JACKSON, Tenn., Oct 23, 2012 -- When a tour of duty is complete, transitioning back into the civilian workforce can be daunting. Now, thanks to a unique partnership between two regional non-profit organizations and USDA Rural Development (RD) finding jobs is going to be a little easier for veterans returning to West Tennessee.
RD State Director Bobby Goode today joined Rep. Stephen Fincher and Lt. Gen. John Castellaw along with local leaders to announce federal funding for a program aimed at identifying jobs in the clean, renewable energy sector. "Every day soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines put their lives on the line to ensure the safety and security of our nation, sacrificing time with their families and careers," said Goode.
"These men and women and the skills they have learned in service are a great resource for America," Goode said. "This investment helps put veterans to work in good jobs in the growing renewable energy sector and increases our energy independence by promoting the development and use of American-made energy."
This first-of-its-kind partnership between Memphis Bioworks Foundation and the Crockett Policy Institute, with a $30,000 grant from USDA RD will establish a network of support organizations, a comprehensive database and outreach programs to help veterans find good jobs in the energy sector. Initially the program will work with veterans and businesses in Benton, Carroll, Chester, Crockett, Decatur, Dyer, Fayette, Gibson, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, Lake, Lauderdale, McNairy, Obion, Tipton and Weakley Counties. The partnership plans to ultimately expand the model throughout the Mississippi Delta Region.
Others participating in the event included Sen. Lamar Alexander's Representative Matt Varino, Deputy Chief of Staff Scott Golden, State Senator Lowe Finney, State Rep. Craig Fitzhugh, Crockett County Mayor Gary Reasons, McNairy County Mayor Ronnie Brooks, Brownsville Mayor Jo Matherne, Tennessee Economic and Community Development representatives Clay Banks, Melissa Cox-Rayner and Janna Hellums, Southwest Tennessee Development District Executive Director Joe Barker, Memphis Bioworks Director Bill Stubblefield, RD Area Directors Harriet Cannon and Arlisa Armstrong and Area Specialist Joel Howard.
Rural Development business programs help local governments and non-profit organizations improve local business infrastructure and promote job growth. Business loans provide needed financing for rural businesses and loan-guarantees are also available to help private lenders increase the pool of investment capital available for business start-up, modernization and expansion in eligible 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 four years the agency has assisted at least 1.5 million Tennessee families and businesses in 158 communities, investing more than $3.3 Billion into local economies through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants.
For more information on Rural Development programs available in West Tennessee contact the Rural Development Area Office in Jackson at 731-668-2091, toll free at 1-800-342-3149 ext. 1495 or visit us online at ㋰§Ⓦ〣" www.rurdev.usda.gov/tn.