Estherville, Iowa, Nov 21, 2012 -- Bill Menner, USDA Rural Development State Director in Iowa, today participated in open house and ribbon-cutting activities to celebrate new video conferencing equipment at Iowa Lakes Community College that will expand educational services in rural Iowa.
USDA Rural Development is assisting the project by providing a $498,695 grant through its Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) program.
“We are extremely pleased to be assisting Iowa Lakes Community College in its pursuit of offering more science, technology, engineering and math courses to a wider audience,” Menner said. “Our Distance Learning and Telemedicine grant program helps deliver educational and medical opportunities that are urgently needed in remote, rural areas.”
The project will improve video conferencing equipment at all five Iowa Lakes Community College campuses located in Algona, Emmetsburg, Spencer, Spirit Lake and Estherville.
In addition, the funds will be used to provide students at area high schools video access to college-level classes. The high schools include Algona High School, Armstrong-Ringsted High School, Clay Central-Everly High School, Emmetsburg High School, Graettinger-Terril High School, Harris-Lake Park High School, North Sentral Kossuth High School, Ruthven-Ayrshire High School and West Bend-Mallard High School.
Some of the targeted courses for the high school students include Intermediate Spanish, Human Anatomy and Physiology, Introduction to Sustainable Energy and College Physics.
Today’s event was also broadcast live at all five Iowa Lakes Community College campuses. The entire project to improve video conferencing equipment at the campuses and schools is estimated to cost around $1 million.
This past year USDA Rural Development’s investment in Iowa helped create or retain more than 1,600 jobs, aided 2,400 families in buying their own homes and assisted more than 60 communities as they made improvements to their facilities, services and infrastructure.
“Our agency is eager to build on the success of the past and help foster an even brighter future for rural Iowa,” Menner added. “If you have an idea on how jobs can be created in rural Iowa, or how a rural community can improve the quality of life experience for their residents, give us a call today.”
Contact USDA Rural Development
For more information about finance programs available through USDA Rural Development, please call the office located in Storm Lake at (712) 732-1851 Ext. 4. This office serves communities, businesses and residents in Buena Vista, Calhoun, Carroll, Clay, Dickinson, Emmet, Greene, Palo Alto, Pocahontas and Sac Counties.
USDA Rural Development has 11 offices across the state to serve the 1.7 million Iowans living in rural communities and areas. Office locations include a State Office in Des Moines, along with Area Offices in Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mount Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton and Waverly.
Further information on programs available through USDA Rural Development is available by visiting the agency’s web site at www.rurdev.usda.gov/ia.
USDA Rural Development is an equal opportunity lender with a variety of grant and direct and guaranteed loan programs for single and multi-family housing, community facilities, water and sewer development and business and industry programs.
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.
# # #