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4/20/2015 12:00 AM
A total of $3.5 million is available for targeted-topic training grants and capacity-building training grants under the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced a total of $3.5 million for targeted-topic training grants and capacity-building training grants under the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program.

“These grants provide such a valuable service to American workers because they’re providing essential training to the vulnerable workers in small businesses and high-risk industries that need it most,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez, in a statement. “Susan Harwood program grants fund great programs with a truly noble goal, which is to make sure that every worker gets home safe and healthy at the end of the day.”

DOL said in a release that the program honors the late Susan Harwood, a former director in OSHA's Office of Risk Assessment, whose 17-year tenure with the agency led to the development of worker protection standards for exposure to blood borne pathogens, cotton dust, benzene, formaldehyde, asbestos and lead. The grants fund the creation of in-person, hands-on training and educational programs and the development of materials for workers and employers in small businesses; industries with high injury, illness and fatality rates; and vulnerable workers who are underserved, have limited English proficiency or are temporary workers. The grants will fund training and education for workers and employers to help them identify and prevent workplace safety and health hazards, the department said.

Two types of capacity-building grants are available, DOL said: Capacity-building pilot and Capacity-building developmental grants. Capacity-building pilot grants are intended to assist organizations in assessing their needs and formulating a capacity-building plan before launching a full-scale safety and health education program. Capacity-building developmental grants focus on improving and expanding an organization's capacity to provide safety and health training, education and related assistance to target audiences.

Eligible entities include colleges and universities nonprofit organizations, including community and faith-based organizations, employer associations, labor unions, joint labor/management associations and tribal organizations.

To learn more, visit www.osha.gov/dte/sharwood/index.html.

4/13/2015 12:00 AM
The Environmental Protection Agency has announced funding for New England’s Healthy Communities Grant Program to support projects benefiting one or more New England communities.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced funding for New England’s Healthy Communities Grant Program to support projects benefiting one or more New England communities.

EPA said in a release that $1.75 million will be made available for the Healthy Communities Grant Program to identify projects:

  • Targeting resources to benefit communities at risk [areas at risk from climate change impacts, environmental justice areas of potential concern, sensitive populations (e.g. children, elderly, tribes, urban/rural residents, and others at increased risk), and Southeast New England coastal watersheds].
  • Assessing, understanding and reducing environmental and human health risks.
  • Increasing collaboration through partnerships and community-based projects.
  • Building institutional and community capacity to understand and solve environmental and human health problems.
  • Advancing emergency preparedness and ecosystem resilience.
  • Achieving measurable environmental and human health benefits.

In 2015, the agency said that its “Target Investment Areas” include: Areas at Risk from Climate Change Impacts, Environmental Justice Areas of Potential Concern, Sensitive Populations, and/or Southeast New England Coastal Watersheds. “Target Program Areas” include: Capacity-Building on Environmental and Public Health Issues; Clean, Green, and Healthy Schools; Community and Water Resource Resilience; Healthy Indoor Environments; Healthy Outdoor Environments; and/or Southeast New England Coastal Watershed Restoration.

Eligible applicants include colleges and universities, state and local governments, nonprofit organizations, Native American tribal governments, and K-12 schools or independent school districts, among others. 

EPA said it expects to award a total of 10 to 15 cooperative agreements of up to $25,000, with the exception of projects identifying the Southeast New England Coastal Watershed Restoration Target Program Area, which may request up to $200,000.

The deadline to submit an Initial Project Summary is April 30, 2015. In order to answer questions from prospective applicants, the Healthy Communities Grant Program will host conference calls on April 16 and April 21, 2015, the agency said.

Learn more at http://www.epa.gov/region1/eco/uep/hcgp.html.

Department of Commerce
4/6/2015 12:00 AM

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker recently announced the first 26 recipients of the Economic Development Administration’s 2014 Regional Innovation Strategies Program Grants.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker recently announced the first 26 recipients of the Economic Development Administration’s 2014 Regional Innovation Strategies Program (RIS) Grants. The new initiative is designed to advance innovation and capacity-building activities in regions across the country through three different types of grants: i6 Challenge grants, Cluster Grants for Seed Capital Funds, and Science and Research Park Development Grants.

“As America’s ‘Innovation Agency,’ the Commerce Department has a key role to play in supporting the innovators and job creators of tomorrow,” said Secretary Pritzker in a statement. “We want to ensure that all entrepreneurs have access to the tools they need to move their ideas and inventions from idea to market. The Regional Innovation Strategies Program competition is designed to advance this mission across the United States, strengthening our economy and our global competitiveness.”

The i6 Challenge, a national competition that makes small, targeted, high-impact investments to support startup creation, innovation and commercialization, was launched in 2010 as part of the Startup America Initiative. Now that the i6 Challenge is included in the new Regional Innovation Strategies Program, the funding will support the expansion of existing centers and later-stage Commercialization Centers, as well as Proof-of-Concept Centers. The total amount of funding for the i6 Challenge under RIS is nearly $8 million.

The Commerce Department also said Cluster Grants for Seed Capital Funds, which provide technical assistance funding to support the feasibility, planning, formation or launch of cluster-based seed capital funds, will help improve access to capital for entrepreneurs across the United States. The total amount of funding for the Cluster Grants for Seed Capital Funds under RIS is nearly $2 million.

The department said it would announce the winners of the program’s Science and Research Park Development Grants in the next couple of weeks.

To see a complete list of grantees, visit http://www.commerce.gov/.

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