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March 2024


Purdue Supporting Indiana Communities Through the Great Lakes Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Center

Purdue Extension Community Development is the Indiana lead for the Great Lakes Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Center (TCTAC). Additional Indiana partners include the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and the Purdue Center For Regional Development. The TCTAC’s mission is to support community organizations in successfully navigating funding opportunities to access the resources they need to lead in the transition to clean energy, pollution clean-up, and green workforce development. The target audience(s) include communities within disadvantaged and rural census tracts. The Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool is a preferred resource for identifying eligible census tracts:

The Purdue Extension Community Development newsletter will highlight monthly TCTAC funding, outreach, and training updates. Several technical assistance resources are being developed, and more information and opportunities will be available this spring.

Our TCTAC partner, Environmental Protection Network (EPN), shares funding opportunities and training resources on their website, newsletter, and notices. Sign up to receive their newsletter and/or funding notices here:

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Sponsored by Ascendium Education Group, the FORWARD curriculum is designed to support Cooperative Extension Professionals (CEPs) working to address workforce development issues in rural communities. This project expands upon Cooperative Extension’s experience with youth engagement and career development to target non-traditional student populations such as incumbent, displaced, and low-income workers. This curriculum helps CEPs work with communities to identify and address the career pathway needs of rural workers--particularly low-income rural workers—as well as employers in rural communities.

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Digital Ready Business

Registration is open!
Purdue Extension Community Development’s Digital Ready initiative advances the capacity of small businesses to strengthen their knowledge and application of broadband strategies. Through interactive workshops and online courses led by a statewide team of Purdue trainers, participants learn about the importance of the digital economy, how to incorporate digital strategies into the workplace, and build technical knowledge.

                  REGISTER HERE

Remote Work Certificate 

The Remote Work Professional Certificate course is designed to equip individuals with the skills they need to excel in a remote work environment. The course covers topics such as time management, communication, collaboration, and strategies for staying focused and productive while working from home. Participants will also learn about the latest tools and technologies that are essential for remote work success. 
How Much Will Homeowner Property Tax Bills Rise in 2024?
~by Larry DeBoer  February 22, 2024

Last year Indiana homeowners were hit with property tax bill increases averaging 17 percent, an extraordinary increase. Will it happen again in 2024? Let’s compare 2023 to what we know about 2024 so far, and take a guess.

The pandemic economy caused home values to spike in 2021. Low mortgage rates and people’s desire for added living space increased demand. Supply was limited by lagging home construction.  Home prices rose 14 percent. County assessors captured those higher values in their 2022 assessments. Gross assessed values rose 16 percent. Those values were used for tax bills in 2023.
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Taking Action to Address Substance Abuse 2024 
Taking Action to Address Substance Use in Communities has been developed by a team of health professionals and Extension professionals from Purdue University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Ohio State University to provide a theoretical framework for Extension professionals as they work with communities to create a collaborative approach to addressing substance use disorder.

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Farmer's Market Certificate Program Online
Farmers market managers and vendors can join Purdue Extension for the Farmers Market Certificate Program online. The cost is $75. Learn how to navigate food safety regulations, understand legal issues of markets, improve market stability, offer food assistance programs, manage conflict, and more. This program will meet in four (4) sessions on Thursdays from 6:30-8:30 pm EST, April 11 – May 2. The course is conducted virtually via Zoom and Google Classroom. Registration includes either the Purdue Extension Market Manager Toolkit or Market Vendor Toolkit publication to guide participants through the training. Feel free to help us promote this program.
If you have questions, please reach out to Sarah Hanson at 
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Community Listening Session 2024 

Purdue Extension was selected by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to co-host a community listening session on end-of-service activities in wind energy development. This listening session is part of a larger engagement effort by NREL to inform future research and educational resources to aid communities in wind energy decision-making. The listening session was held on February 22nd at the White County Fairgrounds, with nearly 40 community members in attendance.  

Total Solar Eclipse 2024 

As many of you know, many parts of Indiana will be in the path of totality during the 2024 eclipse, and with that there will be a number of economic opportunities for our communities. This monumental event is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Hoosier state. Purdue Extension Community Development seeks to support Indiana communities by connecting them with resources to plan for a safe and successful solar eclipse.

American Citizen Planner- Indiana 

Registration is open!
The American Citizen Planner- Indiana program is designed for citizen planners currently serving, or preparing to serve, on area or advisory plan commissions in Indiana. ACP-IN features 31 topics detailing core planning theories, practices, and processes. 

Empowering Energy Partnerships in Indiana Communities (EPIC) Funding Opportunity Announcement

The Indiana Office of Energy Development announces a $2.5 million funding opportunity for Indiana’s Empowering Energy Partnerships in Indiana Communities (EPIC) program. The purpose of the grant is to support a comprehensive energy solutions program tailored to communities and serve as a model for other communities across Indiana. This competitive grant program is aimed at addressing impactful energy needs and priorities at a community or regional level. Collaboration and partnerships among community entities are vital aspects of the program.

Application Process 

Begins: March 4, 2024
Deadline 1: May 1, 2024 – Letter of intent (LOI) due
Deadline 2: June 30, 2024 – Full application due

Award Amount: No minimum or maximum award, but Indiana OED anticipates awards to average $300,000 - $500,000.

Eligibility: Eligible entities include local units of government, non-profit organizations, for-profit entities, and institutions of higher education. Entities that work throughout a community or region and can coordinate partnerships are strongly encouraged, such as local and regional economic development organizations, community foundations, other organizations that participate in community development initiatives. 
Program Objectives & Priorities: Awards will span across the four categories below to ensure a diversity of energy solutions are funded and to collectively support Indiana’s five energy pillars of reliability, resiliency, stability, affordability, and environmental sustainability. 

1. Energy Efficiency
2. Energy Security and Reliability
3. Alternative Fueling and Charging Infrastructure
4. Clean Energy Resources

                  LEARN MORE

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Beginner's Guide to Grant Writing

Purdue Extension is offering several workshops throughout the state in Spring 2024. The two-day, in-person Beginner's Guide to Grant Writing program is a great skill builder for the beginner to intermediate grant writer. Whatever your skill level, come up with an idea and be ready to write. At the end of Day One, you will have a proposal outline and all of the resources you need to expand your outline into a full proposal.

Facilitative Leadership

• June 4-6, 2024 – Made@Plainfield, 1610 Reeves Road, Plainfield, IN 46168
• August 20-22, 2024 – Bethany Theological Seminary, 615 National Road W, Richmond, IN 47374

The three-day class focuses on creating an inclusive culture of collaborative learning in teams, communities, and organizations. It is for new and experienced leaders, managers, facilitators, and graduate students who would like to develop or improve their facilitation skills. 


Purdue Latino Alumni Network: A Guide to Growing Community‐Based Gardens
Date & Time:  Mon, April 22, 2024, 2:00 – 3:00 SPM ET

Join Us for a Virtual Earth Day 2024 Celebration with the Purdue Latino Alumni Network and Purdue Extension!
Calling all Purdue Alumni and friends! Join us for an exclusive virtual event where we'll explore sustainable living in partnership with Purdue Extension. Our esteemed guest, Purdue Extension Educator, J. Guadalupe Valtierra, will reveal the secrets of the "Grass to Garden" Program, showcasing its transformative effects on once vacant lots into eco-friendly gardens. Immerse yourself in an afternoon of education, inspiration, and connection as we celebrate Earth Day and delve into ways to contribute to a greener, healthier future. Don't miss this chance to connect with fellow Boilermakers and make a positive impact on our world!


Strengthen the capacity of local leaders, residents, businesses, and organizations to build resilient, inclusive and sustainable communities through research-based resources and processes. 
For Questions or Concerns Contact: 
Neysette Ramos
Senior Administrative Assistant
Michael Wilcox, PhD
Assistant Director & Program Leader