London, Ky., Mar 06, 2013 -- Lillian Salerno, USDA’s top business development official, today toured a Stanford, Kentucky manufacturing facility and met with economic development leaders in Eastern Kentucky to learn more about Kentucky’s rural economy and offer assistance on job creation and economic growth efforts.
“These are important jobs for rebuilding our rural economy,” said Salerno, who is acting administrator for USDA’s Rural Business and Cooperative Programs following her tour of Lincoln Manufacturing USA, LLC in Stanford, Kentucky. “As a result of the investment made by USDA and our financing partners, good paying jobs are being created and saved in Central Kentucky.”
Salerno’s visit is part of the Obama administration’s ongoing efforts to address challenges in rural America, build on the Administration’s rural economic strategy, and improve the implementation of that strategy. In 2010, the President signed an Executive Order establishing the White House Rural Council to coordinate the Administration’s efforts in rural America. The council’s three core functions are to: streamline and improve the effectiveness of Federal programs serving rural America; engage stakeholders, including farmers, ranchers and local citizens, on issues and solutions in rural communities; and promote and coordinate private-sector partnerships.
While in Kentucky, Salerno, along with USDA Rural Development State Director Thomas G. Fern, also met with economic development leaders in a roundtable discussion on USDA’s revolving loan business programs and toured a business innovation center in London, Kentucky. The Kentucky Highlands Innovation Center provides consultation and access to capital for innovation-drive Kentucky startups.
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, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $181 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.
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