News Release
Release No.STELPRD4017886
ContactDavid Glasgow615-783-1300
"Rural Capacity-Building in East Tennessee" program to serve Anderson, Blount, Claiborne, Hamblen, Jefferson, Morgan, Roane, and Sevier
DES MOINES, Aug 14, 2012 --

@@Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that 41 community-based organizations have been selected for funding to create jobs and support rural business development.

"USDA has a strong partnership with rural citizens and communities to bring increased economic opportunity," Vilsack said. "These grants are investments that will help organizations build the capacity and expertise of local organizations and businesses, which in turn will spur strengthen rural economies and increase economic activity."

In East Tennessee, Knoxville Leadership Foundation (KLF) will use a grant of $150,000 for the Rural Capacity-Building in East Tennessee initiative designed to help community organizations increase their local impact in an eight county region including Anderson, Blount, Claiborne, Hamblen, Jefferson, Morgan, Roane, and Sevier. KLF will provide training workshops, technical support, coaching/mentoring, and peer support. The program, called the Center for Communities, will conduct organizational assessments and assist in producing a Development Plan, with a particular focus on housing, community and economic development in rural areas.

Funding announced today is being provided through the Rural Community Development Initiative Program (RCDI). It helps community-based development organizations, federally recognized Indian tribes and other groups promote economic growth in low-income, rural communities. Recipients are required to match the federal funding, which increase the value of the grants.

Funding for each project is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the grant agreement. For a complete list of projects, click here.

According to Vilsack, “The Administration’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities.”

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has an active portfolio of more than $172 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.

In Tennessee, during the last three years more than 1.5 million families and businesses in 158 communities have been assisted by federal investments of more than $2.5 Billion through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants. More information on USDA Rural Development programs and local office contacts by Tennessee County are available online,


USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).