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OWHAC Awards College Scholarships

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					                                        Community Development Division                                                                                May 2006




Congratulations
                                       OWHAC Awards College
  graduates!                           Scholarships
                                       Each year the Oklahoma Weatherization
                                       and Housing Advisory Council
                                       (OWHAC) offers competitive
In This Issue:
                                       educational scholarships to high school
Building Community...........          seniors. Students were required to submit
2-7                                    an essay on the importance of affordable
                                       housing for low-income people.
                                       The scholarship contest memorializes Ted
Grants Awarded.................
                                       Allen and David Walker, two Housing
5-7                                    and Urban Development employees who
                                       lost their lives in the bombing of the
Energy Page.........................   Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma
                                       City in 1995.                            Attending the scholarship presentation are (left to right): Commerce associate
8
                                                                                                Rhonda Harding-Hill; Patricia Robinson, mother of Tynisha Anderson;
                                       This year, a dozen students submitted    Tynisha, scholarship recipient and Rhonda’s niece; Pam Hall, president of
                                       essays. A review committee then          OWHAC; Commerce associate Steve Walker; former Commerce associate
Funding Opportunities......            evaluated all the essays (with authors’  Janet Walker; Kayla Wallace, scholarship recipient; and Kayla’s parents,
9, 15                                  names removed). Among those selected Jennifer and Jeff Wallace. Jeff heads the State Data Center at Commerce.
                                                                                Not pictured is scholarship recipient Eric Walker, son of Steve (no relation
                                       to receive awards were three students    to Janet Walker).
                                       related to Commerce associates: $100 to
Growing Businesses..........
                                       Eric Walker, son of Steve Walker in Administrative Services; $100 to Tynisha Anderson, niece of
11, 12
                                       Rhonda Harding-Hill in Community Development; and $500 to Kayla Wallace, daughter of Jeff
                                                                                 Wallace in Research and Economic Analysis.
Workforce Connection.....                                                                       The Oklahoma Weatherization and Housing Advisory
13, 14                                                                                          Council presented the three recipients with checks
                                                                                                during a recognition event held at the Commerce
                                                                                                Department in late March.
Fighting Poverty..................
12, 13, 15                                                                                      All three will attend universities in Oklahoma.
                                                                                                Walker will attend Oklahoma State University;
                                                                                                Anderson will attend Oklahoma City University; and
Upcoming Events................                                                                 Wallace will attend Southern Nazarene University.
15                                     Pam Hall, president of OWHAC (center), presented         We congratulate the honorees – along with
                                       scholarship checks to Kayla Wallace (left) and Tynisha
                                       Anderson.
                                                                                                graduating seniors throughout Oklahoma – and wish
                                                                                                them all the best in their educational pursuits.
Transforming oklahoma one CommuniTy aT a Time                                                                               Page 2
But I’ve Been to Oklahoma...
A Call to Action
by C.G. Herndon

                                             Oklahoma, the        from such notable movies as The Mummy and Zorro, as well
                                             native frontier.     as TV shows like Toonsylvania and Teenage Mutant Turtles.
                                             These are the
                                                                  To say he’s somewhat accomplished in his field is like
                                             voyages of
                                                                  saying William Shatner kinda overacts.
                                             the car ship
                                             Okiewagen.           Not surprisingly, one of Kevin’s hobbies is collecting
                                             For my eighth        action figures. He has 7,000 of them so far. They used to
                                             Christmas,           bring inquisitive visitors to his art studio in Pauls Valley.
                                             Santa brought        During one visit, he jokingly mentioned to a friend
                                             a Star Trek          that he was the
                                             utility belt         unofficial tourist
(with phaser, communicator, and that doodad that                  attraction for Pauls
detected life on strange planets), the bridge of the USS          Valley.
Enterprise (including Captain’s Chair and teleporter), and
                                                                  Be careful what
the accompanying crew (except Lt. Uruha and Yeoman
                                                                  you say. From that
Rand — they were girls; I was eight).
                                                                  comment came the
I spent hours fighting Klingons and Tribbles, jumping to          idea for an action
warp 9 and body slamming Scottie. (I was also a wrestling         figure museum.
fan). I also spent hours explaining to my sister that these       Opening that museum soon became an integral part of
were not Barbie dolls, but indeed action figures and              the city’s planning process called VISION 2010.
therefore quite masculine.
                                                                  Five years after the idea first surfaced, following plenty of
This month I loaded up the Okiewagen and headed to                research and planning, tons of volunteer hours, a hotel-
Pauls Valley, home of friendly folks, catfish noodling, and       motel tax, and donations from private individuals and
the world’s first Toy and Action Figure Museum.                   companies, the Toy and Action Figure Museum (www.
                                                                  actionfiguremuseum.com) has become a reality.
A major preaching point of community development is “play
to your strengths.” In Oklahoma that can mean anything            On October 15, 2005, it opened for business. By the
from Native American and Western heritage to outdoor              end of the year, just 2 ½ months later, more than 4,500
                                         recreation and           visitors from 24 states had walked through the museum’s
                                         natural resources        downtown Pauls Valley doors. Those visitors also
                                         to interesting and       frequented other establishments in downtown, making the
                                         unique people.           museum a catalyst for downtown business.
                                           Pauls Valley is        Along with a menagerie of displays in the action figure
                                           using the strength     museum, visitors find something unusual in museums of
                                           of one of its own, a   this sort, places for the kids to play – play with G.I. Joe
                                           local artist named     and Barbie, play with Legos, and even play and dress up
                                           Kevin Stark who        as their favorite comic book heroes. It is a great experience
                                           has been working       for kids of all ages (though, I personally found the outfits
                                           in the art field       to be a bit small). When you visit the museum, you’re not
most of his life. You may even have some of his pieces in         just visiting Pauls Valley, you’re stopping by Gotham City,
your home. His body of work includes portraits, logos,            Metropolis, and Springfield.
comic books, children’s book illustrations, and action figures
                                                                                                                      A Call To Action
                                                                                                                 continued on page 14
Page 3


Community Development Progress Showcased at Capitol
                                                        March 14th heralded the third annual Community Development Day at the Capi-
                                                        tol, a chance for both communities and community development organizations to
                                                        showcase their programs and services to elected officials.
                                                        The event highlighted more than a dozen public and private organizations dedi-
                                                        cated to growing rural Oklahoma. These
                                                        organizations set up booths to better
                                                        educate communities, legislators, and
                                                        legislative staff on the positive impact
                                                        the groups are having on communities,
                                                        as well as economic development efforts
Tracey Cox and Alice Johnson are always ready to talk   across the state.
about the Oklahoma Main Street Program.
                                              “This event is important because it
demonstrates the positive impact these various organizations are having on the
state’s future,” said Vaughn Clark, Community Development Director at Com-
merce. “Strengthening these communities — from infrastructure to a better trained                 Representing all three program teams within Commerce’s
workforce — is vital for bringing good jobs to these smaller cities. Over the past few            Community Development Division are Kathy McLaughlin
                                                                                                  (Citizen Empowerment), Scott Myers (Community Infra-
years, we have significantly increased our programs designed to lift up our rural com-            structure), and Corey Herndon (Community Outreach).
munities. Community Development Day is an opportunity to update the legislators
and state elected officials on our progress.”




Site Ready Program Now Offers a Visual Advantage
The new Oklahoma site certification program, Site Ready, is GIS-viewable to the public. For those who are not familiar, GIS
(Geographic Information System) offers a set of tools for visualizing, exploring, querying, editing, and analyzing information
linked to geographic locations. This allows the user to display
the data as maps, tables, and charts.                                          Rural Communities Respond
The Site Ready sites have been geocoded, a process of linking                  to Disaster
an address to a geographic location on the map, which allows                   The most recent issue of the Housing Assistance
the viewers to get greater detail of the site and its surround-                Council’s Rural Voices focuses on revitalization strategies
ings. The Site Ready program also offers the option to display a               for communities affected by disasters of all types.
report containing data for each site or building. To visit the GIS
webpage, go to www.OKcommerce.gov/siteready.                                   Among the communities profiled is Logan County,
                                                                               West Virginia, the site of a major flood in 1972. Beverly
                                                                               Divers-White, of the Foundation for the Mid-South,
                                                                               also discusses how Delta communities are responding to
                                                                               the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.
                                                                               View After the Disaster: Rural Communities
                                                                               Respond, at www.ruralhome.org/manager/uploads/
                                                                               VoicesWinter2005-2006.pdf.
Transforming oklahoma one CommuniTy aT a Time                                                                                           Page 4


Grants Presented to Communities in Southwestern Oklahoma
                                                  In February, state legislators from southwestern Oklahoma presented more
                                                  than $1,475,000 in Rural Economic Action Plan (REAP) grants, $245,800 in
                                                  Community Development Block Grant-Rural Economic Action Plan (CDBG-
                                                  REAP) grants, and $218,311 in Community Expansion of Nutrition Assistance
                                                  (CENA) grants. Southwestern Oklahoma Development Authority (SWODA)
                                                  in Burns Flat hosted the ceremonies.
                                                                 Legislators in attendance for the presentations were Representative David
                                                                 Braddock of Altus; Representative James Covey of Custer City; Representative
                                                                 Purcy Walker of Elk City, Representative Ryan McMullen of Burns Flat; and
The Town of Dill City received $20,250 of CDBG-REAP
                                                                 Senator Gilmer Capps of Snyder.
funds to purchase a fire truck. Pictured from left to right are:
                                                                 The Oklahoma Legislature created REAP in 1996. Senators and representatives
Senator Gilmer Capps; Elaine Van Vranken and Jimmy
Linn, Town of Dill City; Representative Ryan McMullen;           from southwestern Oklahoma have been strong supporters of the program
and Scott Myers, Oklahoma Department of Commerce.                and have commended its benefits to small rural communities. The Legislature
                                                                 appropriates funds for use by regional councils of governments (COGs), such as
SWODA, to fund county and municipal projects benefiting communities of 7,000 or less.
CENA funds activities and provides money for home-delivered meals, meals at senior citizen centers and community
centers, new equipment, and structural enhancements. Commerce develops policy and procedures for this statewide
program and provides technical assistance. Area Agencies on Aging administer programs locally.
Commerce and COGs partnered to develop CDBG-REAP to leverage federal CDBG funds and state REAP funds dollar
for dollar on each eligible project.
For more information about the CDBG program, visit www.OKcommerce.gov/funding or contact Scott Myers at Scott_
Myers@OKcommerce.gov, 800-879-6552, or 405-815-5356.


Three Southern Initiatives Honored with Sustainable
Communities Award
The National Association of Counties recently announced the 10    Collaborative Governance:
winners of its 2005 Center for Sustainable Communities Awards.
Included among those honored were three initiatives in the South,
                                                                  Key Principles and Best
including: 1) Jackson County, Missouri’s Royal and Red…With       Practices
a Touch of Green initiative; 2) Cumberland County, North                   A new report from the Alliance for Regional Stewardship
Carolina’s base realignment and closure process; and 3) Arlington          seeks to answer the key question, “What is collaborative
County, Virginia’s Rosslyn-Ballston Metro Corridor.                        governance?”
The top four among these 10 will win cash prizes — $10,000                 The report sets out key principles that distinguish
to the platinum winner and $5,000 to each of the others.                   collaborative governance from more traditional practices,
For a list of all 10 awardees, go to www.naco.org/Template.                ranging from grassroots initiatives to top-down
cfm?Section=New_Technical_Assistance&template=/                            government. It also offers a number of best practice
ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=19409.                      examples, including Birmingham’s Regional Growth
While you’re on NACo’s website, explore all the great                      Alliance and St. Louis’ Metropolitan Forum.
resources, such as Cost Saving Programs for Counties, Grants               Download Regional Stewardship and Collaborative
Clearinghouse, Public Awareness Campaigns, and Training and                Governance at www.regionlink.org/index.
Technical Assistance.
Page 5


Bessie to Improve Wastewater Infrastructure
with CDBG Grant
Wastewater infrastructure and service will improve for 184 residents of the Town of Bessie in the coming months thanks in
part to a Community Development Block Grant. Funds will be used for improvements at the wastewater retention lagoon
for Bessie, which is located between Clinton and Cordell in Washita County.
The $247,000 award comes from the state’s 2005 CDBG-Water and Wastewater Construction funds. At the state level,
the CDBG program is administered by the Commerce Department. At the federal level, it is administered by the U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Commerce uses a phased approach to help fund water and wastewater projects. Phase I funds are for the engineering and
permitting aspects of a project. Phase II funds are for the necessary costs of construction, engineering, inspection and
administration to complete the project.
This phased approach ensures the most appropriate technical solutions within available budgets. Additionally, it helps
improve both the timeliness of CDBG expenditures and coordination among other state agencies that deal with permitting
and financing.
For more information on the Community Development Block Grant program, visit www.OKcommerce.gov/funding or
contact Scott Myers at Scott_Myers@OKcommerce.gov, 800-879-6552, or 405-815-5356.



101 Ways You Can Be a Positive Influence on Kids
                                                               Research has shown that kids who enjoy regular positive
                                                               activity with an adult are less likely to begin using drugs and
                                                               alcohol.
                                                               Did you know?
                                                                   • 11.2 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds reported current
                                                                     use of illicit drugs in 2003.
                                                                   • In 2003, 30.5 percent of youths reported using an
                                                                     illicit drug at least once during their lifetime and 21.8
                                                                     percent reported using an illicit drug within the
                                                                     past year.
                                                                   • Substance abuse among youth has been strongly
It doesn’t take much — an hour a week, a couple of hours             linked to delinquency.
a month. Whether you can coach a sport, teach a skill,         At www.HelpYourCommunity.org, you can play and hear
or simply hang out, the time you spend with kids will          public service announcements, discover “Why You Matter,”
influence them and help them make the choice not to use        read about people making a difference, hear from youth,
drugs. Make a difference in your community today by            learn how to get involved, and find out about anti-drug
making a difference in the lives of kids.                      coalitions.
Read the list of 101 ways you can help at www.                 Help kids stay active and you’ll help them stay away from
HelpYourCommunity.org — the award-winning website of           drugs.
the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Transforming oklahoma one CommuniTy aT a Time                                                                              Page 6



Commerce Funds Housing Revitalization Activities
One hundred and thirty Oklahoma families will directly benefit     Local Government               Award                Homes        P
from the Housing Revitalization program at the Oklahoma                                           Amount
Department of Commerce, which has awarded $800,000 to five         Atoka County                    $150,000                50       o
local governments.                                                                                                                  re
Each local government receiving the funding will work with a          City of Clinton         $150,000           20                 o
Community Based Development Organization to help revive                                                                             re
low-income areas of their communities. Housing Revitalization Johnston County                 $150,000           20                 o
                                                                                                                                    re
activities may include partial home rehabilitation, energy-
                                                                      Marshall County         $150,000           20                 o
efficient retrofits, handicap accessibility, correction of health and
                                                                                                                                    re
safety issues, and residential emergency repair.
                                                                      Woods County            $200,000           20                 o
The Commerce Department annually makes CDBG funds                                                                                   re
available to eligible incorporated towns, cities and counties.        Total                  $800,000           130
Commerce uses a competitive grant process with an established
set of threshold and rating criteria. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides funding for
the state’s CDBG programs.
For more information on the Community Development Block Grant program for Housing Revitalization projects, visit www.
OKcommerce.gov/funding or contact Scott Myers at Scott_Myers@OKcommerce.gov, 800-879-6552, or 405-815-5356.



Engineering Funds Granted for Water and Sewer Projects
Fourteen towns and cities recently received notice that they     counties. Congress funds the CDBG program through the U.S.
will be getting a Community Development Block Grant              Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
(CDBG) award for engineering and permitting expenses of
                                                                 For more information on the Community Development Block
their water and sewer projects, directly benefiting 7,743 low-
                                                                 Grant program for Water and Wastewater projects, visit www.
and moderate-income people. The $350,859 comes from
                                                                 OKcommerce.gov/funding or contact Scott Myers at Scott_
the state’s FY 2006 CDBG-Water and Wastewater (Phase I
                                                                 Myers@OKcommerce.gov, 800-879-6552, or 405-815-5356.
– Engineering) set-aside.
                                                                 The following towns, cities, and counties will receive grants.
Commerce uses a phased approach to help fund water
and wastewater projects that require more than one year            No. Applicant                   Award        Beneficiaries
to complete. Phase I funds are for the engineering and                                             Amount
                                                                    1   Town of Bokoshe             $34,250         450
permitting aspects of a project. Phase II funds are for the         2   Town of Boswell              $3,750         703
necessary costs of construction, engineering, inspection, and       3   Town of Canadian            $45,691         239
administration to complete the project.                             4   Town of Jennings            $86,417         373
                                                                    5   Johnston County for the     $20,660         163
This phased approach ensures the most appropriate technical             Town of Bromide
                                                                   6    Town of Manitou              $12,401        278
solutions within available budgets. Additionally, it helps
                                                                   7    Town of Millerton            $19,730        359
improve both the timeliness of CDBG expenditures and               8    Town of Oakland              $13,802        610
coordination among other state agencies that deal with             9    Town of Pittsburg            $12,290        280
permitting and financing.                                          10   Town of Quinton              $18,750       1,071
                                                                   11   Town of Ralston              $16,158        355
The Oklahoma Department of Commerce administers the                12   Town of Ravia                $20,154        459
                                                                   13   Town of Ripley               $26,646        415
CDBG program at the state level. Each year, it makes CDBG          14   City of Waurika              $20,160       1,988
funds available to eligible incorporated towns, cities and              Total                      $350,859        7,743
Page 7


Glencoe and Maud Receive Grants
Glencoe and Maud recently received notice
they will be getting Community Development               Applicant            Award Amount              Beneficiaries
Block Grant (CDBG) awards for construction          Town of Glencoe                   $250,000                583
of their wastewater projects, directly benefiting   City of Maud                      $246,250               1,136
more than 1,700 low- and moderate-income            Total                           $496,250                 1,719
people. The funding comes from the state’s FY
2005 CDBG-Water and Wastewater (Phase II
– Construction) set-aside.
Glencoe will use its $250,000 to fund wastewater system improvements. Maud will use its $246,250 to fund improvements to
its wastewater treatment facilities.
Commerce uses a phased approach to help fund water and wastewater projects that require more than one year to complete.
Phase I funds are for the engineering and permitting aspects of a project. Phase II funds are for the necessary costs of
construction, engineering, inspection, and administration to complete the project.
This phased approach ensures the most appropriate technical solutions within available budgets. Additionally, it helps
improve both the timeliness of CDBG expenditures and coordination among other state agencies that deal with permitting
and financing.
The Oklahoma Department of Commerce administers the CDBG program at the state level. Each year, it makes CDBG funds
available to eligible incorporated towns, cities and counties. Congress funds the CDBG program through the U.S. Department
of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
For more information on the Community Development Block Grant program for Water and Wastewater projects, visit www.
OKcommerce.gov/funding or contact Scott Myers at Scott_Myers@OKcommerce.gov, 800-879-6552, or 405-815-5356.


Get Developer Electronically                                      CDBG Performance
                                                                  Evaluation Report
                 Get it early!                                    Available for Review
If you’d like to be notified when new editions
                                                                  Commerce is preparing the Performance Evaluation
of Community Developer are available for                          Report (PER) on the Community Development
download, sign up for e-alerts on our website.                    Block Grant Program (CDBG). The PER details
We’ll send you an e-mail letting you know                         the use of CDBG funds for each active program year
                                                                  and is submitted annually to the U.S. Department of
when it’s online and what to expect in each                       Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
issue. Subscribe today!
                                                                  The report will be available for public review and
Go to www.OKcommerce.gov/developer.                               comment May 31-June 13, 2006. If you wish to
                                                                  review the report, please contact Jack Smid at Jack_
Click “subscribe” in the lower right-hand
                                                                  Smid@OKcommerce.gov or 1-800-879-6552, x5357.
corner. It’s that easy!
Transforming oklahoma one CommuniTy aT a Time                                                                              Page 8


            THE ENERGY PAGE                                        www.OKcommerce.gov/energy

Central Oklahoma Clean Cities Coalition Wins Award
The Central Oklahoma Clean Cities Coalition was among the          Other winners were South Carolina, Ohio, Central Indi-
national winners when the National Ethanol Vehicle Coali-          ana, Tucson (AZ) Region, Twin Cities (MN), and Alamo
tion (NEVC) recently awarded eight grants totaling $50,000         Area (TX).
to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Coalitions
                                                                   In addition to the $35,000 contribution to the seven clean
and Transportation Energy Partnerships.
                                                                   cities coalitions, NEVC allocated $15,000 to Transportation
NEVC chairman Curtis Donaldson announced the awards at             Energy Partnerships to provide assistance to members and
the Clean Cities Project Review held in Washington, D.C.,          other groups that desire information and assistance in their
in March.                                                          efforts to establish local E85 programs.
Seven local Clean Cities coalitions won the awards for acting      Find out more about E85 at www.eere.energy.gov/afdc/
at the local level to support the NEVC’s mission to increase       e85campaign/e85fuel.html.
education and availability of E85, an alternative fuel com-
                                                                   E85 is designed for use in flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs), which
posed of 85 percent ethyl alcohol (ethanol) and just 15
                                                                   may fuel with either E85 and/or gasoline interchangeably.
percent petroleum.
                                                                   Most FFVs are still fueled with gasoline, but the availability
“Yvonne Anderson of the Central Oklahoma Clean Cities              of E85 and FFVs is expected to increase significantly in the
Coalition has led the efforts to facilitate the establishment of   next few years.
two E85 fueling stations in Oklahoma City,” Donaldson said.




Energy Tips
Transportation accounts for 66 percent of U.S. oil use, mainly in the form of gasoline. Here are a few ways to improve gas
mileage. (See next month’s issue for three more gas-saving tips.)




              When you use overdrive gearing, your car’s engine speed goes down. This saves gas and reduces wear.




              Avoid high speeds. Each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying $0.10 more per gallon of gas.




                     Aggressive driving (rapid acceleration and hard braking) wastes gas. It can lower your highway gas mile-
                     age 33 percent and city mileage 5 percent.
Page 9



Other Funding Opportunities
Listed below are some funding opportunities from outside           National Crime Prevention Council Offers Grants for Youth
the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. A current list is             Service-Learning Projects
maintained at www.OKcommerce.gov/funding.                          Deadline: Thursday, June 1, 2006

Funding Opportunities                                              The National Crime Prevention Council will award 100
Target Arts Grants                                                 grants of up to $500 through its Teens, Crime, and the Com-
Deadline: Wednesday, May 31, 2006                                  munity initiative.

A grant from Target makes it affordable for the entire family      The grants will support service-learning projects planned and
to participate in different arts and cultural experiences. Pro-    implemented by youth who identify needs and create projects
grams that bring the arts to schools or children to the arts are   to address or prevent crime, violence, and drug abuse in their
of particular interest. Examples of Arts Grants include school     schools and communities. These grants are intended to en-
touring programs, field trips to the theater, or symphony or       courage and promote crime prevention, community service,
artist residencies and workshops in schools. Awards of up to       and civic responsibility.
$3,000 will be made. For more information, see http://sites.
                                                                   To be eligible for funding, youth must be participating in a
target.com/site/en/corporate/page.jsp?contentId=PRD03-
                                                                   Community Works or Youth Safety Corps program or be in a
001818.
                                                                   youth group or class of six or more members. All participants
Additional Target Store Grants                                     must be between the ages of 11 to 19.
Deadline: Wednesday, May 31, 2006
                                                                   Visit the National Crime Prevention Council website, http://
Through its Store Grants, Target supports local giving in the      www.nationaltcc.org, to download complete program guidelines.
categories of Arts, Reading, and Family Violence Prevention.
                                                                   Youth Activism
    • The program awards Reading grants to schools,                Deadline: Open
      libraries, and nonprofit organizations, supporting
                                                                   Funds are available for youth-directed activist projects that fo-
      programs such as weekend book clubs, after-school
                                                                   cus on identifying, crossing and challenging social boundaries
      reading programs, and events encouraging family
                                                                   in schools and communities. Preference is shown for youth
      reading time.
                                                                   leadership (i.e. projects created and carried out by youth
    • Family Violence Prevention grants support groups             activists, collaborative efforts across social boundaries), (i.e.
      working to make individual homes and entire                  different youth groups or clubs working together), or school-
      communities safer, such as child abuse counseling            based clubs working with community-based organizations,
      programs and shelters.                                       and continuing efforts to identify, cross or challenge social
                                                                   boundaries. Grants of $500 will be awarded. For full details,
Eligible applicants must be nonprofit organizations with
                                                                   visit www.tolerance.org/teens/grants.jsp.
501(c)(3) status, schools, or units of government. Most
grants average between $1,000 and $3,000. Funding is               Educational Grants from State Farm
limited to the communities in which Target does business.          Deadline: Open
Because applications will be reviewed as they are received,
                                                                   To support K-12 public education, the following types of
applicants are encouraged to apply early.
                                                                   grants will be considered: 1) Striving for Teacher Excellence,
Applications for Target Store Grants and the complete ap-          which will improve teacher quality; 2) Service-Learning pro-
plication procedures are available at local Target stores and      grams that integrate core classroom curriculum with service
online at http://target.com.                                       to the community; 3) Systematic Improvement, or those
                                                                   programs and processes that require longer periods of time
                                                                   and investment of resources to impact measurable student

                                                                                                             Other Funding Opportunities-
                                                                                                                     continued on page 10
Transforming oklahoma one CommuniTy aT a Time                                                                           Page 10

Other Funding Opportunities
continued from page 9

achievement; and 4) Operation Respect through the “Don’t         The guide, Maximizing Program Services Through Private
Laugh At Me” project, a curriculum-based program that is         Sector Partnerships and Relationships: A Guide for Faith- and
designed to establish a climate that reduces the emotional and   Community-Based Service Providers, is now available online at
physical cruelty some children inflict upon one another.         www.samhsa.gov/FBCI/fbci_pubs.aspx.
For higher education, The State Farm Foundation provides         Medicare Enrollment Toolkit
funding to scholarship programs that are administered by
                                                                 The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
the American Indian College Fund, the Hispanic Scholar-
                                                                 released an updated toolkit that will aid faith-based and com-
ship Fund, and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.
                                                                 munity organizations working with individuals eligible for
Awards of up to $10,000 will be made. For more information,
                                                                 the Medicare prescription drug benefit.
visit www.statefarm.com/foundati/foundati.htm.
                                                                 The toolkit, titled A National Conversation — Friends and
Resources
                                                                 Family First, lays out the five simple steps required to join
New Guide for FBCOs Seeking Private-Sector Funding
                                                                 a Medicare prescription drug plan. It is available online at
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Sub-           http://www.cms.hhs.gov/partnerships/downloads/national-
stance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration           conversation.pdf.
(SAMHSA) has published a new guide for faith-based and
                                                                 National Mental Health Information Center
community organizations (FBCOs) that details the process by
which they can build private sector partnerships.                Find information on mental health resources for children,
                                                                 adolescents, adults and their families at www.mentalhealth.
                                                                 samhsa.gov.

Special Edition of Community
Developer Packed with                                             State’s Consolidated
Resources                                                         Plan Approved By HUD
Funding resources, development-ready properties, service
                                                                  The Oklahoma Department of Commerce received
providers, government benefits, best practices for manag-
                                                                  approval from the U.S. Department of Housing and
ing grants, health care information, contacts, and much
                                                                  Urban Development (HUD) for funding of the FY
more can be found in the new special edition of the Com-
                                                                  2006 State of Oklahoma Consolidated Plan.
munity Developer newsletter.
                                                                  Included in the plan are the Community Develop-
Each year, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce fun-
                                                                  ment Block Grant program, Emergency Shelter Grant
nels millions of dollars and resources into communities
                                                                  program, HOME Investment Partnerships program,
across the state resulting in thousands of new jobs, im-
                                                                  and Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS
proved infrastructure, and initiatives designed to trans-
                                                                  program. The plan year is April 1, 2006, through
form Oklahoma one community at a time.
                                                                  March 31, 2007.
The 16-page special edition represents the ultimate re-
                                                                  The plan can be found at www.OKcommerce.gov/
source guide to these programs and services (online and
                                                                  communities. Anyone wishing to obtain a printed
offline) offered by the Oklahoma Department of Com-
                                                                  copy of the State of Oklahoma Consolidated Plan
merce and its state and federal partners.
                                                                  should e-mail Kirk_Martin@OKcommerce.gov or call
City leaders, community improvement professionals,                800-879-6552, x5151.
economic development organizations, workforce
development personnel, clients — will all find something
of interest and use.
Find it online at www.OKcommerce.gov/developer.
Page 11


BR&E Workshop: Innovative Ideas for Helping
Oklahoma Companies Prosper
Economic and community development professionals from              Other speakers, like John Fowler, President and CEO of the
across the state joined the Oklahoma Department of Com-            Stillwater Chamber of Commerce, discussed the nuts and bolts
merce and many of its strategic partners in late February for      of organizing a business retention and expansion team. First
the first Business Retention & Expansion Workshop: Taking          step: find out what your local companies need most. Are they
Care of Business.                                                  healthy or are they struggling? Where are they in terms of de-
                                                                   velopment? What do they need to meet the challenges ahead?
Participants not only heard about new and innovative ways
to ensure that Oklahoma’s existing businesses thrive, but          Fowler’s suggested steps for finding answers to those questions
they walked away with a variety of tools, resources, and con-      include:
tacts to help them develop or enhance strategic established
                                                                         • Develop a questionnaire and tracking system;
industry efforts.
                                                                         • Select and train the team, which should include
Featured speaker Greg King, a leading expert on working
                                                                           business leaders, economic development professionals,
with established business and industry, focused his discus-
                                                                           education and training organizations, and local govern-
sions on building strong relationships with local companies
                                                                           ment officials;
and forming partnerships with other resource providers. King,
Strategic Partners Officer with the Georgia Institute of Tech-           • Establish a schedule or timeline;
nology, where he helped form a statewide collaborative initia-
                                                                         • Make assignments and develop a system of account-
tive focused on delivering resources to existing businesses and
                                                                           ability;
industry at the local level.
                                                                         • Make appointments with targeted employers;
According to King, higher education institutions and technolo-
gy centers play a key role in established industry development.          • Conduct interviews;
They have a variety of programs and services available for their
area companies that can address all five phases of business              • Report the findings back to the employers interviewed,
— concept, formation, growth, maturity and reinvention.                    and follow up as soon as possible on any specific needs
                                                                           or issues discovered during the interviews.
Using Georgia Tech as an example, King highlighted several
types of resources, programs, and services businesses need to      Other key issues discussed included tips and tools for entering
successfully plan for and navigate through those five phases,      the global market, various tax credits available to help business-
including:                                                         es expand, and how to use the state-sponsored e-Synchronist
                                                                   Business Information System to analyze data from your local
      • Expansion assistance                                       companies.
      • Research, development and technology transfer              Workshop presentations may be downloaded at www.okcom-
        assistance                                                 merce.gov/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=760
                                                                   &Itemid=606.
      • Productivity improvements
      • Export assistance
      • Workforce development.
Transforming oklahoma one CommuniTy aT a Time                                                                               Page 12


Hispanic Businesses Launch Statewide Chamber
Hispanic businesses from across Oklahoma recently formed
the first State Hispanic Chamber and appointed its first
chairman.
                                                                       Minority Business Assistance
According to Pat Fennell, executive director of the Latino
                                                                       Available
Community Development Agency and member of the new                     At Commerce, Ken Talley specializes in linking minor-
business organization, the State Hispanic Chamber will offer           ity-owned businesses to a variety of helpful services and
a variety of programs and services, including political edu-           programs, including:
cation, a medical insurance program, and a Small Business
                                                                          4Oklahoma Minority Supplier Development
Academy — an eight-month program to help entrepreneurs
                                                                           Council
create a business plan.
                                                                          4U.S. Small Business Administration
The new chamber will maintain offices in both Tulsa and
                                                                           (SBA) programs
Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma City office is under construc-
tion and is expected to be completed this fall.                           4Disadvantaged Business Enterprise programs at the
                                                                           Oklahoma Department of Transportation and the
Xavier Neira, vice president of special products at Rooney
                                                                           City of Tulsa.
Holdings in Oklahoma City, will serve as the first chairman.
                                                                       For more information, visit www.OKcommerce.gov/
Check out these Spanish-language publications on the Com-
                                                                       smallbiz or contact Ken Talley at Ken_Talley@OKcom-
merce website at www.OKcommerce.gov/smallbiz:
                                                                       merce.gov, 800-879-6552, or 405-815-5218.
	   4 El Plan de Negocias (Business Plan Guide)
	   4 Puntos Basicos (Business Basics).




Future Success of U.S. Small &                                       Innovative Policies to Reduce
Medium Manufacturers Examined                                        Poverty
According to the National Association of Manufacturers               Asset building policies hold the key to reducing poverty
(NAM), the manufacturing industry produces two-thirds of             in America, says a new report sponsored by the Sodexho
America’s exports. Their report, The Future Success of Small and     Foundation.
Medium Manufacturers, highlights both the role these com-
panies play in keeping America globally competitive and the          Among the programs featured in the report are:
challenges they face.                                                   • Kentucky’s state income tax threshold for low-income
In addition to rising energy costs, the rising cost of health care        households as well as its policies that promote a seam-
and skill shortages are significant challenges hindering the              less system of transitions from adult education to post-
competitiveness of small and medium manufacturers (SMM).                  secondary education;
The report also highlights successful SMM’s 15 best practices.          • Arkansas’ Career Pathways initiative, Workforce Im-
To review the latest NAM report visit www.nam.org/s_nam/                  provement Grant Program and Individual Development
bin.asp?CID=202515&DID=236457&DOC=FILE.PDF.                               Accounts;
                                                                        • Georgia’s HOPE grants and GoodWorks initiative; and
                                                                        • Louisiana’s START Savings program.
                                                                     Download the report, Innovative State Policies to Reduce Pov-
                                                                     erty and Expand the Middle Class, at www.sodexhousa.com/
                                                                     press-releases/pr120705.asp.
Page 13


Career Ready Program Gaining                                       Poverty Simulation Provides
Momentum                                                           New Understanding
Within today’s global economy, finding and keeping a job           In February, students entering the social services field gained
requires higher skill levels than ever before. Employers want      a greater appreciation of the challenges faced by the poor.
workers with documented skills based on the “real world” of
any workplace — from a welding shop to a hospital.                 A poverty simulation conducted at Tulsa Community College
                                                                   (TCC) drew students, faculty, and staff. Participants experi-
The Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Devel-           enced simulated poverty by attempting to accomplish tasks
opment and many of its partner agencies are currently rolling      such as accessing social services, caring for sick children, and
out a system of assessment and certification designed to meet      paying rent — while dealing with a financial crisis.
the needs of both employees and employers. This system is
called the Career Ready Program.                                   The faculty at TCC requested the simulation to encourage
                                                                   discussion among the students entering the social services
To date, the initiative involves the assessment of 17,000 po-      field. After going through the simulation and making the
tential and incumbent employees and more than 70 sites for         difficult decision that families in poverty must make daily, the
pre-assessment, assessment, and training across the state.         students gained a new understanding of the challenges of liv-
                                                                   ing in poverty. How do you provide food, shelter, and other
Designed by ACT, the company that developed the ACT
                                                                   necessities when there’s simply not enough money? How do
Assessment college entrance exam, Career Ready measures
                                                                   you feel about yourself when you can’t provide for your fam-
communication, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills
                                                                   ily? Do you begin to view your community differently?
valuable to any occupation — skilled or professional — and
at any level of education.                                         At the end of the simulation, participants shared feelings of
                                                                   frustration, stress, rejection, and struggle. One participant
When fully implemented, assessment sites will be set
                                                                   said, “I now realize how children become stressed or scared
up across the state on college campuses, One-Stop sites,
                                                                   when their parents struggle.” Another student also indicated
CareerTech centers, etc. Individuals’ assessments and scores
                                                                   the impact the simulation had on her: “It was very eye-open-
will be recorded and housed in a secure database.
                                                                   ing. I don’t think it could’ve had a bigger impact on me than
These portable skills credentials, which are easily and nation-    it did.”
ally recognized, can be used to facilitate job placement, reten-
                                                                   Certified poverty simulation facilitators from the Oklahoma
tion, and advancement in our mobile society.
                                                                   Department of Commerce conducted the simulation.
For more information or to find out how your business,
                                                                   To contact a poverty simulation facilitator or to schedule a
agency, or organization can participate in the Career Ready
                                                                   poverty simulation, contact Kathy McLaughlin at the Okla-
program, contact Susan Kuzmic at Susan_Kuzmic@OKcom-
                                                                   homa Department of Commerce at Kathy_McLaughlin@
merce.gov, 800-879-6552, or 405-815-5204.
                                                                   OKcommerce.gov, 800-879-6552, or 405-815-5339.


Helping Displaced Workers in Oklahoma and North Carolina
The closing of General Motors’ North American plants will affect more than 1,000 workers in Oklahoma City. To assist the
affected workers and their families, the U.S. Department of Labor recently awarded Oklahoma $1 million in National Emer-
gency Grants. These funds will provide career counseling, training, and job search assistance to affected workers.
To learn more, visit www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/opa/OPA2002312.htm.
Communities in western North Carolina faced a situation similar to Oklahoma’s GM layoffs with the closing of Pillowtex in
2003. North Carolina communities used their National Emergency funds along with other resources to successfully retrain and
re-employ workers.
To learn more visit, the Southern Growth Idea Bank at www.southernideabank.org/items.php?id=2540.
Transforming oklahoma one CommuniTy aT a Time                                                                           Page 14



Helping High School Dropouts                                       It Pays Big to Think Small
                                                                   Nanotechnology Employment Compensation
to Build Local Workforce                                           and Outlook
                                   The Jobs for the Future         The nano job market is heating up, with salaries and num-
                                   Report, Making Good on a        ber of jobs rising, according to a survey conducted by Small
                                   Promise, debunks the myth       Times magazine.
                                   that high school dropouts
                                                                   The survey found that the average salary globally in this in-
                                   are uninterested in educa-
                                                                   dustry is $84,605, with the U.S. average being $97,978. The
                                   tion and examines policies
                                                                   survey also found that almost 37 percent of the employees
                                   that help these students
                                                                   have a degree at the level of Ph.D., M.D., or J.D.
                                   earn postsecondary creden-
                                   tials.                          In Oklahoma, The State Chamber and the Oklahoma Center
                                                                   for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST)
                                   According to researchers,
                                                                   are pursuing initiatives promoting the growth and develop-
socioeconomic status, not race, is the biggest determinant
                                                                   ment of nanotechnology.
of whether a student finishes school. These students are
amazingly persistent. Sixty percent of dropouts earn a high        To view the report, visit www.smalltimes.com/document_dis-
school credential by age 25 and 44 percent go on to pursue a       play.cfm?document_id=11003.
postsecondary degree.
                                                                   A new report from the Southern Growth Policies Board, Con-
Despite high postsecondary enrollment rates, only 9 percent of     necting the Dots: Creating a Southern Nanotechnology Network,
these students graduate with a two- or four-year degree and less   maps the South’s assets in Nanotechnology and provides
than a quarter of students complete a certificate program.         recommendations for establishing the South as a leader in the
                                                                   emerging industry.
As a non-profit research, consulting, and advocacy organiza-
tion, Jobs for the Future (www.jff.org) works to strengthen        The report outlines the South’s strengths and weaknesses in
society by creating educational and economic opportunity for       nanotechnology in five key areas — human capital, knowl-
those who need it most.                                            edge generation, patents, funding, and commercialization
                                                                   — and includes data for all of the Southern Growth member
For more information on Making Good on a Promise visit
                                                                   states, including Oklahoma.
www.jff.org/JFF_KC_Pages.php?WhichLevel=1&lv1_
id=4&lv2_id=0&lv3_id=0&KC_M_ID=287. (There is a                    To review the executive summary, visit www.southern.org/
one-time, free registration to access this site.)                  pubs/ConnectDots/ConnectExecSumm.pdf.



A Call To Action
continued from page 2

                                 Sometimes our greatest assets are hidden right under our noses. Those communities that
                                 step out of the mold and find a way to use their unusual strengths are finding themselves
                                 a point of interest for outside visitors. Perhaps you can uncover a unique and interesting
                                 aspect of your community and create, as Capt. James T. Kirk said, “... a dream that
                                 became a reality and spread throughout the stars.”
                            I no longer play with action figures (unless, of course, I’m invited to join a gathering of
                            dolls at my daughter’s tea parties) and the Star Trek collection got sold off at a garage sale
                            many moons ago. But the joy of Galaxy-jumping and zapping hostile aliens still lingers in
youthful memories, much like the entrepreneurial spirit abounds in Pauls Valley.
If you know of an event or story worth highlighting in the Community Developer, write me at Corey_Herndon@
OKcommerce.gov or give me a call at 405-815-5201. I can’t promise to cover everything, but I’ll do my best.
Page 15


Upcoming Events
 Upcoming Events
          Date / Time                   Event / Contact                          Location                           Address / City
 May 2                   $mart$tart Conference (and Poverty        National Center for Employee               2701 E Imhoff Rd
                         Simulation)                               Development
        9 AM - Noon              Allison Briggs, 405-278-6978                                                            Norman
 May 3 - 5               11th Annual Forestry on the Grow          Western Hills Guest Ranch
                         Conference & Expo
                        Ouachita Mountains RC&D, Inc. 918-423-2479                                                    Wagoner
 May 9                   Oklahoma Main Street Awards Reception & National Cowboy & Western                    1700 NE 63rd St
                         Dinner                                    Heritage Museum
          5 - 8 PM               Alice Johnson, 405-815-5171                                                        Oklahoma City
 May 14-19               National Indian and Native American       Crowne Plaza Hotel                         100 E 2nd St
                         Employment and Training Conference
           6 days               Larry D. Ketcher, 918-453-5462                                                           Tulsa
 June 20                 Census Workshops                          Oklahoma Dept. of Libraries                200 NE 18th St
  9 AM - Noon; 1 - 4 PM         Jeff_Wallace@odoc.state.ok.us                 Computer Lab                           Oklahoma City
 July 18                 CDBG Public Input Session                 Francis Tuttle Technology Center           12777 N Rockwell Ave
       10 AM - Noon             OKcommerce.gov/Communities             Main Building, Room 1-1048                    Oklahoma City
 July 19                 CDBG Public Input Session                 Kiamichi Technology Center                 301 Kiamichi Dr
       10 AM - Noon             OKcommerce.gov/Communities                                                             McAlester
 July 20                 CDBG Public Input Session                 Tulsa Technology Center                    801 E 91st St
                                                                   (Riverside Campus)
       10 AM - Noon             OKcommerce.gov/Communities                                                               Jenks
 July 25                 CDBG Public Input Session                 Southwest Technology Center                711 W Tamarack Rd
       10 AM - Noon             OKcommerce.gov/Communities                                                               Altus
 July 27                 CDBG Public Input Session                 High Plains Technology Center              3921 34th St
       10 AM - Noon             OKcommerce.gov/Communities                                                            Woodward
 August 10-11            3rd annual Women in Agriculture and Small Clarion Convention Center                  735 S Meridian Ave
                         Business Conference
           2 days             www.greatplainsrcd.org/wasbw.php                                                       Oklahoma City
 August 17-19            Oklahoma Municipal League Annual          Cox Convention Center                      1 Myriad Gardens
                         Conference and Expo
           2 days                        800-324-6651                                                               Oklahoma City
 September 19            Census Workshops                          Oklahoma Dept. of Libraries                200 NE 18th St
  9 AM - Noon; 1 - 4 PM         Jeff_Wallace@odoc.state.ok.us                 Computer Lab                          Oklahoma City

 If you would like to suggest an event to be included on this calendar, please e-mail Kirk_Martin@OKcommerce.gov.
 For updates, visit www.OKcommerce.gov/about and click "Events."



Call for Applications: Assets for Independence Program
The Office of Community Services within the U.S. Department           Individual Development Accounts are special savings accounts
of Health and Human Services is now accepting grant applica-          where participants’ savings are matched with grant funds enabling
tions of up to $1 million for the Assets for Independence Program     quick savings toward their asset goal. Eligible participants are those
(AFI). Applications received by June 15, 2006, will be reviewed       with incomes 200 percent or less of the federal poverty guidelines.
and funding selections announced by September 2006.                   In 2006, a family of four earning $40,000 or less would qualify.
Community-based, faith-based, and other organizations — such          Obtain free downloadable step-by-step guidance and sugges-
as state, local and tribal government agencies; community de-         tions for project development to help with application guide-
velopment financial institutions; and low-income-serving credit       lines. Visit www.acf.hhs.gov/assetbuilding to get your free copy
unions — that assist low-income people to become economically         of the AFI Project Builder, federal program announcement, and
self-sufficient are encouraged to apply. Applicants provide clients   related forms.
financial education and assistance while they save earned income
                                                                      For more information or a paper application, contact the AFI Re-
in Individual Savings Accounts (IDAs) for the goal of acquiring
                                                                      source Center, www.acf.hhs.gov/assetbuilding, email afiprogram@
one of three assets — a first home, post-secondary education, or
                                                                      acf.hhs.gov, or call 202-401-4626. Include your name, organiza-
small business capital.
                                                                      tion, mailing address and request.
                              OKcommer ce.gov

                                                                                                                       (PRSRT STD)
Community Development Division                                                                                        US POSTAGE PD
900 N. Stiles Ave./P.O. Box 26980                                                                                      Okla. City, OK
                                                                                                                       Permit No. 41
Oklahoma City, OK 73126-0980
800-TRY-OKLA (879-6552)
                                                                                                                    Return Service
                                                                                                                      Requested
 Community Developer
 is a product of the Oklahoma Depart-
 ment of Commerce.

 Community Development, Director:
 Vaughn Clark
 Editor:
 Kirk Martin
 Layout/Design:
 Ruthanne Smith

 Editorial Board:
 Corey Herndon    Marshall Vogts
 Kelli Shafer     Steve Hoover

 Contributors:
 April Jones      Marshall Vogts
 Jack Smid        Tim Milligan
 Karen Adair


 Circulation Coordinator:                       Mailing list update
 Linda Goode
                                                q Correct Company or Address q Replace current name with new name
                                                q Add a subscriber                       q Remove a subscriber
 The Oklahoma Department of Com-
 merce (www.OKcommerce.gov) is                  Name:
 the primary economic development
 arm of the state and is designated
 by the Oklahoma Legislature as                 Title:
 the lead agency for rural economic
 development.
                                                Company:
 Our Mission is to increase the quan-
 tity and quality of jobs available in
 Oklahoma by:                                   Address:
      • Supporting communities;
     • Supporting the growth of                 City/State/Zip:
       existing businesses and
       entrepreneurs;
                                                Telephone:
     • Attracting new businesses;
       and
     • Promoting the development
                                                E-mail:
       and availability of a skilled            To request a mailing list update, complete this form and fax this page to Linda Goode at
       workforce.                               405-815-5344.


                                                E-subscriptions - To sign up to be notified when new editions of Community
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