The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs has announced $2,973,247 in fiscal year 2022 (FY2022) Technical Assistance Program and Maintenance Assistance Program grant funding for the support of the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI). Funding provided to government, non-profit and semi-autonomous organizations will be used to support goals such as streamlining business processes across government agencies, empowering former inmates for successful reintegration into the community, strengthening telehealth capacity, providing training in power maintenance and distribution, and more.
“The federal investments we are making in the Virgin Islands will help provide better opportunities in healthcare, economic development, and improve capacity development and resiliency of local utilities,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs Keone Nakoa. “The funding will also be used to improve government business processes in the territory in support of the government for efficiencies that we hope will support improvements to all Virgin Islanders.”
Technical Assistance Program grant awards totaling $1,473,247 will be awarded to various government and non-government organizations as follows:
- $500,000 to the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials to help the USVI Government improve and streamline interagency business processes for more effective and efficient management of federal grant funds for the territory.
- $500,000 to the Virgin Islands (VI) Economic Development Authority to renovate and repair the J. Antonio Jarvis Complex, a historically significant structure on St. Thomas that will contain an arts and civics center and serve as the anchor for community revitalization.
- $499,550 to the VI Bureau of Corrections for the design of a re-entry program that will merge best practices, evidence-based models, and a range of personal, behavioral, educational, and workforce development services and activities required to equip inmates with knowledge and skills essential for the successful return and reintegration back into the community.
- $269,106 to the VI Water and Power Authority (WAPA) for cyber security training to protect WAPA’s network of IT infrastructure that manages power plants, transmission and distribution, including financial and customer service operations.
- $294,719 to the Schneider Regional Medical Center for installation of a telehealth IT system to connect patients with physicians in distant locations (such as specialists on the mainland) and improve overall internal and external communications for health and telemedicine.
- $159,872 to the VI Department of Planning and Natural Resources to develop a pilot scallop aquaculture program that can draw on local expertise and explore potential commercially viable options for the territory.
The Maintenance Assistance Program has awarded the following grant:
$750,000 – Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA) for training and maintenance of substations and underground electrical facilities to ensure safe and reliable operations. WAPA has been transitioning a large majority of power transmission and distribution infrastructure to underground facilities to minimize the impacts of hurricanes and other natural disasters on power distribution.
More information about the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs can be found at www.doi.gov/oia. For specific information about grants provided through the Office of Insular Affairs, visit www.grants.gov and search Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance # 15.875.
The Assistant Secretary of Insular and International Affairs and the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) carry out the Secretary of the Interior’s responsibilities for the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Additionally, OIA administers and oversees federal assistance under the Compacts of Free Association to the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. OIA also administers a discretionary Technical Assistance Program for all the insular areas.
Find information about OIA and its work at www.doi.gov/oia or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.