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Deadline: March 4, 2015

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Sustainable Employment and Economic Development Strategies (SEEDS)

The purpose of the SEEDS initiative is to promote job growth and business development in Native communities that are experiencing challenging economic conditions. In an effort to reduce un- and under-employment and stimulate local economies, four key priorities that the Administration for Native Americans (ANA) will pursue through the SEEDS initiative are:

  1. Creation of sustainable employment opportunities
  2. Professional training and skill development that increases participants’ employability and earning potential
  3. Creation and development of small businesses and entrepreneurial activities
  4. A demonstrated strategy and commitment to keeping the jobs and revenues generated by project activities within the Native communities being served

ANA promotes the goal of self-sufficiency in Native American communities primarily through the Social and Economic Development Strategies (SEDS) program, which authorizes the SEEDS initiative. The SEEDS initiative prioritizes implementation-ready projects that will create jobs and develop businesses within the proposed project period. This priority supports ANA’s commitment to improving access to employment opportunities and supporting small businesses in order to enhance local economies, enable a greater number of individuals to acquire and maintain gainful employment, and improve the long term financial health and well-being of community members and families.

Program areas of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Agriculture: Creating, developing, or enhancing agricultural enterprise and sustainable farming projects with a focus on distribution at local and commercial markets.
  • Career Pathways: Utilizing multi-sector partnerships with entities such as Tribal Colleges, workforce development agencies, social service providers, and employers to develop workforce training programs that respond to local employers’ hiring needs.
  • Commercial Trade: Strengthening local economies by increasing the availability of, or demand for, locally produced goods and services.
  • Economic Competitiveness: Creating, expanding, and retaining businesses to reflect distinct economies operating in rural and urban areas, in both mature and emergent sectors.
  • Economic Infrastructure: Addressing economic infrastructure needs that will strengthen business development and job creation in native communities.
  • Entrepreneurship and Microbusiness: Promoting entrepreneurial development through business incubators and other activities that support businesses and market the availability of local products or services.
  • Interoperability (partnering with ACF programs and clients): Helping ACF clients such as youth aging out of foster care, TANF or TANF eligible individuals, or noncustodial parents with child support agreements to obtain employment.
  • Local Sourcing and Technology: Utilizing new technologies to enhance distribution channels for locally produced goods and services.
  • Place-based Strategies: Utilizing a tribe or community’s local or regional assets and resources and collaborating with multiple stakeholders to address economic development barriers.
  • Professional Development: Providing professional training, skill development (including soft skills, basic skills, or technical skills), or certification that will enhance participants’ employment and earning prospects.

Amount: Total: $4,750,000 for up to 15 awards. Awards will range from $100,000-$500,000 per year with the average award being $300,000. Awards will be made for up to five years. There is a 20% cash or in-kind match requirement.


  • Federally recognized Indian tribes, as recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs
  • Incorporated non-federally recognized tribes
  • Incorporated state-recognized Indian tribes
  • Consortia of Indian tribes
  • Incorporated non-profit multi-purpose community-based Indian organizations
  • Urban Indian Centers
  • Alaska Native villages as defined in the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANSCA) and/or non-profit village consortia
  • Non-profit native organizations in Alaska with village-specific projects
  • Incorporated non-profit Alaska Native multi-purpose, community-based organizations
  • Non-profit Alaska Native Regional Corporations/Associations in Alaska with village-specific projects
  • Non-profit Alaska Native community entities or tribal governing bodies (Indian Reorganization Act or Traditional Councils) as recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs
  • Public and non-profit private agencies serving Native Hawaiians
  • National or regional incorporated non-profit Native American organizations with Native American community-specific objectives
  • Public and non-profit private agencies serving native peoples from Guam, American Samoa, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
  • Tribal Colleges and Universities, and colleges and universities located in Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands that serve Native American Pacific Islanders

Link: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/open/foa/view/HHS-2014-ACF-ANA-NE-0779

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