Infrastructure ‘bootcamps’ help smaller cities win federal grants

Last month, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, got news that it had won $9.9 million in grants from the Department of Transportation’s Safe Streets and Roads for All program. Dearborn, Michigan, learned that it had been awarded $24 million.

What the small Pennsylvania city and mid-sized Michigan community have in common is that both participated in the Local Infrastructure Hub. An initiative led by the National League of Cities, the hub runs a series of bootcamps that seeks to help traditionally underserved communities access the billions in federal funding opportunities available through the bipartisan infrastructure law and the Inflation Reduction Act…

Smaller-sized cities like Bethlehem and Dearborn are often at a disadvantage competing for federal grants, lacking the staff, in-house know-how and other resources that their larger peers can depend on. The hub is trying to change that dynamic and give smaller cities a better shot at winning federal dollars.

It appears to be working. About 30 of the cities, including Bethlehem and Dearborn, that participated in the hub’s bootcamp last year won grants in the most recent round of Safe Streets and Roads for All program.

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