NLC and the Local Infrastructure Hub Launch Bootcamps to Help Smaller Cities and Towns Apply for Federal Infrastructure Grants

Building on the successes of bootcamps underway, the National League of Cities (NLC) and the Local Infrastructure Hub have expanded their offerings and are launching five new bootcamps starting in January. These training courses are designed to help cities, towns, and villages develop competitive funding applications for federal grants made available to cities as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This next round of support will focus on five grant opportunities that address energy efficiency and conservation, EV and charging infrastructure, roadway safety planning, roadway safety implementation, and brownfields activities.

Cities have unprecedented opportunities to apply for funding directly from the federal government as a result of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – but smaller to mid-sized cities may not have the experience or tools at their disposal to develop competitive applications. The technical assistance offered by these bootcamps aims to empower towns and cities with 150,000 residents or fewer with the ability to create and submit robust applications for federal grants. Several hundred cities participated in the first round of bootcamps this fall, and this initiative looks to reach hundreds more. 

“Directing funding to cities can change the trajectory of America – improving infrastructure, enhancing resilience, providing jobs, and addressing inequities. But this requires cities to develop competitive applications for those grants. As part of the Local Infrastructure Hub, NLC is eager to provide support and trainings that will help turn these plans into reality,” said Clarence Anthony, NLC CEO and Executive Director.

“Now is the moment for all local leaders to fully harness the landmark funding provided by the infrastructure bill to rebuild, reinvest, and disrupt the status quo,” said James Anderson, who leads Government Innovation at Bloomberg Philanthropies, a funder of the Local Infrastructure Hub. “The Local Infrastructure Hub is providing the tools and guidance through which all cities – regardless of size or geography – can get creative in directing the flow of federal investment into next-generation solutions.”

Participation in the program includes access to subject matter experts, individualized coaching sessions, office hours, and peer-to-peer learning. The bootcamps last approximately 3-4 months, and participants will include mayors and municipal staff with job functions focused on finance, community engagement, and other relevant disciplines such as administrative and advisory affairs. A major emphasis will also be placed on helping communities understand federal priorities, such as equity and sustainability, and then incorporate these and other desired outcomes into submissions.

“The program has been easy to follow. I’m eager to see where it goes. We’ll be going for grants nonstop now,” said a participant from Brewer, ME.

Beginning January 17, 2023, the following five bootcamps will begin:

  • Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program ($550 million available): Helps communities implement strategies to reduce fossil fuel emissions; implement renewable energy projects; and improve energy efficiency in the transportation, building, and other appropriate sectors.
  • Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Grants ($2.5 billion available): Helps communities address electric vehicle (EV) charging needs for a growing market of passenger vehicles and light duty trucks. Under the community charging program, $1.25 billion will be available for installing EV charging and alternative fuel in locations like public roads, schools, parks, and in publicly accessible parking facilities. These grants will prioritize rural areas, low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, and communities with low ratios of private parking or high ratios of multiunit dwellings.
  • Safe Streets and Roads for All ($5 billion available):
    • Action Planning: Hundreds of action planning grants ranging from $200,000 to $5 million will be available for developing or updating a comprehensive safety action plan to prevent roadway deaths and serious injuries.
    • Implementation: Up to 100 implementation grants ranging from $3 million to $30 million will be available for carrying out projects and strategies identified in an “action plan” to prevent roadway deaths and serious injuries.
  • Brownfields ($1.5 billion available):The Brownfields grant bootcamp will focus on communities seeking site assessment, cleanup, or multipurpose grants for brownfield sites – sites with known or possible contamination from prior use. Multipurpose grants provide funding for communities to carry out a range of eligible assessment and cleanup activities and allow recipients significant flexibility.

To register, city officials can submit an interest form online starting today through December 9, 2022. Space is limited in the program, and preference will be given to early enrollees.