News Release
Release No.STELPRD4018213
ContactDavid Glasgow615-783-1300
KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Sep 19, 2012 --

@@Through a unique partnership between USDA Rural Development (RD) and the Knoxville Leadership Foundation (KLF) 18 local nonprofits will be able to expand their programs in seven counties surrounding the Knoxville area.

RD Area Director Joe Woody and KLF President Chris Martin announced a Rural Community Development Initiative Program grant of $150,000 that will be matched by KLF, for the foundations Rural Capacity-Building in East Tennessee initiative. The program is designed to help community organizations increase their local impact in Anderson, Blount, Claiborne, Hamblen, Jefferson, Roane and Sevier counties.

"Small business is the economic engine of rural communities, creating a support system for those small businesses will promote their growth and in turn, provide job opportunities across the area," said Woody. "Tennessee only received one Rural Community Development Initiative Grant for Fiscal Year 2012 and we are proud the Knoxville Leadership Foundation was the recipient."

The initiative through KLF will provide training workshops, technical support, coaching, mentoring and peer support programs to organizations with a focus on housing, community and economic development in rural areas.

"Knoxville Leadership Foundation's Center for Communities has worked with over 150 non-profits in the Knoxville area and we have seen these groups get stronger, work more efficiently and overall become more effective," said Martin. "We are we excited about our partnership with Rural Development to assist many more non-profits in their important work. The passion of the RD staff to serve our local rural communities excites us to join hands with them in reaching those in need in our community."

This year, the nonprofit participants are: Alpha House, Appalachian Outreach, Community Mediation Services of Anderson County, CASA of the Tennessee Heartland, Children of Hope Inc., CONTACT Helpline, Crossroads Ministries, Dandridge Community Trust Corp., Douglas Cooperative Inc., Emory Valley Center, Habitat for Humanity of Anderson County, Jefferson County Habitat for Humanity, Lakeway Area Habitat for Humanity, Live-It Ministries, Mane Support, Servolution Ministries of Pump Springs Baptist Church, Smoky Mountain Rescue Ministries and Stepping Out Inc.

For more information on the Center for Communities, contact Dan Myers at (865) 524-2774 or at More information on the Rural Capacity-Building in East Tennessee initiative can be found at

Rural Development's rural community development initiative program provides technical assistance and training funds to qualified intermediary organizations to develop their capacity to undertake housing, community facilities, and community economic development projects in rural areas.


USDA Rural Development invests in jobs, infrastructure, community development, homeownership and affordable rental housing to improve the economic health of rural communities. During the last three years the agency has assisted at least 1.5 million Tennessee families and businesses in 158 communities, investing more than $2.5 Billion through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants.

For more information on Rural Development programs available in East Tennessee contact the Rural Development Area Office in Knoxville at 865-523-3338, ext. 4, toll free at (800) 342-3149 ext. 1491or online at