Natalia Rudiak is the Local Government Outreach Director for ReImagine Appalachia

Invest in Appalachia: Billions of Dollars at Stake

by Natalia Rudiak

As part of ReImagine Appalachia’s ongoing efforts to support our communities’ investment in climate infrastructure, we are gathering timely grant and economic development opportunities for our region. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ensure equitable, climate-forward investment and we are excited to share this incredible potential with you.

A better future is within reach, if we work together to build capacity for our local communities to apply and implement these programs. We’re making sure the people of Appalachia invest and implement our tax dollars in a just and equitable manner, for us and by us. 

Please share this blog post widely with your local governments, non-profit partners, and community leaders. For technical assistance in applying for these programs, please email local@reimagineappalachia.org and we will do our best to connect you with partners to help.

Ideally, all jobs created through these funding opportunities will be family-sustaining, union jobs with good wages and benefits, and we encourage applicants to maintain labor standards throughout the process of project implementation. ReImagine Appalachia also highly encourages the creation and usage of paid pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs. For information on how we can craft your proposal to maintain high labor standards, please reach out to us at local@reimagineappalachia.org

Bookmark this page as we will be posting opportunities on a regular basis!

January 19, 2021

The federal Interagency Working Group on Coal & Power Plant Communities & Economic Revitalization (the IWG) announced the launch of a first-of-its-kind online clearinghouse that gives energy community leaders and advocates a user-friendly database to access funding opportunities across the federal government. As of today, the clearinghouse features more than $45B in open and planned funding opportunities, of which more than $2.8B has been awarded thus far. Of the 75 funding opportunities available, 20 do not require any matching funds – an important benefit for many energy communities to reduce barriers to accessing funds. Click here to access the one-stop resource or click the graphic below where users can easily sort and filter opportunities based on funding type, program purpose, and eligibility.

To learn more about the IWG’s clearinghouse of funding opportunities, including how to use this important new tool, please mark your calendar and register here for our next webinar on Thursday, January 27, 2022, from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET.  This virtual session will include:An overview of the +60 open or planned funding opportunities currently on the clearinghouse, including many that do not require matching funds.A how-to guide for finding and filtering relevant funding opportunities based on a community’s specific needs.Representatives from multiple federal agencies discussing notable funding sources that are both currently available and coming soon.The event also includes a live Q&A session, where participants can ask the presenters direct questions. Please register here, and feel free to share this invitation with others in your community who may benefit from attending. 

Register

January 17, 2021

On November 15, 2021, the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, an ambitious, $1.2 trillion piece of legislation with $550 billion in new spending, became law. Funding is available for a wide variety of purposes and for many different types of grantees—including states, local governments, private entities, and non-profits. As agencies seek input on how to implement these programs, the Bipartisan Policy Center has compiled a table of major competitive grants included in the new law to help stakeholders navigate what opportunities are available and who is eligible. You can access a PDF of the document here or by clicking on the graphic below.

January 11, 2021

The Honnold Foundation promotes solar energy for a more equitable world. We believe that solar energy access improves lives and reduces environmental impact, and we provide unrestricted grant funding to organizations across the globe whose work increases social and economic equity in the communities they serve. Though our funds are unrestricted, we tend to select organizations that are directing funds towards a specific project or initiative.

Both domestic and international organizations may apply. Core Grant awards typically range from $30,000 to $100,000. 

Applications for the Honnold Foundation’s 2022 Core Fund Grant open Monday, January 10th, and close Friday, January 28th at 5pm EST.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

Applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible for Core Grant funding.

  • The organization is community-based and/or has a clear community connection
  • The organization has a charitable status in its country of origin, or has a charitable or social impact mission
  • The majority of the funding will be used for the construction of new solar infrastructure and/or the improvement of existing solar infrastructure (ie: grid-tied solar, solar home systems, solar water pump, etc.)
  • The organization has identified a technical partner (installer) to develop new and/or improve existing solar infrastructure 
  • The funding will be used to increase social and economic equity for underserved/marginalized communities 
  • The funding will be used to limit environmental impact by reducing dependence on or  usage of fossil fuels or other energy sources known to be highly pollutive (diesel oil, wood, kerosene, coal-powered utility grids, etc.) 
  • The funding will be used to support work in a single community or a small cohort of communities
  • The community served is involved in the creation and/or maintenance and management of the work the funding supports

APPLY NOW

December 21, 2021


USDA Offering Grants for Rural Residents to Get Connected to the Internet. 
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the Department has begun accepting applications for up to $1.15 billion in loans and grants to help people in rural areas get access to high-speed internet. This announcement comes on the heels of the recently enacted bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provides another nearly $2 billion in additional funding for the ReConnect program. Applications for funding must be submitted through USDA Rural Development’s online application system on the ReConnect webpage here. For additional information, see the October 25 Federal Register notice here.


“Where to Start? A Webinar for Energy Communities Starting a Transformation.” 
Here’s a livestream replay of the virtual workshop with federal agencies and local practitioners to learn about available resources and best practices for addressing industrial change in a community. This webinar provides guidance on getting started, including a discussion with community leaders who have first-hand experience and can offer their perspectives on what works. This virtual event provides a step-by-step guide to engaging on the topic in a community, a checklist of necessary activities, discussion of common experiences, case studies, resources, and a task list for developing a plan that addresses financial, employment, and social disruptions. Download the presentation slides here.

December 14, 2021

The federal Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) American Rescue Plan $500 million Good Jobs Challenge aims to connect Americans with the training opportunities they need to develop in-demand skills that lead to good jobs and long-term careers. EDA is seeking applications that will build and strengthen industry-led partnerships with a focus on removing barriers to training, particularly for those workers hit hardest by the pandemic, including women and communities of color. In advance of the Good Jobs Challenge program deadline, EDA continues to provide resources and technical assistance for applicants to enhance their proposals. On Friday, December 17th, Assistant Secretary Alejandra Castillo will host a session focusing on employer engagement and sectoral partnership strategies. You can register for the panel hereThe application deadline for the Good Jobs Challenge is January 26, 2022. EDA has several resources to support your application, including FAQs, webinars, an application checklist, and more on their website at EDA.gov.

December 12, 2021

The US Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for its Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program. This program provides grants to increase food security in communities by bringing sectors within the whole food system together to assess strengths, establish linkages, and create sustainable food systems that improve the self-reliance of community members over their food needs. Funds may be used for a range of projects, including food hubs, farmers’ markets, community food assessments, and more. Applications are due December 20, 2021. More information about this opportunity may be found here

December 2, 2021

Some nonprofits, small businesses, and local governments have a good idea for an environmental improvement they’d like to make. Others have a good idea and get it done, too. What’s the difference?

Don’t let it be funding. Join the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection on Thursday, December 2nd at 11 a.m. for a free live webinar on how to apply for grant funding from DEP. Geared for first-time applicants and based on survey feedback, this webinar:

• Introduces you to the grants application system – it’s focused on user friendliness,
• Walks you through the basic steps of applying,
• Debunks a few misconceptions,
• Shares examples from successful applications, and
• Answers your questions

Whether you’d like to be more energy efficient, restore the health of your local stream, reduce erosion, prepare for climate change, help lower air pollution, teach kids or adults about environmental challenges and solutions, a DEP grant can help you.

Programs discussed: Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant, Coastal Zone Management Grants, Driving PA Forward, Environmental Education Grants, Growing Greener Grants, and Small Business Advantage Grants

Sign up here

November 4, 2021

The US Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for its ReConnect Program. This program provides loans, grants, and loan/grant combinations to facilitate broadband deployment in rural areas. Funds may be used for the construction or improvement of (and in some cases, the acquisition of) facilities required to provide broadband service, as well as reasonable pre-application expenses. Applications are due February 22, 2022. More information about this opportunity may be found here

October 26, 2021

  • The federal government’s Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization is hosting a free, virtual workshop specifically tailored to help communities address the impact of power plant or mine closures. This virtual event, titled Where to Start? Webinar for Energy Communities Starting a Transformation, will take place on Wednesday, November 3, 2021, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET. Please mark your calendar and register here today. This program will provide guidance and a step-by-step guide to engaging on this topic within your community. 
  • Via Coal Communities Commitment, The Economic Development Administration is dedicating $300 million to directly support coal communities. Your community may qualify for funding!  Economic Adjustment Assistance applications are accepted on a rolling basis, click here to learn more and apply. Please email inquiries about the American Rescue Plan Build Back Better Regional Challenge to BuildBackBetter@eda.gov.
    • The Economic Development Administration is also making grants more accessible for Tribal communities by including for-profit entities that are owned by and established for the benefit of a Tribe. Learn more here

  • The Department of Energy Communities (DOE) Local Energy Action Program (LEAP) is providing services to low-income energy communities that are experiencing economic and environmental impacts from the shift away from fossil fuels.  To learn more about whether your community qualifies for this, please click here.  Application deadline is December 17, 2021.

It’s time to #InvestInAppalachia