Q & A + Webinar Recording: Sustainable Workforce Initiative Community Partners

On September 2nd, BLDG Memphis held two webinars for the Sustainable Workforce Initiative Community Partners application process. For viewing either of these webinars, please review at the following links: Recording 1, Recording 2

A brief Q & A of the webinar has been prepared for review below:

Is it okay if the awarded community partner organization provides stipends to community members to complete the work?


If my organization is not focused on job training, individual skills, and weatherization - are we eligible for the program?

Yes, we are not explicitly looking for workforce organization as our partners will be preforming these tasks.

Who is the audience of the weatherization trainings, for instance contractors?

The trainings are not technical in terms of weatherizing homes, but rather training for home inspection.

What other trainings are offered?

There are additionally OSHA trainings provided in addition to spanish language training for lead-safe homes.

Are these trainings reserved for license professionals or can they be used for building capacity?

The trainings are not restrictive in who is able to attend them.

If I want to host a job training opportunity, do I need to partner with one of the partner agencies to provide the job training skills?

The trainings have already been prepared and administered by the partners, but other opportunities could potentially be explored and does not limit you from consideration.




Add your reaction Share

Call for Applications: Sustainable Workforce Initiative Community Partners

BLDG Memphis is seeking nonprofit Community Partners to support community outreach for the Memphis & Shelby County Office of Sustainability and Resilience Sustainable Workforce Initiative. Through this opportunity, community associations and community development groups focused primarily in North and South Memphis will be contracted to promote Sustainable Workforce activities within their respective communities. These include opportunities for both job training and skills development in weatherization and contracting, as well as community and resident services related to healthy and energy-efficient housing. Community Partners will be responsible for raising awareness of and helping to connect residents with the various opportunities funded by the Sustainable Workforce grant as described in more detail below.

Nonprofit, community-based organizations will be selected as Community Partners for each focus area. Each partner agency will have access to a budget of between $3,000 and $5,000 to support its community engagement activities.

Strategies used may vary by neighborhood and should include distributing project material and information through a variety of channels, such as community newsletters, neighborhood networks, existing neighborhood events, social media, and hosting training sessions on resources available through project partners. While the project team would typically expect the inclusion of in-person events and meetings, we understand that the COVID-19 pandemic may limit those activities.

Partners are encouraged to be creative in their recommended approaches with the goal of reaching diverse segments of the community, including youth, adults, individuals who work outside typical office hours, those facing employment barriers, and non-English speaking populations. Partners are encouraged to provide detail on their experience using online platforms for communication and reporting in their applications.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 public health crisis, all Community Partners will be expected to practice distancing and personal protection for any individuals or groups involved. Participants should follow guidelines issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Shelby County Health Department and City of Memphis regarding social distance, gatherings, and personal protective equipment.

More details on the opportunity can be found here.

1 reaction Share

BLDG Memphis Announces New Board of Directors

BLDG Memphis (Build. Live. Develop. Grow.), a coalition for organizations and individuals who support the development and redevelopment of healthy, vibrant, attractive and economically sustainable neighborhoods throughout the Memphis region, today announced its newly installed board of directors for the 2020-2021 year.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Investing in Health through Housing in North Memphis: Master Home Environmentalist (MHE) program

One of the primary goals of the Neighborhood Collaborative for Resilience (NCR), is to help neighborhoods create intentional strategies that holistically address equity, health and climate concerns. NCR prioritizes work that ensures historically disinvested communities and people of color gain tangible benefits from the investments made in their environment. A successful example of this work is the Master Home Environmentalist (MHE) program.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Member Monday Spotlight: MidtownMemphis.org

Emily Cupples, Executive Director of MidtownMemphis.org, shares about their organization's meaningful work and vibrant community.

Read more
1 reaction Share

2019 BLDG Memphis Candidate Questionnaire Results

Leading up to the 2019 City of Memphis Municipal Elections, we posed three questions to all 64 candidates running for mayor and city council to gauge their support for local solutions to our city's needs. The questions addressed the topics of quality affordable housing; supporting and growing the newly created Memphis Affordable Housing Trust Fund, pedestrian safety; improving Memphis' record as the 11th most dangerous metro area for pedestrians in the U.S. and public transit; increasing our investment to fund the Memphis 3.0 Transit Vision.

The three questions were sourced from our membership base of 28 nonprofit community development corporations working in neighborhoods across Memphis and supporting/partner agencies in the economic development and financial sectors.

We recorded responses from the 13 candidates that participated and displayed them on our website to help voters make informed decisions on election day. Let’s look at what a few of the 2019 candidates running in the City of Memphis Municipal Elections had to say. 

Read more
Add your reaction Share

What Proposed Changes to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Could Mean for Memphis CDCs


Proposed changes to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) could divert billions of dollars from low- and moderate-income communities. Currently, banks meet their CRA requirements by providing capital for affordable housing, small businesses and economic development in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. By relaxing standards for the types of investments that qualify for CRA credit, the proposed rules would open the door to discriminatory housing and investment practices – i.e., redlining. Overall, these rules would make financial institutions far less accountable and connected to the communities they are required to serve.

Our team at BLDG Memphis wanted to address the concerns of these proposed changes at the local level by speaking with leaders of our member community development corporations. We asked Charia Jackson, Deputy Director of Frayser Community Development Corporation, to share her perspective on how CRA changes could impact communities across the city. 

Read more
Add your reaction Share

2020 Policy Priority: Affordable Housing

Creating affordable housing options is crucial to the revitalization of Memphis neighborhoods. Through our affordable housing policy priority, we are focusing on increasing resources for and eliminating barriers to solving the quality affordable housing supply/demand gap through tools for acquisition, development and maintenance of affordable units.

Over the next year we hope to accomplish the following goals:

●    Secure county and private allocations to the Memphis Affordable Housing Trust Fund and explore additional dedicated funding sources for long-term sustainability.

●    Explore changes to the state Low Income Housing Tax Credit Qualified Allocation Program that increases the competitiveness of neighborhood-scaled affordable housing developments. 

●    Improve governing systems and enact policies that hold property owners and private management accountable for their properties while supporting and protecting the rights and livability of renters. 

●    Support the adoption of a rental property registry ordinance and regular inspections of rental housing units to ensure the safety of and livability for residents. 

●    Explore the creation of a “renters’ bill of rights” that clarifies and strengthens protections from housing discrimination, unlawful eviction, and retaliation. 

●    Encourage equitable access to fair housing opportunities through home repair and weatherization programs, increased housing and financial counseling, and the creation of a “one-stop-shop” for individuals and families to access information, apply, and be referred for services.

●    Expand the eligibility of local and state home repair and weatherization programs to have a greater economic, health, and stability impact for Memphis households, for example by including rental property improvements as eligible uses. 

Visit our website to learn more about BLDG Memphis and see how you can get involved

Add your reaction Share

Member Monday Spotlight: Alcy Ball Community Development Corporation


Seth Harkins, Executive Director 

How was Alcy Ball started?
Alcy Ball Development Corporation (ABDC) was founded in 2012. Our Community Development Corporation (CDC) started through relationships between the leadership of Divine Life Church and Second Presbyterian Church. Through their mutual understanding of Asset Based Community Development principles, the initial leadership group decided to form a CDC to strengthen some of the existing relationships and reestablish Alcy Ball as a desirable, thriving community. Funding from Second Presbyterian and neighborhood connections from Divine Life formed the foundation of what exists today – an organization working to support resident leaders. 

Read more
Add your reaction Share

BLDG 20 for 20

Day 20 – The Next 20 Years of BLDG Memphis

Thank you for following along as we celebrated our 20th year and reflected on the people, partners and programs that have been core to our work of building more sustainable and just neighborhoods across Memphis.

Your donations allow us to increase resources for safe, affordable and healthy housing, redevelop vacant and abandoned neighborhoods, create better strategies for community economic development, make our streets safer, equip residents with the tools they need to make neighborhood change a reality and more. 

As we look to the next 20 years, consider making an investment in our community to help us to continue to strengthen the coalition and make Memphis livable for years to come.

Show your support for BLDG Memphis by giving $20 for 20 years of empowering Memphis to build, live, develop and grow: https://bldgmemphis.nationbuilder.com/donate

Read more
Add your reaction Share