HARRISBURG, PA – Jan. 28, 2011 – USDA Rural Development State Director Thomas Williams has announced the selection of Susanne Gantz to lead the agency’s Community Programs throughout the state. The Community Programs Division provides loans, grants and loan guarantees for projects to develop essential community facilities for public use in rural areas. This may include hospitals, fire protection, public safety, libraries, schools, day care centers as well as many other community-based initiatives. Utility services are included in Community Programs and are the foundation of rural infrastructure. Reliable and affordable water, waste treatment, electric power and telecommunications services can help rural areas expand economic opportunities and improve the quality of life for rural residents. In fiscal year 2010, Rural Development’s programs invested more than $956 million to rural communities throughout the Commonwealth.
Susanne, a Pennsylvania native, started her career with Farmer’s Home Administration (now Rural Development) in 1985. Throughout her 25 year career with the agency, Susanne has worked in various positions and multiple states including Pennsylvania, Montana and Rhode Island administering programs and providing technical assistance to rural and tribal communities for community and economic development. Prior to her appointment as Community Programs Director, she was the Team Leader in the Lebanon Area Office. She has developed numerous partnerships with local, state and other federal agencies. As Community Program Director, she oversees the administration of more than $400 million in loan and grant making activities for the Community Facilities and Water and Environmental Programs for Pennsylvania.
Through its Rural Development mission area, USDA administers and manages more than 40 housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a network of approximately 110 employees located in 11 offices throughout the Pennsylvania. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers, and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. For more information visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/pa.