News Release
Release No.STELPRD4015548
ContactTerry Dismuke706-552-2555
(APRIL 2, 2012) STRONGER ECONOMIES TOGETHER (SET) INITIATIVE APPLICATIONS BEING ACCEPTED NOW(DEADLINE TO APPLY IS MAY 4, 2012)
Technical Assistance for Rural Regional Economic Development
Middle and South Georgia, Apr 02, 2012 --

@@Applications Available for “Stronger Economies Together” Initiative

Provides Technical Assistance for Rural Regional Development

Applications Available online at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/GAHome.html,

Deadline to apply May 4, 2012

USDA Rural Development, in conjunction with the Fort Valley State University Cooperative Extension, other state and local partners, has released details of an initiative called “Stronger Economies Together” (SET), which is designed to help regional teams develop new approaches to strengthen and enhance regional economic development activities. The SET initiative 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. Two multi-county areas in rural Georgia will be chosen to participate in the initiative.

The SET initiative eligibility requirements are: 1. Applicants must be multi-county regions (at least three or more counties located within Regions 8, 9, 10 or 11) in Georgia (or in conjunction with other counties in neighboring regions) where the average rural population is 51 percent or more of the region’s total population based on Census data or other sufficient data or documentation OR 2. Applicants must be multi-county regions in Georgia (at least three or more counties located within Regions 8, 9, 10 or 11) in Georgia (or in conjunction with other counties in neighboring regions) where 75 percent of the region’s land must be located I rural areas of that region based on Census data or other sufficient data or documentation.

Applications for the SET initiative are now available at Georgia’s Rural Development Web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/GAHome.html. A complete application must be submitted electronically to terry.dismuke@ga.usda.gov by May 4, 2012 (11:59 pm Eastern). An acknowledgement of receipt of application will e sent within 36 hours. The two applicants the will be selected will be announced June 29, 2012. There is no application fee.

The successful applicants will receive the following: 1) Valuable intensive strategic planning training for your regional teams, 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 competitive advantages; 3) Technical assistance and educational support from Fort Valley State University, USDA Rural Development staff and other State and local partners; 4) Other educational and information sharing opportunities with other SET program participants around the country.

If you have questions, contact:

Joy Moten-Thomas, (478) 825-6954, FVSU Cooperative Extension, thomasb@fvsu.edu

Terry Dismuke, (706) 552-2555, State Civil Rights Manager, terry.dismuke@ga.usda.gov

USDA Rural Development administers and manages more than 40 housing, business, and community infrastructure ad facility programs through a network of 5000 employees located in National, State and Local offices. 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. For more information on programs offered by USDA Rural Development, contact the Georgia State Office at (706) 546-2162 or visit its web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/GAHome.html.

The Fort Valley Cooperative Extension provides scientific research based on information and education. It is a network of colleges, universities, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, serving communities and counties across America.