Montpelier, VT, Nov 02, 2011 -- USDA Rural Development, in conjunction with The Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development, University of Vermont and New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, and other state and local partners, has selected “Keep Growing” a rural multi-county region in Vermont and New Hampshire to be included in a program called “Stronger Economies Together” (SET). Keep Growing is a regional team, led by Rebecca Brown of the Ammonoosuc Conservation Trust, that encompasses the counties of Grafton and Coos in New Hampshire and Caledonia and Essex in Vermont
SET is a program designed to help regional teams develop new approaches to strengthen and enhance regional economic development activities. The SET program is an opportunity for current or newly formed multi-county teams to receive the latest tools, training, and technical assistance to help their region move forward and take advantage of positive growth and quality of life opportunities.
The selected applicants will receive the following: 1) Valuable intensive strategic planning training for their regional team, including the newly developed “Stronger Economies Together” program, a program designed to help your regional team develop new approaches to strengthen and enhance regional economic development activities; 2) Database tools specifically designed to help the regional teams examine the critical drivers of their region and identify emerging growth sectors and regional competitive advantages; 3) Technical assistance and educational support from the Northeast Regional Rural Development Center, Rural Development staff, and UVM and UNH Extension staff; and 4) Other educational and information-sharing opportunities with other SET program participants around the country.
USDA Rural Development serves as the lead federal agency for rural development needs by offering financial and technical assistance to individuals, businesses and communities. USDA Rural Development programs include funding for day care centers, fire trucks and other community facility projects; the purchase, construction or repair of homes; loans and guarantees to rural businesses to save or create jobs and renewable energy; and loans and grants for water and sewer utility projects. For more information on programs offered by USDA Rural Development, contact the Vermont/New Hampshire State Office at (802) 828-6000 or visit its website at www.rurdev.usda.gov/vt .