Washington D.C., Aug 14, 2012 -- 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. “
For example, in Sumter County, Habitat for Humanity International, Inc. is selected to receive a $200,000 grant to promote and expand the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI) work in rural communities. They will provide targeted assistance, primarily through organizational and construction consultants, to the recipients to increase their ability and capacity in the areas of housing and community development.
In Ft. Valley, Ga., Fort Valley State University is selected to receive $50,000; funds will be used to provide technical assistance to implement the Stronger Economies Together (SET) program in select rural communities in South Georgia. SET strengthens the capacity of communities/counties to work together in developing and implementing an economic development blueprint for their multi-county region. SET is sponsored by USDA Rural Development, in partnership with the nation’s four Regional Rural Development Centers and their land-grant university colleagues.
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 $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.
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).