Delta Regional Authority
July 25, 2016  
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Delta News Round-up

In this issue: DeltaCorps program launches | Bluegrass Medical IRT in Kentucky | Made in Rural America
export workshops | HBCU initiative in six Delta schools | Missouri startup competition announces finalists

New DeltaCorps program launches in partnership with AmeriCorps

We are thrilled to announce our newest partner initiative: DeltaCorps, a program of AmeriCorps and the Delta Regional Authority. The DeltaCorps program will identify, train, and deploy AmeriCorps members to nonprofit organizations in the Delta region to build capacity of local institutions and help them improve economic opportunity in their communities. The DeltaCorps program will work to develop stronger local economies through workforce training, health and wellness, emergency preparedness, and other community development efforts.

The first group of DeltaCorps members will be deployed in the fall of 2016 to each of the eight states within the DRA footprint. The DeltaCorps program is accepting applications from community organizations with existing infrastructure to support the AmeriCorps program and interested in hosting DeltaCorps service members on a rolling basis.

Interested in becoming part of the first wave of DeltaCorps members? To apply, fill out the Notice of Federal Funding Availability (NOFA) at If you need assistance with your DeltaCorps application, a series of informative conference calls and webinars are available. See the DeltaCorps website for dates and times.

Read the full DeltaCorps Announcement >

HBCU initiative expands entrepreneurship in six Delta schools

The DRA is always striving to increase entrepreneurial and small business opportunities for innovative minds within its region. Last week, the DRA announced the six Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the Delta region that will participate in the DRA’s HBCU Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Initiative. This new Initiative will help expand programming opportunities and support the growth of minority-owned businesses by nuturing the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem among college students.

The following Delta schools were chosen to participate in the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Initiative: 

  • Grambling State University (Grambling, LA)
  • Mississippi Valley State University (Itta Bena, MS)
  • Philander Smith College (Little Rock, AR)
  • Rust College (Holly Springs, MS)
  • Southern University (Baton Rouge, LA)
  • University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (Pine Bluff, AR)

Congratulations to these six schools for being part of this exciting new Initiative to increase entreprenuerial opportunities for minority students in the Delta!

Read the press release >

Made in Rural America brings rural export workshops to local post offices in Delta region

The Made in Rural America initiative is bringing new workshops to postal offices in Delta communities designed to give Delta businesses the tools and skills to grow internationally and boost or launch their export activities.

This partnership will bring together resources and staff from the U.S. Postal Service, Department of Commerce, Department of Agriculture, and DRA to cover topics that include: international product shipping, business development strategies from White House Rural Council partners, export opportunities, online resources for global transactions, and federal assistance programs to help small businesses grow.

The following upcoming USPS #RuralMade workshops are being offered in the Delta region:

To register for any of these workshops, click on the location closest to you.

See the #RuralMade Factsheets >

Bluegrass IRT begins offering no-cost medical services in western Kentucky

Bluegrass Medical began providing no-cost healthcare services last week in three communities located in western Kentucky: Bardwell, Mayfield, and Paducah. Through the DOD’s Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) program in partnership with the DRA, medical, dental, and optical screenings services are being offered at no cost to the public from Monday, July 18 to Wednesday, July 27.

Residents of western Kentucky, southern Illinois, and southeast Missouri can access to these no-cost services as well as information about local healthcare services and public health programs that improve the health and wellness of Delta residents.

More information about the Bluegrass Medical IRT mission is available on the event’s Facebook page at

Download the flyer with list of services provided >

Missouri startup competition announces finalists for $50K prize

Startup copanies are vital in spurring the economies of communities in the Delta region. The 1ST50K Startup Competition Committee announced that this week, nine startup companies from across the country and around the world have been invited to the 1ST50K Pitch Day in Cape Girardeau, MO. This competition awards $50,000 in cash and probono support services to innovative startups that have agreed to locate their companies within the city of Cape Girardeau, bringing jobs and additional capital to the local economy.

Selections were made after a rigorous judging and interview process. Dozens of applicants from 23 countries and 17 states were narrowed down to the following nine finalists:

  • LYFBOX (Boulder, CO) 
  • The Wealth Factory (Washington D.C.) 
  • CosmeticTech (Cape Girardeau, MO) 
  • Teleker (Buenos Aires, Argentina) 
  • Alan Long (St. Louis, MO) 
  • Social Arcade (Dublin, Ireland) 
  • Alecia Lohmar (St. Louis, MO)
  • Edible Education (Richmond, VA) 
  • Designedin (New York City, NY) 

Finalists will attend the first annual Marquette TechFest on Thursday, July 28 and present to the 1ST50K Startup Competition Committee at Pitch Day on July 29.

Learn more about the competition and finalists>

Upcoming Events:

Register or Apply Today

July 25, 2016 - July 26, 2016
ECRC Training on Economic Development- Thomasville, Alabama
July 27, 2016
DeltaCorps NOFA Conference Call - July 27
To register, email
July 28, 2016 - July 29, 2016
ECRC Training on Disaster Recovery- Eufaula, Alabama
August 4, 2016
DeltaCorps NOFA Conference Call - August 4
To register, email
August 8, 2016 - August 11, 2016
DLI Executive Academy - Session VI and Graduation
August 8-11 in Little Rock, AR
August 9, 2016
DeltaCorps NOFA Webinar - August 9
August 15, 2016
DeltaCorps NOFA Conference Call - August 15
To register, email
August 19, 2016
DeltaCorps NOFA Webinar - August 19
August 22, 2016 - August 23, 2016
ECRC Training on Economic Development- Owensboro, Kentucky

Click Here To Submit An Event

Announcements From Our Partners:

Delta Regional Authority

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

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