Annual Report Highlights Impact of RCAP’s Technical Assistance, Advocacy on Rural and Tribal Communities
FY2022 review demonstrates the difference that RCAP’s 350 technical assistance providers and strong relationships with federal partners has on communities across the U.S.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 8, 2023) – The Rural Community Assistance Partnership Incorporated (RCAP) released its annual report detailing how a growing research portfolio, valuable technical assistance services, and consistent advocacy before Congress and federal agencies have enabled the nonprofit network to continue delivering on its quest to improve the quality of life in rural America.
RCAP assisted 1,654 communities in leveraging $692 million in federal funding throughout all 50 states and five U.S. territories, serving 3.3 million rural and tribal citizens, 1 million of whom were people of color. The network’s training and capacity building programs provided 639 training courses to over 6,000 systems and 13,000 attendees.
The organization also had programmatic successes in drinking water systems, private wells, closing the wastewater access gap, and in accelerating rural entrepreneurship.
Water access in predominantly low-income Colonias communities, often unincorporated with mainly Latino residents who are mostly U.S. citizens, was the focus of a seminal report, “Current and Future Needs in Colonias and Recent Work on the Ground by RCAP.” It highlighted past research on the conditions of water access in Colonias and expanded upon that based on data collection by RCAP TAPs working in those communities as well as conversations with them about what they see day to day on the ground.
RCAP’s advocacy arm secured funding guarantees as part of the historic Infrastructure and Jobs Act (IIJA), including water services, broadband, lead in drinking water, emerging contaminants, environmental justice, and climate resiliency. The organization was also instrumental in the creation of new resources and investments through IIJA that will provide access to critical technical assistance and training needed for improving drinking and wastewater programs and infrastructure. RCAP also built on the $1.1 billion in emergency COVID-19 response funding to secure the first nationwide pilot program for low-income water assistance.
RCAP is poised for a strong future with new CEO Olga Morales-Pate, the organization recently being designated a national Environmental Finance Center by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assist small, rural, and Tribal underserved communities in accessing federal funds for projects focused on drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater. RCAP is also focused on the passage of a Farm Bill this year that preserves critical programs for rural communities and small systems. The organization also plans to help communities build their human capital and vertical infrastructure, continue to incorporate environmental justice in its programs and technical assistance, and expand disaster response and climate resiliency assistance and resources for communities.
# # #
The Rural Community Assistance Partnership Incorporated (RCAP) is a national network of non-profit partners working to provide technical assistance, training, resources, and support to rural communities across every state, the U.S. territories, and Tribal lands. Through RCAP’s regional partners, more than 350 technical assistance providers (TAPs) build long-term, trusted relationships with thousands of communities across the country.