Mexico, MO, May 18, 2011 -- Mexico, Mo., May 18, 2011 – Officials from USDA Rural Development met with business leaders in Mexico, Missouri to seek their input on ways federal, state and local officials can help improve economic conditions and create jobs. The meeting was hosted by Frank Cordie, President of Mid America Brick.
“The President and USDA are committed to creating good-paying jobs that will help businesses and the communities they serve,” Jonathan Adelstein, Administrator of USDA Rural Development’s Rural Utilities Service, and a member of the White House Business Council on Winning the Future, told an audience of nearly two dozen business owners and economic development officials. “This roundtable is one of many the Obama administration is holding to get feedback on ways we can help businesses expand and improve the economic base in your area.”
Adelstein facilitated the White House Business Council’s Roundtable at the start of a three-day tour of Missouri infrastructure and business projects USDA Rural Development has supported. The agency’s Rural Business Services program assisted Mid America Brick with financing to help reenergize the brick plant and bring back jobs for the community.
The Rural Utilities Services (RUS) program funds broadband, safe drinking water, wastewater and electric infrastructure projects to help rural communities create jobs and remain economically competitive with metropolitan areas.
While in Missouri this week, Adelstein toured several RUS funded projects. On Wednesday morning he visited Socket in Columbia, Missouri to see the progress on a $23.7 Million investment of federal broadband funds to support fiber-to-the-home network in rural Callaway County. On Thursday morning he joins Missouri Governor Nixon at Ralls County Electric Cooperative, in New London, to celebrate the construction and installation of $19.1 million in broadband services to 4,594 households, 311 business and 58 anchor institutions in northeast Missouri. Later in the day he stops at Ralls County PWSD No. 1 to visit the site of water improvements. Thursday evening Adelstein meets with Barry Hart, CEO of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives and other Electric Coop leaders for dinner to discuss other infrastructure needs to help rural Missourians. The tour continues on Friday to three wastewater infrastructure projects in Howard County including: a visit to the City of Fayette’s new water plant and the new wastewater treatment facility plus the Howard County Regional Water Commission which serves three public water systems in southern Howard County and the City of New Franklin, City of Fayette and Howard County PWSD No. 1.
USDA is focused on creating 21st century rural communities that encourage innovation, entrepreneurship and are self-sustaining. Adelstein emphasized that USDA is looking to have an exchange of ideas with the business community on ways to create jobs. This exchange also is intended to educate business and community leaders about USDA and other resources the Obama administration has to assist in this effort.
“Effective economic development is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach,” said Anita J. (Janie) Dunning USDA Rural Development Missouri State Director.
The White House Business Council’s Winning the Future Roundtable with American Business is an opportunity for government leaders to hear directly from business leaders around the country about their ideas on how to grow the economy.
USDA Rural Development’s mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Rural Development fosters growth in homeownership, finances business development, and supports the creation of critical community and technology infrastructure. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development’s web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/mo
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