Albuquerque, NM, Aug 27, 2012 -- Acting USDA Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary Judith Canales and State Director Terry Brunner traveled to Estancia, Bernalillo and Belen today to visit two established business training and job support centers and meet with a business owner installing an energy efficiency system that is expected to reduce power costs. All have received funding support recently through USDA.
“These USDA investments represent the Obama administration’s strong record of support in rural communities,” said Canales. “The projects we visited today are making it easier for people in rural New Mexico to access services, but more importantly, the funding is helping boost the state’s economy and create new jobs.”
State Director Brunner added, “Central New Mexico’s rural communities have been hit hard economically and all three of these projects demonstrate different strategies towards enhanced community and business development. USDA is proud to support them in their efforts.”
The day began with a plaque presentation to the City of Estancia to mark the award of a $30,000 Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) to install an eleven-foot commercial stove hood and a fire suppression system at the Estancia Valley Kitchen. The money will also pay for other repairs and additional kitchen equipment. The kitchen is a place for local food vendors to prepare their products. For example, Diane Tindell the owner of Salsa y Salsa Inc is using the commercial kitchen to make her green chili salsa and a fruit based salsa that is sold locally.
Later, a ribbon cutting was held in Bernalillo to celebrate the new community center which is owned and operated by HELP New Mexico. The event officially opens the center which will provide income eligible adults and farm workers with job training and job placement, assistance with utilities, rent, food, books for school, and prescriptions. Staff will also support the HELP-NM Comida de los Ninos - Child and Adult Care Food Program’s (CACFP) clients in Sandoval County, including the Pueblos. The facility will also have a full service computer lab to assist the community with job search and help with resume development. Excess office space will be made available to local non-profits and support agencies.
The last event was held at Fat Sats Restaurant and gas station in Belen. Carlo Trujillo, the business owner, was presented with a certificate and plaque which represents a $4,055 Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grant. The funding will be used to make the business more energy efficient by replacing lighting and making improvements to firm’s refrigeration units.
USDA Rural Development’s mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Rural Development fosters growth in homeownership, finances business development, and supports the creation of critical community and technology infrastructure. Further information on rural programs is available at any local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development’s web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov