Posted: July 13, 2022

Capital access and absorption — systemic opportunity combined with the capacity and technical expertise to effectively leverage and deploy funds — are vital components of revitalization for rural communities. View the recording from the Rural Community Action Assembly.

We prepared for forthcoming infrastructure funding opportunities and learned about best practices for utilizing community assets for low- to moderate-income residents by registering to participate in the next virtual Rural Community Action Assembly.

Panelists and participants discussed best practices, policies, and opportunities for increasing capital access and absorption as part of a comprehensive revitalization strategy. Presentations included data tools for identifying a variety of community development funding sources and measuring how much funding is deployed in rural communities. Additionally, panelists noted recent research on the role of community foundations and United Ways in economic and community development. Last, the assembly touched on capacity building for community development financial institutions and the role of funders networks in strengthening capital access and absorption.

The agenda included presentations from:

  • Mike Eggleston, Community Development Advisor for Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
  • Keith Wardrip, Community Development Research Manager, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
  • Varsovia Fernandez, Executive Director, PA CDFI Network
  • Moderator: Shonterria Charleston, Director of Training and Technical Assistance, Housing Assistance Council

This virtual meeting is a continuation of the Rural Community Action Assemblies begun in 2020. The series focuses on actionable research and programmatic models to promote strong and equitable community, economic, and workforce development in rural Pennsylvania. This series is cohosted by the Philadelphia Fed’s Community Development and Regional Outreach Department, Penn State’s Center for Economic and Community Development, and the Center for Rural Pennsylvania.

For questions about this series, please contact Samantha Porter at