Woodland, California, Jul 18, 2013 -- USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service Acting Administrator Lillian Salerno and other federal partners met with a diverse group of business owners, lenders, economic development organizations and stakeholders today to discuss manufacturing, jobs and opportunities for economic growth in rural California.
“Through its business programs, USDA can help strengthen this state’s manufacturing sector, creating sustainable jobs and helping to revitalize the industry,” Salerno said. “In his State of the Union Address, President Obama said his priority is ‘making America a magnet for new jobs and manufacturing,’ and these roundtable discussions are a great way to leverage local, state, federal and private-sector assistance.”
The roundtable at Heidrick Ag History Center is part of a series held across the country on behalf of the White House Rural Council and USDA. They highlight opportunities for rural communities to boost manufacturing with funds and technical assistance from a new White House initiative called Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP). The IMCP is designed to help communities create a business environment that leads to well-paying manufacturing jobs. Federal agencies are providing coordinated assistance to manufacturing sectors using economic development resources available through existing programs.
Phase one of the IMCP includes roundtable discussions across the country to raise awareness and seek input on the 2014 pilot competition. Five to six communities will be selected for awards in 2014. Each will receive up to $25 million from the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration. This funding will be supplemented by support from USDA and other government agencies.
Also in attendance today were Michael Phulps and Sean Pierce, owners of Metal Works a metal fabrication manufacturing business in Oroville, Calif. Phulps and Pierce have utilized USDA Rural Development’s Business & Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loan Program to expand their operation and remain a strong, vibrant business in the community. Most recently, the owners were able to refinance through the B&I program, and as a result expect to create an additional 12 manufacturing jobs with the savings.
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 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 a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as the Department implements sequestration – the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act.
USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $828 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.
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