Participating Cities, Towns, and Villages Will Receive Specialized Support to Build More Competitive Grant Applications for Programs with Up to $42 Billion Available
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Today, the Local Infrastructure Hub announced a new set of bootcamps designed to help local leaders develop comprehensive and strategic funding applications for federal grants made available to cities as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act. This next series will focus on five grant opportunities that address highway-rail crossing improvements, drinking water systems, broadband planning, local infrastructure projects, and bridge infrastructure.
These technical trainings are being led by the National League of Cities with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Ballmer Group, Emerson Collective, Ford Foundation, and The Kresge Foundation.
“Our expanded offerings will help cities working to close funding gaps for critical infrastructure projects,” said Clarence Anthony, NLC CEO and Executive Director. “The grants available in this next series could be transformative to recipients – enabling them to address structural issues that exacerbate inequality, including drinking water safety, failing bridges and highways that physically divide neighborhoods.”
“We launched the Local Infrastructure Hub to make sure communities of all sizes, geographies, and capacities could compete for historic federal funding,” said James Anderson, who leads the Government Innovation program at Bloomberg Philanthropies. “These newest bootcamps build on our track record of helping nearly 1,000 mid-size and smaller U.S. communities tap into world class expertise, technical assistance, and coaching, delivered pro bono and with heart.”
Cities have unprecedented opportunities to apply for funding directly from the federal government, but smaller to mid-sized cities may not have the experience or tools at their disposal to develop competitive applications. The technical assistance offered by these bootcamps aims to empower towns and cities with 150,000 residents or fewer with the ability to create and submit robust applications for federal grants. The past two bootcamp series, which took place in the fall and winter, welcomed participation from representatives from several hundred cities, who gained technical expertise to build comprehensive grant applications.
Participants from past bootcamps have expressed satisfaction with how the technical training has prepared them submit applications like they never have before and take on local projects that have long been underfunded. “I want to let you know how much I’ve enjoyed the NLC Bootcamp for EV Infrastructure, and hearing from peers across the nation,” said Linda Knight, Public Works Sustainability & Solid Waste Manager for the city of Renton, WA. “Your energy is infectious, and coupled with the enthusiasm, knowledge, and intellect of you and your entire group, it is inspiring us to think deeper about how we develop our projects.”
Participation in the program includes access to subject matter experts, individualized coaching sessions, office hours, and peer-to-peer learning. The bootcamps last approximately 3-4 months, and participants will include mayors and municipal staff with job functions focused on finance, community engagement, and other relevant disciplines such as administrative and advisory affairs. A major emphasis will also be placed on helping communities understand federal priorities, such as equity and sustainability, and then incorporate these and other desired outcomes into submissions.
“I’ve been working in grants for more than 40 years, but there are so many new funding opportunities available. Navigating these new programs is made possible by the access to experts during office hours and hearing from peers about their success stories. This program is one of the best I’ve attended and has facilitated many fruitful, collaborative discussions that helped our area identify compelling project candidates,” said Caran Curry, Senior Grants Counsel of the Arkansas Municipal League.
Beginning in June 2023, the following five bootcamps will prepare participants to competitively apply for funding from:
- The Combined Railroad Crossing Elimination Program & CRISI ($3B for RCE; $5B for CRISI) provides funding for highway-rail or pathway-rail grade crossing improvement projects, promoting safety and mobility for people and goods. Communities can use grant funding to track relocation; improve or install protective devices, signals, or signs; improve safety; and conduct environmental audits of eligible projects.
- The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund ($2.75 billion available) will provide cities, towns, and villages with opportunities to address urgent water challenges facing local communities. Through these grants, local governments can strengthen their drinking water and wastewater systems.
- Broadband Opportunities ($42.25 billion available for BEAD) introduces cities to the entire ecosystem of federal broadband opportunities, as well as ways cities can engage with the private sector and serve as promoters of household programs. Cities will learn about broadband in their community,identify future opportunities, and do a deep dive into available federal programs, particularly the new Broadband Equity, Access, & Development Program (BEAD), which helps fund opportunities for communities looking to expand high-speed internet access through broadband planning, deployment, mapping, equity, and adoption projects and activities.
- Neighborhood Access and Equity Grant Program ($5 billion available) helps to reconnect neighborhoods divided by infrastructure. Cities, towns, and villages can use funds to address local infrastructure projects such as removing, replacing, or retrofitting highways and freeways. This grant program supports equitable transportation planning and will allow residents to become more active in the infrastructure projects that negatively impact them and their surrounding environment.
- The Bridge Investment Program ($2.36 billion available) focuses on existing bridges to reduce the number of bridges in poor condition. This funding marks an unprecedented focus on bridge infrastructure, which are vital for connecting residents and local communities.
To learn more about the offerings of each course, please visit localinfrastructure.org/application-bootcamp.
To register, city officials can submit an interest form online here starting today through May 31. Space is limited in the program, and preference will be given to early enrollees.
About The Local Infrastructure Hub:
This technical assistance for small and mid-sized towns and cities announced today is part of the Local Infrastructure Hub initiative. Funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Ballmer Group, Emerson Collective, Ford Foundation and The Kresge Foundation, the first-of-its-kind Local Infrastructure Hub is a national program to ensure that all cities and towns can access federal infrastructure funding to drive local recovery, improve communities, and deliver results for residents.
The Local Infrastructure Hub is delivered by the National League of Cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Results for America, and Delivery Associates. The National League of Cities will offer technical assistance to help small towns and mid-sized cities develop strong applications that are grounded in data, feature detailed project plans, and include relevant policy objectives. The U.S. Conference of Mayors and Results for America are leading webinars to help cities identify the grant opportunities that align with community needs, get guidance about application criteria and timeframes, and learn about infrastructure innovations and emerging best practices.
U.S. cities of all sizes can access the Local Infrastructure Hub here.
About National League of Cities:
The National League of Cities (NLC) is the voice of America’s cities, towns and villages, representing more than 200 million people. NLC works to strengthen local leadership, influence federal policy and drive innovative solutions.