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4/2/10 Urban Affairs Newsletter

A weekly look at recent and upcoming events in urban policy from the Office of Urban Affairs.

Each week, please look out for the White House Office of Urban Affairs Newsletter, which provides information related to the Administration’s urban policy initiatives, funding opportunities, featured articles and upcoming events.

Top News

President Obama Discusses Jobs and the Economy: Today, the President traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina, where he toured Celgard, LLC – a company that was awarded Recovery Act funding to expand its ability to produce separators for lithium-ion batteries – and delivered remarks on the economy.  Cabinet Secretaries and senior Administration officials also fanned out across the country and  participated in events to amplify President Obama’s jobs agenda.  This month’s employment report showed continued signs of gradual labor market healing and the creation of the largest number of new jobs in three years.

President Obama Signs Historic Health Care and Education Legislation: This week President Obama signed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, which delivered a significant down payment on the President’s ambitious agenda to make higher education more affordable and help more Americans earn a college degree. This legislation strengthens the Pell Grant program, invests in community colleges, extends support for Historically Black Colleges and other Minority Serving Institutions, and helps student borrowers manage their student loan debt by capping repayments at 10% of their discretionary income.

"Census Day" -- April 1: Yesterday, President Obama issued a proclamation recognizing April 1, 2010, as Census Day and called upon all Americans to observe the day by completing their census form and mailing them back.  “Since our Nation's earliest days, the census has played an important role in identifying where resources are most needed.  This procedure, enshrined in our Constitution, informs our Government's responses to the evolving needs of American communities. By completing this year's survey, we can ensure they receive adequate funding for schools, hospitals, senior centers, and other public works projects. The 2010 Census will also aid employers in selecting locations for new factories and businesses as our economy recovers. On Census Day, I urge all Americans to fulfill their civic duty by participating in the 2010 Census.”

Administration Announces Second Round of Assistance for Hardest-Hit Housing Markets  ( The Administration announced an expansion of the Housing Finance Agency Innovation Fund for the Hardest Hit Housing Markets (the “HFA Hardest Hit Fund”), targeting five additional states with high shares of their populations living in local areas of concentrated economic distress.  This second HFA Hardest Hit Fund will include up to $600 million in funding for innovative measures to help families stay in their homes or otherwise avoid foreclosure in states that have been hit hard by concentrated economic distress.

US Department of Labor Announces Nearly $4 billion in 2010 Workforce Investment Act and Wagner-Peyser Act Allotments (Department of Labor):  This week, the U.S. Department of Labor announced 2010 allotments to states and outlying areas under the Workforce Investment Act and Wagner-Peyser Act. The nearly $4 billion in funds will be used to help Americans get back to work through high quality employment and training services, which are delivered largely through the department's national network of One-Stop Career Centers.

First Lady Announces Frist and Booker will be Vice Chairs of The Partnership for a Healthier America Foundation: This week, First Lady Michelle Obama announced the Partnership for a Healthier America, an independent, non-partisan organization that will mobilize the private sector, foundations, government officials, the media and others around the goals of the Let’s Move! campaign.  Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and Newark Mayor Cory Booker will serve as Honorary Vice Chairs, and Dr. James R. Gavin III, will serve as chairman. First Lady Obama announced, “The Foundation is going to also connect potential partners from the public, private and non-profit sectors, working to support the best, the most innovative programs in our communities -– and working to replicate these success stories all across the country.”


Brookings Institute on the Demand for Transformative Investments Exposed by the Recovery Act (The New Republic): In “Stimulus Creativity: Oversubscribed,” Bruce Katz and Marc Muro of the Brookings Institute Metropolitan Policy Program reflect on the creativity inspired by the Recovery Act and the national appetite for flexible and transformative federal programming.

WH Urban Affairs “Wrap Up” of the World Urban Forum V: In “What’s Your World Urban View,” White House Office of Urban Affairs Associate Director Alaina C. Beverly reflects on the Urban Affairs team’s participation in the fifth World Urban Forum.  “The Urban Team just returned from Brazil where we attended the UN-Habitat World Urban Forum V.  […] The event, which attracted over 9,000 people and leaders from over 160 countries, allowed for a collective examination of the question, “How do we use this ‘urban-growth moment’ to plan for future generations and improve the quality of urban living today?”


$1.2 million in Recovery Act Funds to Assist Workers Impacted by Foreign Trade: Deadline April 14th (Department of Labor): One to four projects will be funded to provide technical assistance and outreach to dislocated workers impacted by foreign trade. Funding awarded through this competition will support grantees that provide direct training or technical assistance to ensure that Trade Adjustment Assistance petitions are complete and accurate. It also will allow organizations to improve the delivery of Workforce Investment Act Rapid Response services to trade-affected workers.

Drug Free Communities Support Mentoring Program Grants: Deadline April 23rd (Office of National Drug Control Policy): An estimated 15 new mentoring grants will be awarded (up to $75,000 per grant, per year) to drug and alcohol prevention community coalitions from across the nation.

Community-Based Job Training Grants: Deadline: April 29th (Department of Labor): The U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration announced the availability of approximately $125 million in funds for Community-Based Job Training Grants. Community-Based Job Training Grants will be awarded through a competitive process to support workforce training for high-growth/high-demand industries through the national system of community, technical and tribal colleges.

Energy Efficient Building Systems Regional Innovation Cluster Initiative:  Deadline May 6th (Department of Energy): This is the first pilot project of the Interagency Regional Innovation Clusters Taskforce (Taskforce). The Taskforce has been charged with developing a model for coordinated federal and regional efforts that foster and use regional innovation clusters to develop sustainable and efficient models for attaining national strategic objectives including creating good jobs, increasing regional gross domestic product and promoting innovation in science and technology.

Investing in Innovation (i3) Program: Deadline May 11th (Department of Education): The Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation (i3) Program will support local districts and nonprofit organizations—working in partnership with several districts and/or several schools—as they seek to implement educational innovations with promising or demonstrated effective outcomes for students.


April 6th
The Philadelphia Economic Recovery Procurement Summit will be held on April 6th from 8:00 AM – 11:30 AM in Philadelphia, PA. The summit will help connect minority - and women-owned businesses to Recovery Act job opportunities.