State seeks to enhance competitiveness of local governments in federal grant process

Reimagining the Acquisition of Federal Grants in Wyoming

Reimagining the Acquisition of Federal Grants in Wyoming

Local Governments in Wyoming: A New Approach to Acquiring Federal Grants

Local governments in Wyoming often face challenges when it comes to competing for federal grants. Inexperienced and lacking resources and coordination, they have missed out on valuable funding opportunities from Washington. However, Governor Mark Gordon and the Wyoming Budget Department have proposed a solution – a grants management office. By requesting half a million dollars in funding, they aim to continue the efforts that began with the state’s inaugural federal funding summit. This summit brought together representatives from local governments, nonprofits, and private enterprises to educate them on acquiring and administering grants.

The Importance of a Grants Management Office

A grants management office could pick up where the federal funding summit left off. Advocates believe that investing $500,000 into this office will enhance Wyoming’s chances of securing infrastructure grants and increase access to information about grant opportunities. The office would prioritize grants that align with Wyoming’s needs and provide knowledge and guidance to local and state government staff. This comprehensive approach would ensure that local governments remain compliant and equipped to handle the management aspect of grants.

Streamlining the Grant Acquisition Process

To save time and improve efficiency, the grants management office will utilize a proprietary tool that simplifies the search for worthwhile grant opportunities. This tool will be used by the consultant working with the office. However, recognizing that the tool may not always be available, a significant portion of the funding will be allocated to education. The goal is to empower local governments to independently identify and pursue grants. This initiative will help Wyoming’s communities identify gaps in their operations and establish connections with state departments.

Tracking Progress and Ensuring Accountability

The grants management office also plans to establish a public-facing dashboard that tracks progress and provides transparency. The dashboard will showcase the number of grants applied for, received, and the total dollar amount. It will also track the dispersion of grants services among different agencies and entities. This tracking system will help stakeholders stay informed and ensure that grant funds are properly reported.

Support for the Grants Management Office

Hibbard’s proposal for the grants management office received positive feedback from the Joint Appropriations Committee. Representative Trey Sherwood expressed excitement about the potential return on investment and highlighted the need for capacity building in his own community. Others, like Justin Schilling from the Wyoming Association of Municipalities, acknowledged the challenges of serving all local governments but recognized the importance of taking action. Representative Karlee Provenza emphasized the significance of a centralized grants resource, especially for rural communities in need of funding.

A Bright Future for Wyoming’s Grant Acquisition

The establishment of a grants management office in Wyoming is a significant step towards improving the acquisition and administration of federal grants. By investing in education, streamlining processes, and ensuring transparency, the state aims to empower local governments and maximize their chances of securing funding. With the support of lawmakers and stakeholders, Wyoming is poised to become a leader in grant acquisition and utilization.

This article was originally published by WyoFile and is republished here with permission. WyoFile is an independent nonprofit news organization focused on Wyoming people, places, and policy.

Read More of this Story at – 2024-01-07 17:17:42

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