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MDHS requesting proposals for TANF grants

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The Mississippi Department of Human Services is requesting proposals from organizations best positioned to provide services in low income, at-risk areas of the state. The RFP is scheduled to be issued Monday, Nov. 2.

The agency will primarily invest Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant dollars, in concert with public and private partners to fund the programs outlined in the RFP.

“Our mission at MDHS is to make certain essential services available, while serving as good stewards of taxpayer money,” said MDHS Executive Director Robert G. “Bob” Anderson in a statement. “We are committed to providing statewide service delivery to our clients, and we need competitive proposals from across the state to accomplish that goal.”

The RFP will request services in the following areas:

Afterschool Program Activities

MDHS is soliciting nonprofit organizations and non-federal entities (i.e., state government; local school districts) to implement a program for age appropriate services, in multiple locations, with a priority given to entities that target children and youth attending high poverty/low performing schools and/or at-risk youth attending schools in high poverty areas where high juvenile justice referrals take place. Programs will service the target populations during non-school hours or periods when school is not in session such as afterschool and summer recess. Programs should give preference to those that receive MDHS services.

Parenthood Initiative

MDHS is soliciting nonprofit organizations and non-federal entities (i.e., state government; local school districts), in multiple locations, to provide and coordinate a wide spectrum of parent-focused programs to support the formation and maintenance of two-parent families that improve family stability and functioning. Services provided should support overall goals of safety, permanency, and well-being for children and families.

The purpose of the Parenthood Initiative is to train, educate, encourage, and assist parents in becoming knowledgeable and assuming responsibility for the nurturing, financial, growth and developmental needs of their children. In addition, the Parenthood initiative should strive to demonstrate the ability to collaborate with other service providers and community stake holders to increase support for and accountability to the families.

Upon award, subgrantees will be required to prepare and submit demographic and outcome reports designed by MDHS. Subgrantees shall submit these reports by a MDHS designated due date (no more than monthly; no less than quarterly). Evaluation and outcome reports are an integral element of the program’s ongoing planning, design and implementation. An effective report that evaluates specific targets enables the subgrantee to make informed decisions about changes that the program may need.

To further develop quality MDHS partnerships, MDHS will offer a general grant writing training free of charge for organizations interested in responding to MDHS solicitations. The training will be conducted at the MDHS State Office Building (South Tower of the City Centre building), located at 200 South Lamar Street, Jackson, on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020. Training will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end by noon.

The training will be archived for those who are not able to attend Oct. 29, and will subsequently be offered Nov. 5, 12 and 19 at the same time through Zoom. On Oct. 30, MDHS will provide registration instructions for the November training sessions.

The training, which will be conducted by MDHS staff, will cover all aspects of grant writing from the seven basic elements of a strong grant proposal to finalizing the proposal for submission.

“We’re pleased to be able to offer this as a service to anyone wishing to become a partner of the agency,” Anderson said. “This will provide a great benefit to our key stakeholders, and I encourage anyone wishing to submit a response to the RFP to take advantage of it.”

The training will be offered in person and virtual. Anyone interested in participating should register for this training opportunity by completing the SmartForm online. A SmartForm will need to be completed per participant, not per company. Space is limited due to social distancing guidelines and in-person training will be first come, first served. If you select “in-person” you will receive a confirmation from Procurement Services as to whether your registration was one of the first 20 received. If space is not available, you will still have the virtual option.

Once registered, those choosing to participate virtually will be given instructions on how to connect via Zoom.

For more information on the training and to view the agenda, visit the MDHS training webpage.

For more information on the request for proposals, go to the MDHS RFP webpage.

Announcements

Flaggs to hold COVID-19 news conference Wednesday

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Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. during a live session May 20.

Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. will hold a COVID-19 news conference Wednesday, Nov. 25, at 2:30 p.m.

The news conference will be held in the Robert M. Walker Building Board Room at 1415 Walnut St.

The Vicksburg Daily News will be on hand to provide live coverage streaming on our Facebook page.

 

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ERDC brings home eight awards from virtual national ceremony

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Dr. Rebekah Wilson of the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s (ERDC) Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL) was honored with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Researcher of the Year Award at a virtual ceremony held Nov. 12, 2020. (photo courtesy ERDC)

The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center brought home eight awards from the annual U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Awards Ceremony, held virtually Nov. 12.

Employees of the ERDC Construction Research and Engineering Laboratory claimed two of the top honors at the ceremony. Dr. Rebekah Wilson was named USACE Researcher of the Year and Joseph Bush won USACE Mechanical Engineer of the Year.

“You are the best of our best,” said Lt. Gen. Scott Spellmon, 55th Chief of Engineers and USACE Commanding General, to the crowd gathered virtually. “You have stepped up to our vision by engineering solutions to our nation’s toughest challenges, and I want to thank all of you. You stepped up and proved that innovation is the key to success. You have demonstrated to the world the Corps’ leadership, technical capabilities, integrity and steadfastness.”

As the leader of the research and development program for the USACE Paint Technology Center at CERL, Wilson conceives, develops, leads and performs research and development on new and innovative coating technologies to address the most pressing needs of the Department of Defense and USACE. From corrosion prevention to camouflage, energy efficiency and other related areas, Wilson’s work ranges from fundamental basic research to demonstration and validation of new coatings for use by USACE and the military.

Bush, a mechanical engineer at CERL, is a subject-matter expert in the area of heating, ventilation and air conditioning controls and cybersecurity. He was recognized at the National Awards Ceremony for professional commitment, technical excellence and exceptional leadership for his contributions to a variety of mechanical engineering efforts.

“It is engineers and critical thinkers like the people we honored today whose work exemplifies the mission of this WORLD-CLASS organization. Thinking outside the box to engineer solutions for all Americans,” Spellmon said. “Each of you honored today exemplify what a leader looks like.”

In addition to Wilson and Bush, six other ERDC teams and employees were recognized for their outstanding performance. The ERDC contracting office was the winner of the 2020 Excellence in Contracting Award, while the USACE Sustainability Hero Award went to Dr. Guillermo Riveros of the Information Technology Laboratory. ERDC teams earned two USACE Innovation of the Year Awards, with one going to the COVID-19 Model and Analysis Team, made up of researchers from the Environmental Laboratory and the Information Technology Laboratory, and another to the Harmful Algal Bloom Interception, Treatment and Transformation System Team at CERL. The Environmental Laboratory’s Horseshoe Bend Delivery Team was recognized with the Green Innovation Award.

An individual award for USACE Innovators of the Year was also presented to Lyle Seethaler of the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory for his work as Civil Works Business Intelligence Technical Lead.

“These awards are yet another example of ERDC’s commitment to taking the problem to the next level and thinking outside the box to solve the toughest challenges faced by our nation and military today,” said ERDC Director Dr. David Pittman. “As the great Henry Ford once said, ‘If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.’”

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Lucy Derrossette is the newest member of the Vicksburg-Warren County Board of Realtors

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(photo courtesy Lucy Derrossette)

Vicksburg resident Lucy Derrossette is the newest member of the Vicksburg-Warren County Board of Realtors.

Derrossette, who has worked for the Vicksburg-Warren School District for the past 30 years as a teacher and at the central office as the Director of Innovation, is ready to start her new side job of helping individuals find a home.

“I am super excited because interest rates are so low that people can get houses for a lot less and loans will be available for them,” Derrossette said.

The Board of Realtors members are all certified and licensed to sell homes. For someone to become a realtor, they must pass a state and national exam.

Derrossette began taking classes in June while the COVID-19 pandemic was interrupting her job at the school district when everyone, including students, was sent home, so she was able to finish three months later. This is her second time to become a realtor; she first started 20 years ago.

Derrossette always had a passion for houses so being a realtor with Keller-Williams is a calling and not just a job.

“I always loved houses and people,” Derrossette said. “I think it is a great investment for anyone, especially teachers because they can get special loans up to $6,000 for teaching in the Vicksburg area for three years without having to pay the money back.”

Derrossette will continue working for the Vicksburg-Warren School District while also working as a realtor. She will be doing two things that she loves: selling houses and helping children.

To contact Derrossette concerning real estate in Vicksburg, call 601-301-0623.

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