News Release
Release No.STELPRD4012740
ContactLarry Yerich(907) 271-2424 ext. 125
Anchorage, AK, Oct 03, 2011 --

@@USDA-RD Alaska State Director Jim Nordlund today announced an investment to the Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference for $37,675

through the Rural Business Opportunity Grants (RBOG) program which supports regional planning activities to improve economic conditions in rural areas.

“The Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference is a non-profit regional economic development organization serving three sub-regions of Southwest Alaska including the Aleutian/Pribilofs, Bristol Bay and Kodiak. The Obama Administration has made a significant effort to bridge the digital divide by delivering broadband technology to rural Alaska. This RBOG will help to build on the infrastructure and provide increased economic development for Southwest Alaska,” said Nordlund.

Andy Varner, Executive Director for the Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference said, “This project aims to create economic development using existing and future broadband infrastructure in the Southwest Alaska region, by researching best practices and most effective uses of broadband applications in rural economies. This baseline research will be used for a guiding plan addressing various economic, social and cultural development goals related to broadband, including: creating new or improved small business operations; generating effective health, education, and training services; creating efficiencies in delivery of government services; promotion of more IT entrepreneurs and maintaining cultural and social connectivity throughout the Southwest Alaska region.”

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 $155 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.

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