Up to 36 communities from across the nation will be selected to participate in the Local Energy Action Program (Communities LEAP) initiative to build their economies. The initiative is led by the Department of Energy, and the pilot will also prioritize connections to other agencies doing work to support place-based, sustainable economic development.
A 30-day comment period for the Communities LEAP initiative opened today, September 15. Applications are due December 17, 2021.
Anyone who is interested in learning more about Communities LEAP can find out more on the Department of Energy website »
In addition to Secretary Granholm who led the panel, the following people participated in the roundtable discussion:
- Helen Chin, President, Communities First
- Sekita Grant, Vice President of Programs, The Solutions Project
- Tatewin Means, Executive Director, Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation
- Michael Tubbs, Former Mayor, City of Stockton, CA
- Stephanie Tyree, Executive Director, WV Community Development Hub
Stephanie shared the following comments with leadership at the Department of Energy:
“At the West Virginia Community Development Hub, we focus our work in rural areas with highly distressed economies. We work alongside local leaders who are figuring out how to diversify the economies of their towns. Over the past 10 years, we have seen a shift in the way that community leaders are thinking about energy transition with a greater focus on how to rebuild sustainable, diverse economies for the future. We have to figure out pathways to build economies that start within local communities. Solutions have to come from the ground up here. Top-down strategies to build economies do not work in rural communities, and further, many of those top-down solutions do not trickle down to rural communities. Federal resources and technical assistance to build and implement new, innovative community-driven solutions are often inaccessible to rural, low-resource, and low-capacity communities. The Community LEAP program is exciting because it intentionally tries to remove some of those persistent barriers and builds pathways to real technical assistance, learning, and access to future resources for the most highly distressed communities that are intent on building new economic diversification strategies.”