Applications are due January 21, 2019!
Read on to find out more information about the program and to see the steps to apply…
Up to six communities will be selected to participate in the next round of Blueprint Communities.
Teams will work with coaches and experts to go through a 1-year planning and training process beginning in May of 2019 including:
- Two-day program kickoff event in April/May 2019 (location TBD, likely in northwest WV)
- Four day-long group strategy development sessions (location TBD in northwest WV)
- Eight expert-lead trainings tailored to community needs (location in your community)
- Team sessions on an as-needed basis to achieve team goals
- Day-long program graduation ceremony (location TBD, likely in northwest WV)
Upon graduating, teams will receive an official designation as a “Blueprint Community” and will be provided with the opportunity to receive mini-grant funding to begin implementation of their community revitalization strategy as well as access to additional funding opportunities through the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh (FHLBank), provided the community maintains their Blueprint Community status into future years.
Past Blueprint Communities participants have leveraged their time in this program to form collaborations in their community that lead to nonprofits and local development authorities in addition to other projects and groups that became vital to the growth of their towns. Past participants have also earned new public and private investments into their communities as a result of promoting and distributing the strategic plans developed during the first year of the program.
To be eligible for this program, community applicants are required to:
- Be a community with a population of less than 30,000
- Identify a fiscal agent to host mini-grant funding (ideally a non-profit)
- Demonstrate local leadership and past successful collaboration (include in your responses to application questions)
- Demonstrate commitment to the training schedule of the program (include in your responses to application questions)
- Assemble a team of 8-10 members, including:
- Required: A representative from a nearby Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLBank) of Pittsburgh member bank. See a list of member banks at https://fhlb-pgh.com/members-list. Contact Kaycie Stushek or Megan Krider with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412- 288-4577.
- Required: Local government official
- Required: Community-based organization representative or local resident
- Required: Commercial Real Estate Developer
- Highly Recommended: Economic development professional
- Highly Recommended: Healthcare industry professional
- Highly Recommended: Community Foundation representative
- Suggested: Youth, nonprofit, school, church, public safety representatives or members of the media
Keep these characteristics in mind when recruiting team members:
- Highly motivated to work to revitalize the community;
- Have different skills that are useful for planning and program implementation;
- Diverse in age, gender, race, and time spent/lived in the community.
Every eligible West Virginia community is encouraged to apply. Eligible applicants from communities in the following counties will be prioritized: Barbour, Braxton, Brooke, Clay, Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Lewis, Marion, Marshall, Monongalia, Ohio, Pleasants, Preston, Roane, Ritchie, Taylor, Tyler, Tucker, Upshur, Webster, Wetzel, Wirt, Wood.
FHLBank Pittsburgh in consultation with the West Virginia Community Development Hub and West Virginia Blueprint Communities Advisory Council will select up to six new West Virginia Communities through a competitive process after the review of the submitted eligible applications. Designation of the newly selected communities is at the discretion of FHLbank Pittsburgh.
Commitments (if selected)
If selected, each community is required to provide a $500 participation deposit by April 10th, 2019. If 75% of team members attend 80% of the trainings and events during the first year of the program, the deposit will be made available to the community to purchase technical assistance related to implementing its plan.
If selected, each community will submit a council-passed resolution in support of the Blueprint Communities program to the WV Community Development Hub by April 10th, 2019.
If selected, each team member will be required to sign a statement of commitment (sample here) which outlines their understanding of the time commitment expected of the program (outlined above), and their dedication to the program. If a member has to step back from the program, they are expected to assist in finding a replacement. This signed statement is due to the WV Community Development Hub by April 10th, 2019.
If selected, each community will prepare a photo slideshow or video presentation to introduce their community at the Blueprint Communities Kickoff in April/May 2019. A copy of the presentation is due to the WV Community Development Hub by April 10th, 2019.
- Informational Webinar: An informational webinar was hosted on November 20, 2018 to go over the application requirements and answer questions. We encourage all prospective applicants to view this webinar. A recording of the webinar is available by request. Email Kaycie Stushek at email@example.com.
- Application Due Date: All applications must be submitted by January 21, 2019 at 5 pm.
- Community Visits: Community visits to top applicants will take place during February 2019. Applicants will be expected to meet with the West Virginia Community Development Hub and give a tour of the community during that time.
- Community Notifications: Final Communities will be notified by February 28, 2019.
Follow these steps to apply for the Blueprint Communities program:
- Download a PDF file of the application in advance to prepare all questions and needed materials. Open + save the PDF application »
- Complete and submit the online application on/by Monday, January 21st, 5pm. Go to the online application »
Note: There is no option to save responses to questions on the online application. Please prepare all of the required information before filling out the online application.
Checklist of Required Application Materials
- Online application, with the following materials attached:
- Relevant existing and recent community plans
- 2 letters of support (sample here)- from a FHLBank member and a member of the local government
- IRS documentation of 501c status/Tax Identification for fiscal agent
Note: The final step of the online application is to upload your attachments directly to the application form.