Delta Regional Authority
April 13, 2017  
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Delta News Round-up

IN THIS ISSUE: DRA presents 2016 Year in Review | DRA Board welcomes MO Gov. Greitens | 200 new jobs created in Alabama | ECRC workshops support economic development, disaster recovery | DRA-EDA partnership supports 115 jobs along AR-LA border | El Dorado technology center breaks new ground | Louisiana JAG reception in Baton Rouge | DLI Executive Academy session held in Little Rock | Meet your Regional Economic and Community Development Officer (RDO)

DRA presents 2016 Year in Review report & video

DRA is proud to present its 2016 Year in Review, which also serves as the Annual Report to Congress. Initially introduced in February 2017 at DRA's Board of Governors Quorum meeting in Washington, D.C., DRA also presents its Year in Review video corresponding with the print publication to highlight the many accomplishments of the Agency and its partners in 2016.

DRA takes great pride in the strategic investments, programs, and initiatives made in 2016 to support job creation, build stronger communities, and improve the lives of the 10 million residents residing in the Mississippi River Delta region and Alabama Black Belt. To carry out the mission of DRA, we adhere to our guiding principles and make investments that advance our strategic goals: improving workforce competitiveness, strengthening our infrastructure, and increasing community capacity.  

Your commitment and assistance makes everything we do possible. Thank you for your support, and we look forward to another great year ahead.

Download the complete 2016 Year in Review

Watch the Year in Review video >

DRA welcomes Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens to Board of Governors

The Delta Regional Authority welcomed newly-elected Missouri Governor Eric Greitens to its board at the annual Governors Quorum meeting in Washington D.C. Chairman Masingill also met with Gov. Greitens and his Deputy Chief of Staff in Jefferson City to discuss plans for economic and community development projects across the 29 counties in southeast Missouri that reside in DRA's footprint.

Greitens is a former Navy SEAL and currently the second youngest governor in the nation. Born and raised in St. Louis, Greitens attended Duke University then the University of Oxford as a Rhodes scholar, where he earned his Ph.D. Greitens later became a Lieutenant Commander with the Navy SEALs, where he served four tours of duty, commanded an Al-Qaeda targeting cell, and earned a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. Following his military service, Greitens founded The Mission Continues, a non-profit organization that works to empower veterans to find renewed purpose through community impact.

DRA looks forward to working with Governor Greitens and his team to continue its mission to help support job creation, build communities, and improve lives across the Delta region.

Learn more about DRA investments in Missouri >

DRA funding helps create 200 new jobs in Alabama

The Delta Regional Authority, through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA), announced $26 million in new investments that will add 200 new jobs in Tuskegee, Frisco City and the City of Atmore. DRA is contributing $710,000 overall to three projects that are also being funded by other private and public investments.

DRA partnership resources will allow for:

  • Road improvements in Tuskegee,
  • Rehabilitation of an industrial park in the Town of Frisco City, and
  • Development of the Rivercane Industrial Park to aid in recruiting Brown Precision to Atmore.

“Economic opportunity is critical to the success of our state and the well-being of Alabamians,” said Sen. Richard Shelby. “This investment announcement is great news for Tuskegee, Frisco City, and Atmore. I am confident that DRA's continued commitment to job growth will help to build a brighter future in these areas.”

"This kind of investment into our communities is vitally important and is welcome news to Alabama families," said Sen. Luther Strange. "I'm grateful to the Delta Regional Authority and the Economic Development Administration for investing in projects that will provide hundreds of jobs for hard-working Alabamians."

Read the full news release >

ECRC workshops support economic development, disaster-recovery

The Delta Regional Authority, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), is offering a second round of economic development and disaster resilience training courses for local elected officials, economic development practitioners, and other community leaders located in its eight-state Delta region.

The training courses allow local elected officials and community leaders to focus on Leading Economically Competitive and Resilient Communities (ECRC). The two-day classroom-style “boot-camps,” which emphasize strategic planning, community development, and disaster recovery for rural areas, help community leaders learn more about the federal, state, and private sector resources that are available to assist them.

The interactive course provides participants with practical tools and inspiring examples to support critical economic development and resilience activities. Workshops will be conducted in 17 communities, throughout DRA's eight-state footprint.

Register for a ECRC workshop >

DRA, partners provide funding to support 115 jobs along Arkansas, Louisiana border

The Delta Regional Authority, through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA), announced $235,000 in new investments that will support 115 jobs with the Arkansas-Louisiana Multimodal Economic Corridor initiative. This project focuses on a 90-mile transportation corridor that includes five counties in southeast Arkansas and four parishes in northeast Louisiana.  

  • Arkansas counties include Chicot, Desha, Drew, Bradley and Ashley. Louisiana parishes are East Carroll, Madison, West Carroll and Richland.
  • The investment will be used to enhance Mississippi River port operations in Lake Providence, LA, and the Madison Parish Port; the Yellow Bend Port on the Arkansas River; and the Port of Crossett on the Ouachita River.
  • Improvements also will be made to U.S. 65, which connects the region north to Interstate 40 and Little Rock and south to Interstate 20 – which connects to the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex region to the west and Atlanta to the east.

These investments are supported by a partnership through EDA’s Public Works andEconomic Adjustment Assistance (PW-EAA) programs and are guided by PW-EAA’s priorities:

  • Collaborative regional innovation
  • Public/private partnerships
  • National strategic priorities
  • Global competitiveness
  • Environmentally sustainable development
  • Underserved communities
Learn more >

Charles A. Hays Advanced Manufacturing Center in El Dorado, AR breaks new ground

South Arkansas Community College in El Dorado held its ground-breaking ceremony for the future Charles A. Hays Advanced Manufacturing Center. DRA is proud to invest $200,000 in the new 9,000 square foot facility that will help train the local workforce in high growth sectors such as manufacturing, welding, tank loading, and other technical industries, while also retaining 400 jobs and creating 150 new jobs in the community.

DRA appreciates the support of Senator John Boozman, Senator Tom Cotton, Congressman Bruce Westerman, Governor Asa Hutchinson, the Southwest Arkansas Planning & Development District, Inc., the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration, and our numerous private partners and local stakeholders for their help in making this project a reality and for their commitment to training a modern, competitive workforce in rural communities throughout the Delta region.

View local news coverage >

Jobs for America's Graduates reception in Baton Rouge, LA

Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill joined Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant at the Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG) annual meeting in Baton Rouge, LA. The reception and dinner was highlighted by remarks from Governor Edwards, Louisiana State senators and representatives, JAG staff and students, and other private sector and community leaders including Entergy CEO Leo Denault.

Discussion focused on the success of JAG-Louisiana, as well as the variety of funding sources that have made it possible under Governor Edwards’ leadership, to grow from 64 schools at the end of the school year last May to 113 locations serving nearly 5,000 students today. This has been one of the largest – and quickest – growth stories in JAG history.

As Gov. Edwards and Gov. Bryant said, "We know our investment in this program has a great impact on young people in the Delta region." DRA is proud to be a national partner of JAG with other federal, state, and private sector leaders, including the governors of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas who currently sit on the boards of both DRA and JAG.

See the impact of JAG programs in Louisiana >

Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy session held in Little Rock

The 2016-2017 DLI Executive Academy class had a successful and informative session in Little Rock, focusing on public health and education initiatives. In addition to Cultural Competency training with Vicki Clark from Memphis, TN, the class visited the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences campus to learn about UAMS’ rural outreach efforts and simulation services that support public health interventions and medical professionals in the Arkansas Delta. 

The class also heard about workforce development and education initiatives, challenges, and best practices from Arkansas State Senators Jane English and Joyce Elliott, Dr. Sandra Massey of ASU-Newport, and Shelle Randall of the Jonesboro Chamber. And DLI welcomed the SIU Schools of Law and Medicine to learn more about their comprehensive approaches to strengthening public health and healthcare policy in southern Illinois. The DLI class will be in the Alabama Black Belt later this month for a session on creative placemaking and tourism.

Learn more about the Delta Leadership Institute >

Regional Economic and Community Development Officers (RDOs) provide extra boots-on-the ground support

DRA's Regional Economic and Community Development officers (RDOs) are based out of local development districts and partner organizations in strategic locations throughout the Delta region. RDOs serve the communities in their respective region by providing additional program and project support for economic developers, elected officials, and business leaders. The RDOs work directly with DRA's regional planning and development districts and function as a key resource for project development, coordination of outreach and information sharing, funding opportunities, and implementation of local and regional projects that emphasize place-based strategies. RDOs also work with federal partners and community leaders on disaster recovery-related projects.

DRA's eight-state footptint is divided into five regions served by the RDOs below:

  • Region 1: Illinois, Kentucky, and Missouri
    Christina Wade of Caruthersville, Missouri has worked in community development and low-income housing for 14 years. Christina is also a graduate of DRA's Delta Leadership Institute’s Executive Academy.
  • Region 2: Arkansas, Tennessee, and Northeast Mississippi
    Tiffny Calloway of Jonesboro, Arkansas formerly served as the Northeast Arkansas Regional Manager in the Community Development Division of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. Tiffny also previously worked for the Governor of Arkansas as the liaison to Boards and Commissions.
  • Region 3: Southeast Arkansas, northeast Louisiana, and Mississippi
    Grover Ainsworth of Vicksburg, Mississippi worked abroad for eight years in international private enterprise and infrastrucure development with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Afghanistan and with Peace Corps in Kenya as a small enterprise developer.  Grover also served five years in the U.S. Army Medical Corps.
  • Region 4: Louisiana
    Quiana Brown of New Orleans, Louisiana has worked in Mississippi and Arkansas as a Program Associate with the Foundation for the Mid-South, where she lead the development, budget management, and monitoring of grant-making and investment strategies. Quiana is also a graduate of the William J. Clinton School of Public Service.
  • Region 5: Alabama
    Michael Mills of Birmingham, Alabama is a former Community & Regional Planner with the North Central Alabama Regional Council of Governments (NARCOG) in Decatur, Alabama. Michael most recently held the position of Senior Long-Range Planner with the City of Birmingham.
Meet your RDO >

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Delta Regional Authority

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Clarksdale, MS 38614
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