Weekly Reader

Friday, July 26, 2019

The Board of Directors met and provided approval of the call for projects for the Surface Transportation Block Grant fund program. Transportation projects from Cowlitz County are eligible for this program. The CWCOG (Metropolitan Planning Organization) has $3.625 million to award for use in FFY 2022 and FFY 2023.

The Board also heard an informative and entertaining presentation from Eli Asher of the Cowlitz Tribe on the broad issue of Salmon recovery.

The CWCOG is conducting a regional survey on economic vitality. Your input is needed. Click here to access the survey that is available on the CWCOG Website.

An email was sent to Board members requesting a letter of support for the CWCOG’s application for funding to support work in the region for its members encourage participation in the April 1 2020 Census. The grants are being made available through the Washington Office of Financial Management. A sample letter is attached as part of this email. Thanks for the quick response from several Board members.

Economic Development
Digital literacy is an important component of the future workforce. Click here for more information.

According to the US Chamber of Commerce, the skilled workforce shortage is not going away. Click here for thoughts from the business community on the issue and possible solutions.

Transportation
Ridesharing Picks Up Unexpected Passengers: Florida Seniors. An automated middleman is bridging transportation gaps for seniors without smartphones by connecting them with app-driven ridesharing services. The tool has gained popularity with non-driving seniors. Click here for more.

Community Development / Other
From the National Association of Regional Councils – In the wake of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, Congress approved $380 million last year for states to help them improve election security. The U.S. Election Assistance Commission has distributed 55 percent of these funds to 26 states. Many states are spending the money ahead of the 2020 balloting, but a report from the Brennan Center for Justice finds that federal funding may fall short of resolving cyber-attacks at the voting booth. The report, which was also sponsored by the Alliance for Securing Democracy, R Street Institute, and the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Cyber Law, Policy and Security, examined six states and found that all had taken steps to shore up vulnerabilities. But big problems that come with big price tags remain in each of the six states, including old voting equipment that is more vulnerable to hacking, aging voter registration systems, and states failing to provide enough cybersecurity assistance to local governments. The report also raises questions about the responsibility and capability of individual states to act as a defense from nation-state and non-state actors.

 

Up-coming events and activities

  • Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler and her office will be hosting a Guide to Grants Seminar on August 8 at WSU-Vancouver. Organizations and government entities that compete for federal grants or apply for grants through foundations are encouraged to send someone to the event. Interested parties should register here. Thursday, August 8 from 9:00am – 12:00pm, Washington State University Vancouver (Dengerink Administration Building) 14204 NE Salmon Creek Avenue, Vancouver, WA 98686. The cost for parking is $4. Please park in the Blue lot. Map and parking information. If you have any questions about the event, please contact Rachel Katz at rachel.katz@mail.house.gov or call (360) 695-6292. CWCOG will be sending Lauren Read to this training.
  • Stop by and chat with staff at the Cowlitz County fair this weekend.