Delta Regional Authority
May 18, 2016  
follow us

Delta News Round-up

In this Issue: Delta Leadership Institute launches 2016-17 application | 2016 Summer Impact Hubs announced
National Infrastructure Week #infrastructurematters | Rural Impact County Challenge open to Delta counties

Delta Leadership Institute launches application cycle for 2016-17 Executive Academy

The Delta Regional Authority has announced the 2016 – 2017 schedule of sessions for the twelfth class of the Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy. Over the course of the Executive Academy year, participants will attend seven sessions across the Delta region and Washington, DC, and engage in advocacy training, case study discussion, and field studies of priority issue areas for the region including workforce training and education, culture and tourism, entrepreneurship and disaster resilience for small businesses, transportation, and basic public infrastructure.

Applications for the 2016 – 2017 Executive Academy are available now and will be accepted until the application deadline of July 15, 2016. Interested applicants can learn more about the program and begin their application at

Begin your application today >

Mississippi Conference of Black Mayors tour economic development opportunities in Delta

The Mississippi Conference of Black Mayors hosted a tour of Mississippi's Delta communities last week to highlight vacant land reuse strategies, environmental justice issues, water quality improvement projects, downtown redevelopment, and the need for safe affordable homes. Chairman Marshall and DRA staff participated in the tour that identified a potential wellness center in Moorhead, addressed sewer rehabilitation needs in Rosedale, and emphasized the opportunity for place-based investments in Shelby.

DRA staff sat on a panel identifying federal and state funding opportunities available to MCBM members, spotlighting the open application cycle for this year's SEDAP and the newly created Community Infrastructure Fund. The DRA partnered with MCBM in October 2015 to develop the Connecting Our Communities to Opportunities (COCO) program that provides one-on-one technical assistance training for mayors and staff to successfully locate and manage funds to repair and update their local infrastructure, including water and sewer systems. 

Learn more about MCBM >

White House announces 16 Summer Impact Hubs, 5 in Delta region

The White House and the U.S. Department of Labor announced this week new steps to advance the Summer Opportunity Project with the launch of 16 Summer Impact Hubs: communities that will receive robust, coordinated support from 16 federal agencies to upgrade and expand their summer jobs, learning, meals, and violence reduction programs for young people this summer and year-round. These communities have each been paired with a Federal “Summer Ambassador” who will spend the spring and summer partnering with them to meet their locally-driven goals by leveraging existing Federal resources, breaking down agency siloes, and building new local and national partnerships. The Administration is also enlisting the targeted support of companies and philanthropy to create more opportunities for young people in these communities.

Five of these communities are right here in the Delta region: Jonesboro and Pine Bluff, Arkansas, New Orleans, LA, Clarksdale, MS, and Memphis, TN. The DRA will serve as the federal coordinator for the activities in Jonesboro, Pine Bluff, and Clarksdale. For more information, contact Jason Smedley, the DRA's regional economic and community development officer who will serve as the "summer ambassador" for these communities, at

Read more about the Summer Opportunity Project >

National Infrastructure Week to emphasize needed investments in local infrastructure

As we celebrated Economic Development Week last week and look forward to Infrastructure Week this week, it is important for us to recognize how committed the local leaders and economic developers on the ground are to seeing their communities grow and realize economic opportunities. It is also important to take this coming week to recognize the vital role that strong public infrastructure plays in bringing growth and economic progress to places like the Delta region.

We know that the quality of our infrastructure will determine our future, and in order to reach our full potential, we must continue to invest in modern, efficient infrastructure systems in our region. This is why, with Congress' support, we have created the Community Infrastructure Fund to dedicate $10 million to increasing the number of local infrastructure projects DRA is able to support in Delta communities. Throughout the week on Twitter and Facebook, we will be posting facts, resources, and investments that we've made in our region's infrastructure, dedicating each day of the week to one of our infrastructure sectors that keeps our economy moving. So follow us on Twitter @DeltaRegional and on Facebook. You can read Chairman Masingill's full message about National Economic Development Week and National Infrastructure Week here.

Learn more about National Infrastructure Week >

Rural Impact County Challenge empowers county leaders to address child poverty

A child growing up in the Delta region is 50 percent more likely to be living in poverty than her fellow American children, according to census data from Today's Delta online research tool. This reality is one of the driving forces behind the White House Rural Council's Rural Child Povery Initiative.

In partnership with the National Association of Counties, the White House Rural Council is going to the local level for help with identifying solutions to this ever-growing challenge for our Delta communities and families. The Rural Impact County Challenge was announced as a call for at least 100 counties to pledge to create opportunity for kids in rural areas.

DRA encourages our Delta county executives and leaders to consider applying to participate in this opportunity or pass a county resolution to support the Rural Impact County Challenge. These actions have the opportunity to change not only the economy of your community but the lives of thousands of Delta children.

Learn more about this opportunity for your county >

Upcoming Events:

Register or Apply Today

May 17, 2016
Quarterly Board Meeting - FY16 Q3
May 23, 2016 - May 24, 2016
ECRC Training on Economic Development- Gilbertsville, Kentucky
June 1, 2016 - June 28, 2016
Innovative Readiness Training: Greyhound Medical
Learn more at
June 6, 2016 - June 7, 2016
ECRC Training on Disaster Recovery- Gilberstville, Kentucky
June 9, 2016 - June 10, 2016
ECRC Training on Disaster Recovery- Red Bud, Illinois

Click Here To Submit An Event

Announcements From Our Partners:

Not a Subscriber?

Sign Up Now!

Delta Regional Authority

236 Sharkey Avenue - Suite 400
Clarksdale, MS 38614
(662) 624-8600 | DRA.GOV

View online | Unsubscribe