Champaign, IL, Jun 30, 2011 -- Contact: Joan Messina (217) 403-6248
USDA Rural Development Awards Grant to Promote
Economic Growth in Illinois
Champaign, Ill., June 30, 2011—USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Callahan announced that the Illinois Coalition for Community Services was selected to receive $175,105 over the next three years to promote economic and community development in 13 Illinois communities. The selection was part of a national announcement by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack of 43 other towns and community-based organizations selected to receive $9.5 million in loans and grants.
“These funds will help to arm these rural communities with the skills, access to information and strategies they can use to fortify their future,” Callahan said. “Our goal is to help the leaders in these communities design and implement their solutions to improve their ability to promote economic growth.”
The funding is being provided through the agency’s Rural Community Development Initiative Program (RCDI). Private and public organizations use the funds to provide technical assistance and training to rural communities and non-profit organizations in an effort to increase their capacity to undertake housing, community and economic development.
The Illinois Coalition for Community Services (ICCS) proposes to work with the communities of Coffeen, Herrick, Johnston City, Roodhouse, Rosiclare, Rushville, Shawneetown, Vienna and Palmyra, as well as Food Works in Carbondale, Hamilton County Economic Development, Pulaski County Project Hope, and The Happy Helpers Pantry in Tamms.
ICCS, the state’s largest community service provider, has been providing these types of services to rural and economically challenged communities since 1985. They will train 13 towns and organizations to research and access grants and other financial assistance, develop strategic plans, recruit and mange volunteer networks, write grants, develop budgets and numerous other skills. It will match the RCDI grant with funds from the Illinois Department of Human Services.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $150 billion in loans and loan guarantees. 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.
To better coordinate Federal programs and maximize the impact of Federal investment, President Obama signed an Executive Order on June 9, 2011 creating the White House Rural Council that will work throughout government to create policies to promote economic prosperity and a high quality of life in our rural communities. Agriculture Secretary Vilsack serves as chair of the Council.
Additional information about the agency's programs or USDA Rural Development offices in Illinois is available at www.rurdev.usda.gov/ILHome.html.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).