August 3, 2021

NTIA Now Accepting Applications for $268 Million Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) is providing information on the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) notice of funding opportunity for Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program. Eligible entities include Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and other Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs).  

Applicants may request funding for projects that have at least one of the following purposes:

  1. Builds the broadband and IT capacity of eligible HBCU, TCU, and MSI institutions;
  2. Provides broadband education, awareness, training, access, equipment, and support to students and patrons at eligible institutions, Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs), and tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations in anchor communities;
  3. Provides subsidized broadband access and equipment to qualified low-income/in-need students and communities;
  4. Improves use of broadband services by eligible MBEs and community-based organizations to deliver digital skills, digital inclusion, workforce development programs, and technology services in anchor communities;
  5. Stimulates the adoption and community use of broadband services for telehealth, remote learning, telework and entrepreneurship, economic growth, and job creation in anchor communities;
  6. Builds digital skills and IT workforce capacity in HBCU, TCU, and MSI institutions, anchor communities, and MBE and tax-exempt consortia members, including STEM/STEAM, coding, cybersecurity, technician, and work-based learning programs;
  7. Assesses the needs of HBCU, TCU, and MSI anchor institutions and surrounding anchor communities and conducts planning related to online education, digital inclusion, workforce, and digital skills development; and/or
  8. Gathers data and conducts evaluation of the digital inclusion, broadband access and adoption, and professional development programs funded by the grant to determine their effectiveness and document best practices.

Since this is a pilot program, NTIA welcomes innovative approaches to technology training, workforce development, and community engagement around broadband, broadband access, and connectivity.

A consortium led by HSIs, HBCUs, TCUs, or MSIs that also includes a minority business enterprise or nonprofit organization in the anchor community are also eligible to apply for this grant program.

The notice of funding opportunity is available at:

Complete applications must be received by no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on December 1, 2021.

HACU Member Advisories are a service of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)