News Release
Release No.STELPRD4014723
ContactLarry Yerich(907) 271-2424 ext. 125
Community Connections to Continue Providing Quality Human Services in Ketchikan
Anchorage, Alaska, Feb 09, 2012 --

@@ Alaska State Director Jim Nordlund today announced USDA-Rural Development has approved a direct loan of $2,900,000 to help purchase a remodeled, existing 20,000 square foot building in Ketchikan in order to consolidate all services and operations for a local nonprofit organization.

“Community Connections is a very successful twenty six year old private, nonprofit human service provider. We provide a broad array of services ranging from birth to elderly service through our four programs which includes older Alaskans and adult resources; early learning; developmental disabilities and children’s mental health. All programs share the goal of supporting participation in home and community life,” said Bess Clark, Executive Director.

“Our organization provided services to more than 700 customers last year and grown to employ more than 260 people across Southeast Alaska in the communities of Ketchikan, Metlakatla and Prince of Wales Island. The funding makes possible to dispense all of our available programs under the same roof affording an economical, seamless delivery of integral services. This supports the continued growth and expansion of services to meet the needs of the people we serve, especially as our population ages and needs supports to stay in their own home. Our agency has had two previous successful projects with USDA-Rural Development,” added Clark.

“This project exemplifies the type of community development that USDA-Rural Development can support through its Community Facilities loan and grant programs. This organization stepped up to apply for and obtain the loan, and we look forward to working with additional agencies. Community Connections has been a great organization to work with, we look forward to more successful projects together,” said Merlaine Kruse, Director of Community Programs for USDA RD.

Since taking office, President Obama's Administration has taken historic steps to improve the lives of rural Americans, put people back to work and build thriving economies in rural communities. From proposing the American Jobs Act to establishing the first-ever White House Rural Council – chaired by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack – the President wants the federal government to be the best possible partner for rural businesses, entrepreneurs and people who want to live, work and raise their families in rural communities.

USDA-Rural Development 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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