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Thriving Communities Program FY23 Program: Hands-on capacity building support for infrastructure projects


September 18, 2023 | Thriving Communities Program FY23 Program: Hands-on capacity building support for infrastructure projects | By: Kelly Humrichouser, Director of Government Relations |


On September 12, the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced the FY23 Thriving Communities Program. This program provides capacity building support to local communities through capacity-building organizations. We encourage you to learn more about the program, determine your community’s interest, and apply by November 28, 2023.

Communities across the country are seeking to leverage new and existing federal programs to improve downtown walkability, street design, transportation access, and safety, but face ongoing challenges in developing community capacity to apply for and execute these projects. Congress recognized the need to support disadvantaged communities and created the Thriving Communities Program (TCP) to address these challenges. Funded at $25M in the 2023 Consolidated Appropriations Act, the TCP helps communities build lasting capacity to enact transformational projects. 

In March, DOT announced Main Street America and a cohort of partners as one of the first selected capacity builders for the TCP, deploying resources and support to twenty communities. Our approach includes on-site assessment; tailored technical assistance and training in areas of regional connection, equity, and placemaking; and direct financial support to selected communities. We seek to enhance participating communities’ capacity to advance priority projects holistically by enabling collaboration and reducing barriers. Overall, TCP is helping 64 communities across three areas: Main Streets, Complete Neighborhoods, and Networked Communities.  

To participate in transformational capacity building through TCP, we encourage you to read on about the opportunity. 


For Communities Interested in Receiving Support 


Does your community lack the staffing or technical expertise to scope, fund, and develop infrastructure projects that advance broader community goals? Apply to receive 2 years of technical assistance, planning, and capacity building support and continued learning opportunities through the TCP! Get started by: 

  • Attending DOT’s webinar for interested communities on September 27, 2023 at 3:00-4:00 p.m. ET. Register here.  

  • Reviewing the Fact Sheet and the complete Call for Letters of Interest document. This document provides all the details to help determine your eligibility and goals for the TCP program.  

  • Forming a team led by an eligible applicant.  

    • Eligible applicants are local, state, or tribal governments, territories, planning organizations or transit agencies. 

    • Each eligible applicant must partner with at least two other organizations that can help add capacity, implement projects, and bring disadvantaged groups into the process. 

    • Pro-tip: reach out to potential partners early in the process and invite them to attend the webinar with you!

  • Completing a Letter of Interest (LOI) via DOT’s webform by 4:59 p.m. ET on November 15, 2023 

There is no cost or matching requirement for communities seeking support through this program. Learn more by visiting DOT’s website: 


For Capacity Builders 


For FY23, DOT is offering a new category for Capacity Builder organizations to participate in the TCP. The Thriving Communities Regional Pilot Program is open to State, Tribal, or Regional organizations – including non-profit organizations. Selected applicants will receive $1-2 million over 3 years to provide technical assistance, planning, and capacity building support and peer learning opportunities to communities located within their own jurisdiction or service area and selected by the applicant. 

For more information: 

  • Attend a DOT webinar for interested Capacity Builders on September 20, 2023 at 3:30-4:30 p.m. ET. Register here.  


We’re here to help


Community capacity is a core element of Main Street work across the country. If you are seeking resources and support to undertake transformational projects, check-out these resources: