CFA Featured at ASU+GSV Summit Panel

Earlier this year, the Community Funding Accelerator and its partners had the opportunity to present at one of the biggest education conferences in the country.

Nick Rodriguez, the CEO of Delivery Associates, the public sector consulting firm that leads CFA, moderated a panel discussion at ASU+GSV that featured:

  • Mayor Randall L. Woodfin of Birmingham, Alabama
  • Mayor Donna Deegan of Jacksonville, Florida
  • Corban Tillemann-Dick, founder and CEO of Maybell Quantum
  • Katie Jenner, the Secretary of Education at the Indiana Department of Education

The group discussed the importance of collaboration between schools and the private sector to promote long-term economic prosperity. The leaders also discussed the role of organizations like CFA in increasing awareness and equitable access to workforce development opportunities.

Communities win over $90 million through EDA’s Tech Hubs Program

With support from the Community Funding Accelerator, Indiana’s Heartland Bioworks will receive $51 million and Colorado’s Elevate Quantum will receive $41 million through the federal Tech Hubs program, the U.S. Economic Development Administration announced today

Both projects propose cultivating a deep talent pipeline that begins in K-12 schools, connecting the next generation of technology leaders to hands-on learning opportunities and potential employers.

In Indiana, the Tech Hub proposes to serve over 19,000 students with interactive learning experiences in human, animal, and plant biosciences that will result in industry-recognized credentials and employment opportunities.

In the Mountain West, this project seeks to help launch over 50 startups, upskill more than 30,000 workers, and engage more than 600,000 students in over 45 education partners to create a global epicenter for quantum information technology.

CFA played a pivotal role in developing these winning proposals, providing strategic advisory, spearheading grant writing efforts, engaging consortia, and developing innovative workforce models. CFA’s expertise was crucial in navigating the federal grant application process and ensuring the success of these bids.

Read the full Heartland Bioworks press release here

Read the full Elevate Quantum press release here

Supporting Communities To Unlock Federal Grant Opportunities: CFA featured on the National League of Cities Blog

CFA authored a blog post featured on the National League of Cities Citiesspeak blog. The post explores the challenges communities face accessing competitive federal funding and the new model of support CFA provides to help communities across the U.S. win federal dollars and scale innovative education and workforce solutions. Read the full article here.

CFA helps DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education win $4.1 Million+ to Expand Postsecondary Employment Opportunities

The DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), supported by The Community Funding Accelerator (CFA), received $4.1M from the Department of Education for three years, with a potential extension worth $2.95M, to enhance healthcare and cybersecurity career pathways for high school students in the District of Columbia. This initiative aims to improve postsecondary employment and education opportunities for students, offering equitable education and clear paths to post-graduation employment. Focused on the District of Columbia’s Advanced Technical Center (ATC), the program features fee-free dual enrollment and work-based learning opportunities, including paid internships and industry-recognized credentials, in both healthcare and cybersecurity fields.
During the application process, CFA provided the DC coalition with strategic advisory sessions with an experienced Department of Education grant writer, full mock scoring, and grant review to identify opportunities to further strengthen their application. Read the full press release here.

Philanthropy’s Big Bet: CFA showcased in Philanthropy Daily op-ed

CFA was featured in a Philanthropy Daily op-ed, spotlighting its support model. The piece delves into the hurdles communities encounter in securing competitive federal grants and highlights the ways CFA provides comprehensive support—from demystifying the application process to guiding coalitions to turn their winning, innovative ideas into action.

Read the op-ed here.

CFA Community Spotlight: MyVillage Project 

Meet Ronnie King and the team at the MyVillage Project in Jacksonville, Florida. CFA is partnering with coalitions like the MyVillage Project all over the U.S. to support their applications for competitive federal grants.

CFA-Supported coalitions in Birmingham and El Paso receive Recompete designation from the U.S. Dept of Commerce

Coalitions in Birmingham, Alabama and El Paso, Texas have been selected as finalists of the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Recompete
pilot program. This is the most competitive program in EDA’s history with only 10% of over 200 applicants recognized as finalists. The Community Funding Accelerator (CFA) supported both cities’ coalitions in the application process and will continue to provide assistance as they apply for $20 to $50 million in funding in phase 2 of the program.
CFA played a pivotal role in the success of both Birmingham and El Paso’s coalitions by
facilitating engagement of various local partners. This collaboration is key to tackling regional challenges, focusing on strengthening K-12 education and workforce pathways, thereby readying the community and creating robust talent pipelines for future jobs. CFA’s contribution was not just limited to partnerships; CFA also provided deep technical assistance and expert grant writing support, critical elements in development and submission of their successful applications. Read the official press release here.

CFA featured in Real Clear Education’s Careers of the Future article

CFA was recently featured in an article from Real Clear Education focused on the critical role K-12 plays in developing the workforce of the future, introducing students to career opportunities in cutting-edge technologies and ensuring the U.S. maintains its global competitiveness for future generations.  Read the full article here.  

​​CFA-supported coalitions in Colorado and Utah are awarded Tech Hubs recognition

Two coalitions supported by CFA have been awarded recognition under the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Tech Hubs Program. The Colorado Elevate Quantum Consortium received one of 31 Tech Hub designations nationwide. This opens the door for the consortium to apply for up to $75 million in implementation funding. In Utah, the Advanced Manufacturing of Critical Materials Strategy Development Consortium, led by the Utah Advanced Materials Manufacturing Initiative (UAMMI), received a Strategy Development Grant (SDG) of approximately $450,000.

Elevate Quantum, who were also supported by TechHubNow!, aim to usher in a new era of quantum technology in the Centennial State. Flagship programs will build awareness of quantum jobs as early as K-12, with a focus on underserved communities.

For UAMMI, the Tech Hubs SDG highlights Utah’s potential to become an epicenter of the critical materials industry, addressing a crucial national security and economic need. Their strategy will redefine Utah’s critical materials landscape. It will also cultivate a generation of skilled professionals ready to lead the industry into the future. Consortium partners include local schools and leaders in STEM and 4-H programming. These partners will ensure that workforce development, earth stewardship, and skills alignment begin in K-12 education.

CFA supported both consortia in their Tech Hubs bid. It provided coalition-building support and deep technical assistance in developing winning applications. CFA will also provide implementation and further planning support to both coalitions. It will help to make sure K-12 is front and center in these critical regional development initiatives.

“CFA’s work specifically ensured that the applications were centered around diversity, equity and inclusion, that they explicitly developed plans for scaling new, region-wide workforce pathways in support of these emerging tech categories, and that the final grant submissions were of the highest quality,” said JB Holston, Strategic Advisor to Colorado TechHubNow!. “Without [CFA], Colorado would not have been competitive for Tech Hubs.”

“We are so appreciative of CFA’s coaching, which led to this winning proposal,” said Dr. Tulinda Larsen, President of UAMMI.

Read the official press release here

Gov. Jared Polis recognizes CFA’s role in shaping Colorado’s future as an equity-centered Tech Hub

A consortium of industry leaders, academic institutions, and non-profits is celebrating a major milestone today, announcing their successful bid for Tech Hub designation. The designation is from the Department of Commerce’s Regional Tech Hubs Program. It begins a new era of quantum technology and education in the state. It will allow the Colorado Elevate Quantum Consortium to apply for $40 million – $70 million in implementation funding. TechHubNow!, CFA, and other partners supported the Colorado Elevate Quantum Consortium in their grant application. They will also be helping with implementation.

This designation recognizes Colorado’s decades-long journey to becoming a technology hub. But Elevate Quantum acknowledges the technology sector’s shortcomings. It is committed to forging a future path marked by equity and sustainability. This includes flagship programs that increase awareness of quantum jobs as early as K-12, with a focus on underserved communities.

Partners cited Colorado’s collaborative spirit as the key to driving success in the region. “Colorado’s TechHubNow! was established to accelerate statewide collaboration to highlight Colorado’s strengths as a Tech Hub, aligning with Governor Polis’s priorities around an inclusive workforce,” says Wendy Lea, a TechHubNow! Partner.  

In a press conference on October 26, Gov. Polis thanked CFA and expressed his excitement for the next phase of the work. Read more here