Delta Regional Authority
June 28, 2016  
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Delta News Round-up

In this Issue: Greyhound Medical IRT serves 6,500+ in West Memphis | JAG Class of 2015 outcomes
Winrock International merges with AR Regional Innovation Hub | DEN fellow highlighted in Urban News Service

Greyhound Medical IRT serves 6,500+ in West Memphis

Last Saturday Greyhound Medical IRT health clinic successfully concluded its health and wellness services in the greater Memphis area. This medical mission was the first time the Military-DRA partnership has hosted a full month-long mission in the Delta region, serving more than 6,500 patients from Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee. 

Servicemen and women with the U.S. Army, Army Reserve, Air Force Reserve, and Air National Guard provided medical, dental, and vision exams as well as mental health and nutrition consultations. Through June 25, the clinic performed 15,512 procedures valued at more than $1.5 million in medical costs at no charge to the patients. This included 2,409 dental procedures and 2,492 pairs of eyeglasses.

Check out pictures and testimonials from the mission on Facebook >

JAG Class of 2015 outcomes are best in 20 years

The Jobs for America's Graduates Class of 2015 achieved some of the best results in the organization's 35-year history:

  • Graduation Rate:  94%
  • Positive Outcomes Rate:  82% (work, college, or a combination)
  • Job Placement Rate:  61% (the highest in 20 years)
  • Full-time Jobs Rate:  73% (the highest in 20 years)
  • Further Education Rate:  43%

These results cover some of the poorest schools in both urban and rural areas and demonstrate that, while these young men and women are facing truly challenging odds, they also clearly show great promise.

Since 2010, the DRA has invested more than $1 million in funding to help JAG expand its program and increase positive outcomes for students across the Delta region. JAG is currently available in six of the eight Delta states and has reached more than 2,000 students though DRA funding.

Learn more about the JAG program >

Winrock International merges with Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub

Winrock International announced that it will combine with the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, with Warwick Sabin, the executive director of the Innovation Hub, becoming senior director of U.S. Programs at Winrock International.

Winrock has long partnered with the DRA on small business development and the Rural Jobs Accelerator in southern Arkansas and Louisiana. The DRA has enjoyed a successful partnership with the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub as well, assisting in the creation of their maker space and developing programs encouraging entrepreneurship in Arkansas.

The merger of these two DRA partner organizations hopes to further expand opportunities in community development, job and workforce training, entreprenurship, and local talent development and retention in Arkansas and across the Delta region.

Read the full announcement >

Delta Entrepreneurship Network fellow highlighted in Urban News Service

Delta Entrepreneurship Network fellow Kayla Rodriguez Graff was recently featured by national publication Urban News Service in an article highlighting her success as a young Latina businesswoman. Last year, Kayla co-founded the biotech startup SweetBio along with her brother Isaac Rodriguez, Ph.D. and chief marketing officer Marsalas Whitaker. 

SweetBio is a Memphis-based, biotech company which uses pioneering technology to turn honey into an post-dental surgery treatment. The SweetBio membrane is painlessly dissolved in the mouth after tooth extraction and other oral surgeries, promoting healing and reducing risk of infection.

The DEN is a competitive fellowship program which identifies and nurtures entrepreneurs in the Delta region, including the hosting of the Delta Challenge pitch competition series. The application period and Delta Challenge for the DEN Class of 2016-2017 will begin in September 2016.

Read Kayla's feature article >

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Delta Regional Authority

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

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