Washington, D.C., Aug 14, 2012 -- United States Department of Agriculture ♦ Rural Development in Maine ♦ 967 Illinois Ave, Suite 4
Bangor, ME 04402-0405 ♦Voice (207) 990-9160 ♦ Email: Emily.Cannon@me.usda.gov ♦
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today 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 businesses, which in turn will spur economic activity and strengthen rural economies. “
USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel said, “I am very pleased that Western Maine Community Action has received our Rural Development grant, which will allow them to have a major impact on services to area seniors, including training professionals to work with them to make informed choices on energy efficiency improvements to their homes, as well as addressing other critical needs that will allow many Maine seniors to continue to live independently.”
In Maine Western Community Action, Inc., in East Wilton has been selected to receive a Rural Community Development Initiative Grant in the amount of $200,000. The funds will be used to allow the Maine Keeping Seniors Home program to introduce a Regional Collaboration focusing on regional job creation and technical assistance and training for Maine’s energy auditors, private contractors, and other community assistance providers and partners, and investing in other key support services for the elderly.
Western Maine Community Action Executive Director Fenwick Fowler added “Rural Maine has an increasing aging population who hope to live in their own homes the rest of their lives. These funds will train a workforce to help seniors renovate their homes so they can live independently longer. The network of 10 community actions are working collaboratively with 5 Area Agencies on Aging to assure this happens throughout Maine. The USDA Rural Development funding is instrumental in helping Maine prepare for our aging population.”
The 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 obtain matching funds, 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.
President Obama’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’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has an active portfolio of more than $170 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.
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).