News Release
Release No.STELPRD4022171
ContactKevin Tuttle715-701-2589
Stevens Point, Wisconsin, Oct 24, 2013 --

USDA Rural Development Awards Easter Seals Wisconsin

Rural Business Opportunity Grant


STEVENS POINT, WI, Oct 24, 2013 – Easter Seals Wisconsin is one of 25 nationally-awarded organizations, and the only one in Wisconsin, to be awarded funding through the USDA Rural Development Rural Business Opportunity Grant Program (RBOG). The $50,000 grant award will be used over a two year period to provide technical assistance to individuals with disabilities, aiding in the creation of additional employment opportunities and the improvement of economic conditions in a 14-county area in Northeast Wisconsin.

USDA Rural Development State Director, Stan Gruszynski, said, “We are very pleased the Easter Seals application was approved. They have a proven track record and are a solid partner. More importantly, these dollars are targeted to rural communities.”

The purpose of the RBOG program is to promote sustainable economic development in rural communities with exceptional needs by providing grant funding to organizations that provide technical assistance for business development, conduct economic development planning, or training.

“This award will help us meet the ever-increasing demand for technical assistance for business development by entrepreneurs with disabilities,” said Christine Fessler, Easter Seals Wisconsin President/CEO. “We look forward with anticipation to this opportunity to meet our joint goals of empowering people to achieve full economic participation in their rural communities.”

“Having a disability should not prevent you from having a job if you want one!” Gruszynski emphasized.

Applications for the RBOG program are based on a priority scoring system which considers the sustainability and quality of the economic activity expected, as well as economic conditions in the service area, such as recent loss of a major employer, long-term job deterioration, poverty, or population decline.

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 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 is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users)