Northwest Colorado Development Council (NWCDC) is a collaborative regional economic effort that supports economic diversification, workforce development, affordable housing, access to child care and regional transportation for Moffat, Rio Blanco and Routt Counties and their seven communities. The 60-member NWCDC group includes governmental entities, higher education and K-12 partners, workforce development partners, chambers of commerce, nonprofits, and private sector and state agencies. Following the development and adoption of the Northwest Colorado Resiliency and Roadmap Plan, NWCDC is working collaboratively in 13 workgroups to implement strategies. The updates from the following workgroups demonstrate progress and momentum.
Grants Workgroup (New)
The NWCDC recently created this new workgroup to review, evaluate and submit grants that support our regional work. At our first June 14th meeting, we developed a grants process for the workgroup. Subsequently, we began working on the Economic Recovery Corps (ERC) technical assistance program. The ERC program funds for two-and-a-half years a Fellow who will help organizations (known as Host Entities) develop and execute regional economic development plans and projects in the communities they serve.
Sustainability Workgroup (New)
This newest workgroup will consider new funding models to support sustainability for the NWCDC. We are currently doing research on how regional economic development groups are funded around the state and the nation. Coincidentally, Economic Development Council of Colorado (EDCC) is conducting a statewide
survey on how economic development organizations fund their programs. Learn More>>>
The next step is to schedule a meeting to consider these different funding models. Please sign up to participate on this important committee.
Workforce Alignment Workgroup
The Workforce Alignment Group met June 22nd to discuss how to recruit business involvement in workforce development. The group discussed CEO Roundtables and Sector Partnerships and streamlining the process of engaging private sector participation. Our next step is to send out a survey to partners to discover what industry groups and sector partnerships already exist.
Proposition 123 created a nearly $300 million State Affordable Housing Fund to develop more affordable housing. The initial step in qualifying for access to these funds is a Local Government Affordable Housing Commitment which includes a requirement to increase existing affordable housing units by 3% a year and an expedited review process for affordable housing developments. To do so, a county or a municipality must establish a baseline number of affordable housing units. The deadline to file an Afford Housing Commitment is November 1, 2023.
***Free Technical Assistance to Establish a Baseline***
DOLA is providing free technical assistance to jurisdictions working to establish their baseline and growth commitments in order to obtain eligibility for Proposition 123 funding opportunities. Interested communities should submit a request form to apply for this competitive technical assistance by June 30th.
Value-added Ag Workgroup
NWCDC, CSU, Community Ag Alliance, and CNCC are working together to grow the value-added agricultural and food processing sector in Northwest Colorado. This ag collaboration is already bearing fruit (pun intended).
Due to the collective activities of partners and new interest from the ag community, the Northwest Coalition Food Coalition has resumed meeting. Its first meeting on June 22nd in Steamboat Springs highlighted the work around the region and Colorado to support agriculture.
Also, the Regional Ag Feasibility study will soon be complete. The feasibility study was developed in partnership with Community Agriculture Alliance, CSU, NWCDC, and CNCC. For the past several months, CSU and CNCC interviewers held in-depth discussions with more than 30 meat producers from Moffat, Rio Blanco, and Routt Counties. The feasibility study, funded by a $25,000 grant from Just Transition Fund, will identify opportunities for our community to come together to overcome the challenges facing our livestock producers. The study will be unveiled at three events, including a June 29th appreciation reception in Oak Creek. Details below.
Regional Ag Feasibility Study Update
Thank you to our Ag producers who have participated in our Regional Agricultural Feasibility Study! We would like to invite all of the ranchers who participated in the study, their families, and others in the community to hear the results of the NW Colorado Meat Feasibility Study on Thursday, June 29th at 5:00 pm at Dueling D’s BBQ at 116 Main Street, Oak Creek, CO.
You can also join by Zoom to hear the feasibility study findings, an update on the expansion of the Community Ag Alliance (CAA) Community Market, and opportunities for cooperative marketing models.
Heavy Hors d’oeuvre will be served and child care will be provided. Please contact Jess Diehl to RSVP>
Other appreciation receptions will be held in Moffat and Rio Blanco Counties. Locations and times are to be determined.
Communications & Social Media Update
We are expanding our outreach to the public by utilizing multiple social media platforms in addition to regular NWCDC and Agricultural newsletters. Through social media, we can share more information with our communities and businesses. On Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn, followers learn about our latest events, updates, grants, and other resources. Our social media posts reflect the values of the NWCDC such as economic diversification and workforce development while also providing easily accessible links and information to those who are interested. These accounts also feature Northwest Colorado tourism by highlighting small businesses, events, and other news in our communities. By sharing more information on social media, the NWCDC expects to create a greater awareness of our initiatives, resources, and good news from our region. Please help us build a social media following, by liking our Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn accounts and sharing our posts. To be featured on the NWCDC social media, you can click this link to email Shelby Rambo.
Please like and follow our social media accounts by clicking on the icons below!
Energy Improvement in Rural or Remote Areas (ERA)
The Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas (ERA) program seeks to improve the resilience, reliability, and affordability of energy systems in communities across the country with 10,000 or fewer people. The ERA program will leverage DOE’s expertise and experience in resilient energy solutions to modernize electric generation facilities, address disproportionately high electricity costs, and support new economic opportunities in rural and remote communities.
The ERA program received $1 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and provides financial investment, technical assistance, and other resources to advance clean energy demonstrations and energy solutions that are replicable and scalable. ERA aims to fund community-driven energy projects with three specific goals:
Deliver measurable benefits to energy customers in rural or remote areas by funding replicable energy projects that lower energy costs, improve energy access and resilience, and/or reduce environmental harm
Demonstrate new rural or remote energy system models using climate-resilient technologies, business structures that promote economic resilience, new financing mechanisms, and/or new community engagement best practices
Build clean energy knowledge, capacity, and self-reliance throughout rural America
OCED is also offering no-cost technical assistance to communities and organizations interested in energy improvements in rural or remote areas. Technical assistance will vary based on specific project needs and requests.
Those who are interested must submit pre application by July 13th through OCED exchange. For more information>
Colorado Department of Transportation
Revitalizing Main Streets Program
The Revitalizing Main Streets grant program enhances active transportation safety and strengthens the connection of people to main streets and central economic hubs. The program encourages physical activity and enhances local economic vitality in towns and cities across Colorado through funding infrastructure improvements to make walking and biking easy, yielding long-term benefits that bolster community connections. The Colorado Department of Transportation is awarding Grant Opportunity 2, Small Multimodal & Economic Resiliency Projects grants. The next deadline to submit applications is Wednesday, July 26, 2023.
Looking for funding for equipment and cold storage? The USDA Local Meat Capacity Grant (MCap) program supports independently owned meat and poultry processing businesses. The program provides more and better processing options for local livestock producers by modernizing, increasing, diversifying and decentralizing meat and poultry processing capacity, including support for rendering. Processing Expansion Projects will fund grants from $100,000 up to $5 million and Simplified Equipment-Only Projects offer a simplified application to fund smaller grants between $10,000 and $250,000. Deadline is July 19, 2023. Learn More>
Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance (PWEAA)
EDA supports bottom-up strategies that build on regional assets to spur economic growth and resiliency. EDA encourages its grantees throughout the country to develop initiatives that present new ideas and creative approaches to advance economic prosperity in distressed communities. Through this NOFO EDA intends to advance general economic development in accordance with EDA’s investment priorities, but also to pursue projects that, where practicable, incorporate specific priorities related to equity, workforce development, and climate change resiliency so that investments can benefit everyone for decades to come. Awards average from $150,000-$2.5 million. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis while funds last. Learn more>
Grants Database and Other Grants Resources
To help our members with the massive volume of grants coming out on the state and federal level, NWCDC is maintaining a Grants Database and Grants Calendar, curated to support the NWCDC priority areas. NWCDC Grants Manager Kim Mangle has prescreened these grants for appropriateness for our region. The database is a living document that we will be updating constantly as we find new resources that support our Roadmap strategies. For technical support, you can click this link to email Kim Mangle.
Small Business Resources
Growing our small businesses is vital to economic development in Northwest Colorado. However, many existing resources go underutilized because our busy small business owners and entrepreneurs aren’t aware of them. The NWCDC has compiled a list of small business resources to share with our partners and business owners. Learn More>
You are receiving this email newsletter from the Northwest Colorado Development Council (NWCDC) because you are a member or a partner or have signed up for more information. The NWCDC is an intergovernmental agreement between Moffat, Rio Blanco, and Routt Counties and their seven communities to collaborate on regional economic development.
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