FSI in Action
Jump-starting the Economy
$14.4 Million Awarded to DCCA for Expanding Insurance Options
Hawai’i’s Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) will receive $14.4 million dollars in federal funding, as part of the Affordable Care Act’s Affordable Insurance Exchange grant program. Hawai‘i will join twenty-eight other states in developing new insurance exchanges that are intended to bring comprehensive, affordable health coverage to those in need. In 2011, Hawai‘i enacted Act 205 that provided for the establishment of the Hawai‘i Health Connector- making federally qualified health plans available to the public and reducing the number of uninsured in Hawai‘i.
$600,000 Awarded to Improve Environment and Health of Leeward Oahu
FSI assisted the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT) and the Department of Health (DOH) to finalize the Leeward Coast Supplemental Environmental Project grants that were awarded to Leeward O‘ahu non-profits and community groups for projects focused on enhancing or improving the public health and the environment.
$13 Million for Small Businesses
FSI assisted DBEDT in applying for the federal State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) to help grow its venture capital investment program, and specifically the university technology commercialization fund, as well as a program to fund entrepreneurs in the early stages of business formation. Funds will also contribute to the new business acceleration investment program to help new businesses leverage and compete for investment capital in the future.
$90 Million in DOD Funding for Hawai‘i
FSI, Governor Abercrombie, and the State Department of Defense, are working to secure over $90 million dollars in federal funding in FYs 12 -13 for veteran services and the Hawaii National Guard. This is a prime example of FSI working with collaboratively with stakeholders on the state and federal level to maximize Hawai’i’s chances or recruiting federal dollars. The funding will allow for refurbishing of the eight veteran cemeteries across the state, as well as for upgrades and improvements to our national guard facilities and state armories. These funds are a significant investment that will yield jobs, upgrade our National Guard facilities, and improve cemeteries for our service men and women.
Addressing our Greatest Challenges
FEMA Regional Training Initiative
FSI assisted the FEMA Regional Training Initiative (RTI) to recruit participants and successfully meet its required participant threshold for securing federal funding. The FEMA RTI serves the Pacific Region’s first responder community to help build skills that responders need to function effectively in large scale emergency events. Although FEMA RTI primarily serves state, local, and tribal entities in ten professional disciplines, this year it expanded to serve private sector and citizens in recognition of their significant role in domestic preparedness, especially in light of the upcoming APEC meeting being held in Honolulu this upcoming November.
Homelessness Grant Writing Workshop
FSI worked with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) to have DVA staff conduct a no cost and well-attended grant writing workshop for community based organizations working to address veteran homelessness. The workshop provided hands on advice on how to be successful in applying for two DVA grant opportunities that will help veterans and families achieve residential stability.
Leadership Forum on Homelessness
FSI worked closely with the Governor, Marc Alexander, the newly appointed state Homelessness Coordinator, the Department of Human Services, and the DVA to conduct an interagency Leadership Forum on March 4, 2011 to develop a collaborative strategy for dealing with Hawai’i’s homeless population. Top leaders from local, state, and federal government, as well as, from the community and business, gathered to discuss strategies used by other states to address homelessness and how all stakeholder ideas and resources can be brought to bear to aggressively and compassionately end homelessness in Hawai’i.
Accelerating Use of Federal Stimulus Funds
FSI worked with the Department of Education to facilitate American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding for the Hawai‘i Academy of Science to hold the Annual Hawai‘i State Science and Engineering Fair. The fair is the largest of its kind in the state and will include over 500 student projects, some of whom will represent Hawai‘i at the 2011 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair being held in Los Angeles, California.
FSI helped to acquire over $53,000 in HUD technical assistance for the Governor’s homelessness initiative to support the work of the Hawaii Interagency Council on Homelessness in developing a multi-year plan to end and prevent homelessness in Hawaii. FSI also worked closely with Marc Alexander, and the Department of Human Services, in securing a $45,000 Mental Health Transformation State Incentive Grant award to create a speakers bureau to engage and educate the public about mental illness among homeless populations.
Making Government Work for You
Collaborating with Federal Partners
FSI brought together federal partners from HUD, EDA, NOAA, USDA, and representatives from Congresswoman Mazie Hirono’s and Senator Daniel Akaka’s offices to meet w/ the FSI Grant Hui to discuss trends in federal funding. Over twenty-seven members of the Hui participated, representing fourteen state Departments/ Agencies. This is one way that FSI is helping to pool existing expertise in order to make our state more competitive in the race for funding. Panel discussions centered on the need for greater partnering between grant applicants on a local and regional level. Panelists also voiced their concerns on the uncertainty of funding for certain federal programs due to the current economic and political climate.
Streamlining Grant Approval Processes
FSI is working with the Administration, Director Kalbert Young, and other Department Directors to streamline the internal grant application, approval, and expending processes by reducing duplicate and unnecessary requirements. These changes will give Departments more authority over grant applications and also save time.
Making Local Grants More Competitive
FSI is aggressively using executive endorsements from the Governor and Lt. Governor for grant applications to demonstrate high level commitment to Department, non-profit, and local business initiatives and making applications more competitive overall. Already we have provided over twenty letters that have led to subsequent funding for projects dealing with domestic violence prevention, prevention of Medicare fraud, and workforce development.