Partnership Highlights

Click on any of the headings below for more information about DRA Partnerships.

Affordable Care Act Outreach and Enrollment

Affordable Care Act Outreach and Enrollment efforts have been taken since Summer 2013 to connect uninsured and underinsured Delta residents with the options they have to obtain affordable health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Many of these efforts and resources provided are with the support of the Health Resources and Services Administration and in coordination with the DRA’s Innovative Readiness Training program.

For more information on the Affordable Care Act and other outreach/enrollment, click here.

Learn more about our ACA efforts at IRT medical missions here.

Delta Community Capital Initiative (DCCI)

Delta Community Capital Initiative (DCCI) is a collaborative effort among three federal agencies -the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of the Treasury -Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) and the Department of Agriculture –Rural Development (USDA-RD). The DCCI’s goal is to increase access to capital for business lending and economic development in the chronically underserved and undercapitalized Lower Mississippi Delta Region. Specifically, it will provide direct investment and technical assistance to community development lending and investing institutions that focus on businesses lending and economic development to benefit the residents of Lower Mississippi Delta Region.

The DCCI program was created in collaboration with the Delta Regional Authority, in recognition of the shared missions of all agencies involved to help increase access to affordable capital in the Delta region. DCCI program applicants must be located within the geographic footprint of the Delta Regional Authority, which is comprised of 252 counties and parishes most of which are defined as “economically distressed” in accordance with the Economic Development Administration definition.

For more information, click here.

Delta Health Care Services Grant Program (DHCS)

Delta Health Care Services Grant Program (DHCS) provides financial assistance to address the continued unmet health needs in the Delta region through cooperation among health care professionals, institutions of higher education, research institutions, and other individuals and entities in the Delta Region.  Through a partnership between DRA and USDA’s Rural Business Cooperative Service, $5.7 million were awarded to organizations seeking to address the prevalence of diabetes and other chronic diseases in their communities. The DHCS funds may be utilized for the development of health care cooperatives, health care services, health education programs, health care job training programs, and the development and expansion of public health related facilities. The DRA and USDA jointly funded the University of Mississippi Medical Center with $650,000 to support UMMC’s telehealth training program.

For more information, click here.

HRSA Technical Assistance for Delta Communities

In recognition of the low levels of federal funding for rural health care that are awarded in Delta communities, the DRA is working with HRSA and the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) to provide direct technical assistance to community leadership, health care professionals, and local facilities that helps boost the competitiveness and thus receipt of federal awards for rural health care. 

The partnership kicked off the technical assistance with a webinar on February 26 to outline two current funding opportunities: the Rural Network Allied Health Training Program and the Rural Health Care Coordination Network Partnership Program. The webinar is available on the DRA's YouTube page, and slides from the presentation are available here.

The partnership has hosted two in-person workshops in 2015 in Oxford, MS, and Memphis, TN, to further boost local capacity for successfully applying for federal funding. Resources from each of these workshops can be found here.

Innovative Readiness Training (IRT)

Innovative Readiness Training program (IRT) brings trained U.S. military medical personnel to Delta communities to provide free, quality medical, dental, and optical care to Delta residents that are underserved by the public health care system. Over six years of medical missions, 50,000 Delta residents in 32 communities across all eight states have been served with free health care.

For more information, visit our IRT webpage.

Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP)

Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) encourages communities to develop comprehensive economic development strategies that will strengthen their competitive edge for attracting global manufacturer and supply chain investments. Through the partnership, federal agencies coordinate federal aid to support communities’ strong development plans and synchronizing grant programs across multiple departments and agencies. The DRA has designated priority language in the SEDAP program for projects that fall within one of the 12 IMCP-designated Manufacturing Communities. Two of these regions include DRA counties: Southwest Alabama led by the University of South Alabama and The Tennessee Valley led by the University of Tennessee. The DRA serves as the federal liaison to the Southwest Alabama manufacturing community helping to identify available federal resources that support growth of the region’s manufacturing sector.

IMCP is a partnership created by the White House Rural Council. Read the White House fact sheet here.

For more information on IMCP and the current Manufacturing Communities, click here.

Local Foods Local Places Grant Program (LFLP)

Local Foods Local Places Grant Program (LFLP) provides direct technical support to selected communities to help them develop and implement action plans promoting local food and downtown revitalization. The program aims to boost economic opportunities for local farmers and businesses, and foster entrepreneurship; improve access to healthy local food, particularly among disadvantaged groups with limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables; and revitalize downtowns, main street districts, and traditional neighborhoods by supporting farmers’ markets, food hubs, community gardens, community kitchens, and other kinds of local food enterprises, and by providing people with affordable choices for accessing those amenities, such as walking, biking, or taking transit.

For awardees and more information, click here.

Made in Rural America Initiative (MIRA)

Made in Rural America Initiative (MIRA) is charged with bringing together federal resources to help rural businesses and leaders take advantage of new investment opportunities and access new customers and markets abroad.  The DRA-in partnership with the US Department of Commerce-hosted one of five MIRA regional forums dedicated to promoting rural exports by providing rural leaders and businesses with information about federal and other resources available to help expand resources.

Made in Rural America is an initiative of the White House Rural Council. Read the White House fact sheet here.

For more information and resources, click here.

“Meet the Lenders” Access to Affordable Capital Workshops

“Meet the Lenders” Access to Affordable Capital Workshops address the challenges that Delta small businesses face in accessing affordable capital to start, grow, and expand business opportunities. Beginning in Fall 2014, DRA, SBA, and state SBDCs are providing “Meet the Lenders” workshops in each Delta state to connect small business owners and entrepreneurs with valuable information and the lenders they need to work with to obtain loans for their business endeavors.

For more information on the workshops, click here.

Promise Zones

Promise Zones serves to designate 20 high-poverty urban, rural, and tribal communities over the next four years as a Promise Zone, granting them preferential access to federal investments, intensive federal support partnerships, and tax incentives. A component of the President’s Ladders of Opportunities agenda, Promise Zones is designed to create jobs, increase economic activity, improve educational opportunities, leverage private investment, and reduce violent crime, ensuring that hard-working individuals are able to make it to the middle class.

To support the Administration’s mission, the DRA made a commitment during the original launch of the Promise Zones program to facilitate outreach and served as a liaison to eligible communities in the region, in order to help ensure that eligible Delta communities will be strong contenders for a Promise Zone designation. Two applicants within the Delta Region were recognized as finalists in the first round: The City of New Orleans and the Kisatchie Delta Planning and Development District.

In 2014, the DRA increased its partnership with the Promise Zones program and made an additional commitment to provide preferential consideration and potential supplemental funding for any Promise Zones designated communities within the Delta region.

Promise Zones is an initiative of the White House Rural Council. Read the White House fact sheet here.

For more information, click here.

Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge (Rural Jobs Accelerator)

Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge (Rural Jobs Accelerator) is designed to provide regions with the resources to plan and implement coordinated, flexible, regionally-customized activities capable of helping rural regions capitalize on the benefits of regional innovation clusters. Two programs in the Delta region were funded through the Rural Jobs Accelerator: the I-20 Corridor Regional Accelerator in southern Arkansas and northern Louisiana through Louisiana Tech University and Winrock International (investment of $964,134) and the Accelerating Jobs and Innovation through Community and Economic Development in Rural Mississippi through Mississippi State University (investment of $1,065,000).

For awardees and more information, click here.

Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant Program

Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant Program (TAACCCT) provides community colleges and other eligible institutions of higher education with funds to expand and improve their ability to deliver education and career training programs that can be completed in two years or less, are suited for workers who are eligible for training under the TAA for Workers program, and prepare program participants for employment in high-wage, high-skill occupations.

For the most recent awardees as well as the current application and more information, click here.