MSU Extension, regional partners to provide guidance for local governments on American Rescue Plan Act spending

In partnership with member regions of the Michigan Association of Regions, MSU Extension educators are offering 14 workshops exploring Local Fiscal Recovery Fund spending opportunities in a regional context.

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In partnership with the Michigan Association of Regions (MAR), Michigan State University (MSU) Extension will lead a series of workshops statewide to aid government officials in their exploration of uses for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. Within the $1.9 trillion ARPA legislation, $150 billion has been earmarked for local and tribal governments through the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund.

The ARPA workshops are intended for regional planning and development board members, other local elected and appointed officials, tribal government officials, economic development practitioners, and other public and non-profit community development organization staff. Hosted from September 23 through October 28, the free workshops will highlight the importance of building capacity and strengthening infrastructure at local and regional levels to ensure communities are best positioned to receive the greatest return on their investments.

"The American Rescue Plan Act monies being distributed to local governments represents an important opportunity to invest in critical infrastructure and services to support the community,” said Eric Scorsone, PhD, associate professor and director of the MSU Extension Center for Local Government Finance and Policy, who will also serve as an instructor for the workshop series. “This training is designed to inform local officials about best practices, regional opportunities and up-to-date information on federal guidelines."

Workshops will be offered in numerous formats, ranging from exclusively virtual to hybrid and fully in-person options. Participants will also explore practical considerations for contracting, accounting and project management processes, facilitated group discussions to maximize effective regional collaboration, and ways to leverage other state and federal funding priorities to achieve regional development goals.    

“The Michigan Association of Regions is happy to partner with MSU Extension to provide training to local units of government from across the state as they invest the dollars received through the American Rescue Plan Act,” said Erin Kuhn, executive director of the West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission, and MAR president. “These monies are meant to provide valuable resources as communities respond to and recover from the pandemic.”

Additional instructors for the workshop series include Arnold Weinfeld, director of workforce and economic development partnerships within the Office for Public Engagement and Scholarship and associate director of MSU’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research, MSU Extension government and community vitality educators, and regional staff.

For more information regarding the the regional workshops and registration, please visit

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