB has published a notice in the November 16 FEDERAL REGISTER alerting the public that a draft of the proposed grants management common data standards are available for review and input at The comment period will be open until January 15, 2019.

Interested parties are asked to provide comments at the following link:


Release Date

November 20, 2018

USDA Announces Funding Opportunities under the (1) Rural Economic Development and Grant Program, and (2) Rural Broadband Access Loans and Loan Guarantees Program

USDA's Rural Business-Cooperative Service has published a November 15 FEDERAL REGISTER notice inviting applications for loans and grants under the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) Programs for fiscal year (FY) 2019, subject to the availability of funding. This notice is being issued in order to allow applicants sufficient time to leverage financing, prepare and submit their applications, and give the Agency time to process applications within FY 2019. Successful applications will be selected by the Agency for funding and subsequently awarded to the extent that funding may ultimately be made available through appropriations.

Full background / application requirements / key dates / evaluation criteria:

USDA's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) has also published a November 15 FEDERAL REGISTER announcing it is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2019 for the Rural Broadband Access Loans and Loan Guarantees Program.

Full background / application requirements /definitions / priority emphasis:

Release Date

November 20, 2018

Department of Labor Provides National Health Emergency Dislocated Worker Grant to Deliver Employment Services to Combat Opioid Addiction in Rural California

The U.S. Department of Labor today (November 13) announced a National Health Emergency Dislocated Worker Grant (NHE DWG) award to the California Department of Employment Development to provide employment services to eligible individuals in rural California counties impacted by the health and economic effects of widespread opioid use, addiction, and overdose.

The grant provides employment services to those seeking careers in healthcare professions related to addiction, treatment, prevention, and pain management. The state anticipates serving participants throughout the following rural counties, identified as having the highest opioid overdose rates in California: Amador, Calaveras, Humboldt, Inyo, Kern, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, and Tuolumne.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency in October 2017, enabling California to request this funding for an NHE DWG project.

Supported by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, Dislocated Worker Grants temporarily expand the service capacity of dislocated worker programs at the state and local levels by providing funding assistance in response to large, unexpected economic events that cause significant job losses.

Release Date

November 20, 2018

Exports as a Source of Jobs: ITA Releases New Free Market Diversification Tool; Schedules Training Webinars

An advisory from the International Trade Administration (ITA)

Ready to explore new export markets, but not sure where to start? Need data to support your ideas, or are you overwhelmed by too much information?

The new Market Diversification Tool from the Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration (ITA) can help.

Just tell the tool about your trade activity (what and where you are exporting) and if there are countries/regions of particular interest for limiting your search. Based on the scoring of 11 indicators (which you can adjust), you'll learn about additional markets to consider. The indicators range from product-specific trade and tariff data to economy-level macroeconomic and governance data. You can also export the data to a spreadsheet for further analysis.

Check out this valuable new tool today at

Click on a link to register for the webinars:

Each webinar will last approximately one hour.

Among U.S. companies that export, more than half only export to one market.

The Market Diversification Tool can help identify potential new export markets using your current trade patterns. Based on the products you export and the markets you currently export to, the tool uses an algorithm to rank potential markets you may want to consider as future export markets.

The algorithm used to develop the ranking does three main things. It:

  1. Compares potential export markets to the market where you are already exporting, based on the premise that it may be easier to export to similar countries
  2. Examines product-specific trade data to see whether potential markets are primed for more exports from the U.S. of the product(s) in question; and
  3. Considers data that reflects whether potential export markets are generally good markets for exporting and doing business

The Market Diversification Tool was developed by the Industry and Analysis unit within the International Trade Administration.

It is a great starting point to supplement your own research into potential export markets. We strongly encourage you to familiarize yourself with the tool for the best results.

Updated: November 21, 2018