Building Capacity in Rural and Tribal Communities

The Biden-Harris administration has ushered in a profound change in direction for climate, conservation, and economic policy. Three groundbreaking pieces of legislation—the Inflation Reduction Act, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and the CHIPS and Science Act—deliver historic investments through incentives and subsidies for private industry to address the climate and biodiversity crises and secure supply chains. Many of these investments will occur in rural and Tribal communities, which often lack staff, expertise, public infrastructure, and a workforce to ensure public and private investments deliver local benefits.

The Biden-Harris administration is aware of communities’ capacity limitations. Where it exists, capacity allows communities to identify the right funding programs to meet local goals; prepare to receive and apply for money; meaningfully engage community members; design, plan, manage, and execute projects; and report on and share outcomes. Capacity gives communities resources and standing to leverage public and private project investments locally for multiple benefits aligned with their needs and priorities.

The reports in this series highlight new and expanded federal programs that are providing direct funding, staffing, technical assistance, and information to increase the capacity of underresourced communities, improve federal coordination, and build more lasting and meaningful partnerships with Tribal and rural communities.

Photo shows a street sign in front of an open field with golden grass, a tree, and white wind turbines against a dusty blue sky
A street sign stands near a parcel of land with wind turbines near Rio Vista, California, August 2023. (Getty/Justin Sullivan)

In this series

Compact View

Guide to Rural and Tribal Capacity-Building Programs Report
Joe Biden in front of clouds in sky

Guide to Rural and Tribal Capacity-Building Programs

These 10 federal programs are designed to expand capacity and bridge the gap between federal resources and the rural and Tribal communities that need them most.

Mark Haggerty, Chéri Smith

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