| President's Corner
We're excited about the 2010 Rural Community Conference to take place Aug. 31-Sept. 1 at MSU Bozeman. Information is below on our call for presenters. Please Save the Date!
Wind Power Growth Continues to Breaks Records Despite Recession
Global wind power capacity increased by 38,343 megawatts to a total of 158,505 megawatts in 2009 according to Worldwatch Institute. Despite a widespread economic recession, new wind power capacity grew more than 31 percent in cumulative installations, the highest rate in the last eight years. China passed the United States to become the world’s largest wind turbine market. Worldwide, wind power contributed 340 trillion kilowatt-hours, or 2 percent, to global electricity consumption. The map below shows additional wind power growth from 1980 – 2009.
Obesity Task Force Has a Recipe for Success
Cabinet officials and Michelle Obama revealed results of the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity: a 124-page report laying out 70 recommendations and a gentle warning that, while the federal government can't solve the obesity epidemic, it is prepared to take action where others don't. The graphs below from the report illustrate the growth of childhood obesity and how the recommendations aim to alter such trends by the year 2030.
Personal Income Data by County
Recently, the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released estimates of Personal Income by County level for 2008 based on newly available source data. Personal income is a comprehensive measure of the income of all persons from all sources. In addition to wages and salaries, it includes employer-provided health insurance, dividends and interest income, social security benefits, and other types of income. The data show that net earnings for personal income in Montana totaled $20,332,542 in 2008. Average wage and salary disbursements were $33,299, and average nonfarm proprietors' income came in at $20,662. The map below shows average personal income by state.
A Century Apart: New Measures of Well-being for U.S. Racial and Ethnic Groups
Our national conversation about race tends to take place in black and white, yet the greatest disparities in human well-being to be found in the U.S. are between Asian Americans in New Jersey and Native Americans in South Dakota. An entire century of human progress separates the worst-off from the best-off groups within the U.S., according to the latest update of the American Human Development (HD) Index. The graph below from the report illustrates discrepancies in education between these and other groups by state.
New Census Bureau Report Analyzes Nation’s Linguistic Diversity
The new report, Language Use in the United States: 2007, identifies the states with the highest concentrations of some of the most commonly spoken non-English languages. The languages, and some of the states with the highest percentage of speakers of these languages, include: Spanish (Texas, California and New Mexico), French (Louisiana and Maine), German (North Dakota and South Dakota), Slavic languages (Illinois, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut), Chinese (California, New York, Hawaii and Massachusetts) and Korean (Hawaii, California and New Jersey).
Rural Connections: Water in the Western U.S.
The Western Rural Development Center has recently released a Rural Connections newsletter containing various articles and resources on the subject of water in the West. You may view online or request your own copy at the website.
6 Ways To Use Video As A Small Business Owner
Here are six ways small business owners can use video to attract customers, increase their rankings, and differentiate their brand from all the others competing for the same eyes.
Incumbent Worker Training Program
The newly enacted Incumbent Worker Training Program will soon be available to established Montana businesses who are clients of Montana Manufacturing Extension Center (MMEC), Montana Small Business Development Center (SBDC), or who have participated in the Montana Business Expansion and Retention Program (BEAR), with 20 or less in-house employees. If you have employees scattered through the State, the eligibility then rises to 50 employees. This program will provide grant funding to assist in training your full and part time employees. The program is designed to provide up to $2,000 for a full-time employee and up to $1,000 for a part-time employee. These funds do need to be matched and there are worker eligibility requirements.
Community Development “In the News”
Parks, Playgrounds and Physical Activity
Do parks succeed in making people more active? What works and what doesn't when designing and maintaining a park? Planetizen; May 27
A Plan for Rural's Future Takes Shape
Agriculture has dominated U.S. rural development policy. But rural advocates are composing a more comprehensive plan grounded in today's realities: think "outmigration." Daily Yonder; May 25
The Complexity of Rural America
Gary Toth and Hannah Twaddell untangle the complexity of planning for rural communities. Blueprint America; May 19
Building Neighborhoods Through Grocery Stores
To survive, neighborhoods need to be commercially viable. A group called the Food Trust believes grocery stores are a good starting point for creating that economic climate. The Atlantic; May 17
New Electricity Grids May Be Smart, but Not So Private
It can tell how many people live in the house, when they get up, when they go to sleep and when they aren't home. Daily Camera; May 18
In Job Market Shift, Some Workers Are Left Behind
Many of the jobs lost during the recession are not coming back. Period. New York Times; May 16
Greens Vs. HOAs
HOAs are mandated to protect the aesthetics of their community. That goal is clashing with many who want to install solar panels on their roofs. States are fighting back with laws prohibiting HOAs from banning panels. USA Today; May 13
Investigating a Future without Coal and Nuclear Power in the U.S.
This report from Synapse Energy Economics and Civil Society Institute explores how the U.S. can move away from a fossil fuel-based electricity sector in the absence of a federal climate change bill. Greenbiz.com; May 13
Location Does Matter: Creating Economic Growth Across State and County Lines
High technology is the only industry sector specifically favored in counties with access to an educated workforce and a local research and development structure. MATR; May 11
Grasshopper Infestation in the West Predicted to be Worst in Decades
Grasshoppers are already hatching in Arizona and New Mexico in what experts predict will be the worst year for the crop- and range-eating bugs in the West since the mid-1980s. Portland Oregonian; May 11
Montana's Mining City to Play Host to German Wind-Turbine Execs
Fuhrländer, a German wind turbine manufacturer, has been interested in building a factory in the United States for years, and Butte is on the list of potential cities, Montana Standard; May 27
Wind-Power Developer Asks Montana PSC to Intervene in Rate Dispute
Bret Kenfield has asked the Montana Public Service Commission to set the price NWE should pay for the power produced in Chester. Montana Standard; May 27
Labor Department to Help Laid-off Workers in Montana
Montana will get $1.8 million from the U.S. Department of Labor to help workers who lost their jobs with Plum Creek Timber Co. and Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. Helena Independent Record; May 25
Governor Tells Montana Residents to Get Ready for Wildfires
Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer said Friday that conditions are ripe for an intense wildfire season this year, and warned residents of the wildland-urban interface to be ready to defend their homes themselves and to not expect the "government to bail you out." Helena Independent Record; May 10
Montana Tribe Distributes Money from Energy Development
The Blackfeet Tribal Business Council will use $5.5 million from its contract to develop oil resources on its Montana land with Texas-based Newfield Production Co. to but up fractionalized land interests, build a grocery store and pay each tribal member $200. Great Falls Tribune; May 8
Montana Invention May Solve Power Grid's Greatest Flaw - The Wooden Power Pole
If a Montana inventor and some of the state's brightest engineering students are correct, there may finally be a solution to the Achilles' heel of North America's vital electrical grid, the wooden power pole. News Blaze; May 1
| Upcoming Events
Summit Will Continue Dialogue on Rebuilding and Revitalizing Rural America
June 3rd, Jefferson College, Hillsboro, MO. The Obama Administration announced that Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will host a National Summit of Rural America: A Dialogue for Renewing Promise. This Summit will be an opportunity for rural Americans to share their vision for creating a more prosperous and promising future for rural America.
Treasure State Export Seminar
June 3rd, 9:00 AM, Rocky Mountain College, Billings. Senator Jon Tester today announced his Treasure State Export Seminar, a daylong event in Billings to create jobs and boost the state’s economy by expanding opportunities to sell Montana goods and services to customers in other countries. All interested Montanans are invited to attend.
USDA Rural Development Program Information Seminar
June 9th, 1:30 PM, Miles City. Get the latest information on Rural Development program updates, additions and changes to business and cooperative programs, community programs, and housing programs.
2010 MEDA Conference: Montana’s Economy: Life Outside the Boot
June 9th – 11th, Town and Country Club, Miles City. It is time to showcase Eastern Montana. The agenda contains top-notch speakers, business tours, professional development sessions, great food and networking opportunities. Pre-conference includes a USDA Rural Development Program Information Seminar.
Orton Family Foundation Seeks Presenters for Breakout Sessions at Community Matters ’10
Submit by June 11th. This year’s Community Matters will be highlighting innovative, interdisciplinary, citizen-driven examples of community building. Read the complete Call for Presenters and apply today to participate in sessions within any of our three tracks—Be the Change, Stock Your Toolbox, and Make It Happen. Session Presenters will be offered more than 50% off the conference registration fee.
Applications for Presenters at the 2010 Rural Community Conference are due June 15th. We are looking for presenters to explore issues of interest to leaders and populations in the rural West and to promote the goal of healthy, thriving communities. See below for more details.
Center for Economic Vitality 8th Annual International Economic Gardening Conference
June 16th-18th, Bellingham, WA. This year’s CEV Economic Gardening Conference will be covering topics including: Program Models, Setting-Up a Program, Finding Funding, Research & Tools, Rural Programs, Think Local Campaigns and Economic Development Strategies. The conference will include a dinner, sunset cruise, and lunch. Join us for this great networking opportunity.
Public Hearing on Proposed CRDC Administrative Rule Amendments
June 21st, 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM, Department of Commerce, Helena, and Online. Space is limited. Reserve your webinar seat now. This webinar will accompany the Public Hearing pertaining to the Certified Regional Development Corporations Program. The public hearing will be conducted live in Room 228 at the Department of Commerce, 301 South Park Avenue, in Helena. The webinar will enable those who cannot attend in person an opportunity to listen to and view the proceedings.
Summer Webinar Series on Leadership Development and Board Effectiveness
The Heartland Center for Leadership Development is now taking registration for our new Leadership Development and Board Effectiveness webinar series. These five webinars on developing community leadership and building board member capacity will begin in June and conclude in October, 2010. This summer's topics include:
June 22, Leadership Styles and Practices.
July 13, Working with Groups.
August 24, Engaging the Community.
September 14, Stewardship Essentials.
October 19, Governance Effectiveness.
Northwest Community Development Institute Classes Available
July 12th – 16th (Years 1 – 3), July 12th – 14th, (Advanced class). Do you want to be certified as a Professional Community and Economic Developer? Learn this and more at NWCDI Summer 2010.
CDS/IACD International Conference
July 24th – 28th, New Orleans, LA. The CDS/IACD International Conference registration is open. The joint conference includes over 100 presenters, 43 concurrent sessions, and enough time for attendees to get a taste of New Orleans' flavor. Participants of the 2010 CDS/IACD conference will witness how innovative community and economic development have played major roles in rebuilding and reconnecting this resilient community.
Save the Date!
2010 Rural Community Conference
August 31st – September 1st. Bozeman. Neighborhoods, schools, cities and towns are bringing all kinds of people into creative community problem solving and building a future for rural Montana. This is your chance to share, learn, connect and mobilize with others dedicated to creating a thriving rural Montana. Find solutions, share success stories, adopt new tools, and leave ready to move from waiting to leading, from talk to action.
Save the Date!
Fall 2010 Wheeler Conference: Montana’s Challenge: Rethinking Education for the 21st Century
September 20th – 21st, Great Northern Hotel, Helena. More information to follow. Registration opens May 26th.
Grants for Youth Ideas on the Dropout Crisis
America’s Promise Alliance and AT&T are looking for the energy, enthusiasm, creativity and commitment to help make this country a Grad Nation through the My Idea grants program. "My Idea" will empower young people to examine the high school dropout crisis and take action to help more of their peers to graduate on time – improving outcomes for themselves and their community. National grants of $10,000-$20,000 will be awarded to 20 – 25 youth for the best of the submitted ideas to help increase a community’s graduation rate anywhere in the United States.
Two Community Economic Development Projects Grants
1. Eligible Applicants: An applicant must be a private, non-profit Community Development Corporation (CDC) experienced in planning, developing, or managing low-income housing or community development activities. Faith-based and community organizations are eligible to apply under this announcement. Individuals and foreign entities are not eligible for awards made under this announcement.
2. Description: Grant funds will be made to Community Development Corporations (CDCs) for well planned, financially viable, and innovative projects to enhance job creation and business development in low-income communities.
CDBG-ED and BSTF Planning Grants Workshop
Join us for a webinar on June 24. This webinar training workshop is to inform and assist interested parties regarding the Community Development Block Grant-Economic Development Program and the Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund Program in preparation of planning grant applications. The training will be conducted live in Room 228 at the Department of Commerce, 301 S. Park Avenue, Helena, MT. This webinar will enable those who cannot attend in person an opportunity to participate.
Eight New Grant Opportunities have been added to the MSU Extension Website.