Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Economic Development Funding To Create Jobs, Economic Opportunity and Strengthen Rural Communities
WASHINGTON, June 30, 2011 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of 43 community-based organizations to receive funding to promote economic growth and the selection of six rural microenterprises for loans and grants to support rural business development, create jobs and strengthen local communities.
"A strong rural America and a strong agricultural industry go hand in hand," said Vilsack. "These investments will bring increased economic opportunity to rural residents and communities. And they will help organizations expand job opportunities across the nation, part of the Obama Administration's effort to win the future."
The funding announced today is being provided through the Rural Community Development Initiative Program (RCDI) and the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP). RCDI helps community-based development organizations, federally recognized Indian tribes and other groups promote economic growth in low-income, rural communities. Recipients are required to obtain matching funds, which increase the value of the grants. The grants are awarded to public or nonprofit intermediary organizations. The funds are then provided to recipients, which must be located in eligible rural areas. RCDI funding, much of it regional in nature, underscores USDA's support of locally-led regional strategies. Recipients under the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program are development organizations that make loans to microenterprises and microentrepreneurs and provide business-based training and technical assistance grants to rural microborrowers.
For example, in Columbia, Md., Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. was selected to receive a RCDI grant to provide financial and technical assistance to 23 rural and tribal organizations working to create and preserve affordable and sustainable rural housing. Enterprise will leverage its expertise in green building and energy-efficient housing development to foster economic opportunity through staff training.
Of the more than $9.5 million in total funding Vilsack announced today, more than $3 million is being provided for Microentrepreneur assistance loans and grants (RMAP). For example, the Eastern Maine Development Corporation in Bangor, Maine was selected to receive a $500,000 loan and a $105,000 grant to assist rural microentrepreneurs and microenterprises in Hancock, Knox, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Waldo and Washington counties. The project is expected to save 90 jobs and create 40.
Funding for each project is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan and grant agreement. The complete list of the USDA RMAP loan awards is below.
Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP) Award Recipients
California FarmLink: $500,000 loan and a $105,000 grant to provide technical assistance and services that promote family farming, preserve farmland, and promote techniques and disseminate information that facilitates intergenerational farm transitions in Sebastopol.
Accion Texas – Louisiana, Inc.: $500,000 loan and a $105,000 grant to provide credit to small businesses in Alexandria and the surrounding communities that do not have access to loans from commercial sources, and to provide leadership and services to the micro-lending field on a national level.
Eastern Maine Development Corporation: $500,000 loan and a $105,000 grant to provide microloans, technical assistance and training to rural businesses in Hancock, Knox, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Walda and Washington counties.
Adirondack Economic Development Corporation: $250,000 loan and a $50,000 grant to capitalize a rural microloan revolving loan fund for microentrepreneurs and provide technical assistance to businesses in Clinton, Franklin, St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Oswego, Fulton, Herkimer, Oneida, Lewis, Essex, Warren, Washington, Hamilton, and Saratoga counties.
Central New York Enterprise Development Corporation: $400,000 loan and a $100,000 grant to capitalize a revolving loan fund for use by rural microenterprises and to provide technical assistance to businesses in Cayuga, Oswego, Madison, Cortland and Onondaga counties.
County of Sullivan Industrial Development Agency: $440,000 loan and a $60,000 grant to capitalize a revolving loan fund and make microloans and provide technical assistance to rural microenterprises.
Rural Community Development Initiative Program Grant Recipients (RCDI)
Funding of individual recipients is contingent upon their meeting the conditions of the grant agreement. Unless otherwise noted, grants will be used to provide financial and technical assistance to increase organizational capacity. The complete list of the RCDI grant recipients is below.
The Foraker Group: $50,000 to increase overall financial literacy, accepted accounting principles and organizational development for eight remote native villages.
Winrock International: $175,105 to provide mentoring and training to six recipients to further their capacity to deliver housing and community development facilities and services.
California Coalition for Rural Housing: $175,105 to help build the capacity of 14 recipients to support sustainable economic and community development.
Northern Rural Training and Employment Consortium (NoRTEC): $175,105 to provide training to seven recipients in community and economic development.
Rural Community Assistance Corporation: $175,105 to provide training to five recipients to strengthen planning capacity for implementing housing and utility and renewable energy projects.
Colorado Community Revitalization Association: $156,806 to establish community-wide partnerships and increase economic vitality.
National Council on Agricultural Life & Labor Research (NCALL): $175,105 to provide expert assistance to two community-based nonprofits on Maryland's Eastern Shore.
Southwest Georgia United Empowerment Zone, Inc.: $175,105 to increase the capacity of three community organizations in southwest Georgia.
State of Hawaii, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands: $175,105 to provide leadership and capacity building for five Native Hawaiian community organizations.
Illinois Coalition for Community Services: $175,105 to provide capacity building and training to 13 non-profit organizations and public bodies working to revitalize economically depressed communities.
Ida-Ore Planning & Development Association Inc., dba Sage Community Resources: $65,300 to assess local needs and gain access to locally produced foods.
Indiana Community Action Association: $86,683 to train rural community leaders to complete economic development projects.
Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development Area: $83,485 to provide training to increase sustainable local food production in the southwest Iowa and southwest Nebraska.
Regional Development, Inc.: $175,105 to develop leaders for regional food systems.
Community Action Kentucky, Inc.: $75,000 to train water and wastewater utility workers in GIS technology.
Maine Development Foundation: $175,105 to build the capacity of non-profit organizations and low-income communities and expand downtown revitalization efforts.
Western Maine Community Action, Inc.: $175,105 to provide local housing rehabilitation, energy conservation, education and support services to the elderly.
Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.: $175,105 to provide assistance to rural and tribal organizations engaged in creating and preserving affordable and sustainable rural housing throughout the nation.
YouthBuild USA, Inc.: $175,105 to develop the capacities of seven YouthBuild programs in underserved rural regions of Appalachia, Mississippi Delta, colonias, and tribal serving areas.
Northern Economic Initiative Corporation: $150,000
Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota, Inc.: $135,000 to provide technical assistance to 20 Habitat for Humanity affiliate to help eliminate poverty and homelessness.
Initiative Foundation: $175,105 to increase the capacity of six low-income communities to effectively carry out economic and community development projects.
Minnesota Housing Partnership: $175,105 to help two non-profit agencies increase their housing, community and economic development capacity.
Three Rivers Planning and Development District: $175,105 to provide technical assistance to 24 low-income communities as they undertake community development projects.
Montana Credit Unions for Community Development: $76,623 to provide training to implement financial education and coaching programs in 15 rural communities.
Ravalli County Economic Development Authority: $175,105 to assist entrepreneurial artists with business development planning.
Central Community College: $175,105 to provide economic development opportunities by harnessing local asset and resources.
Nebraska Enterprise Fund: $124,871 to provide support to two established microenterprise programs in the state.
Women's Economic Self-Sufficiency Team Corp (WESST): $175,105 to provide training for financial literacy, and capacity-building to strengthen three non-profit organizations.
Local Initiatives Support Corporation: $175,105
New York State Rural Housing Coalition: $50,000
National Council for Community Development, Inc.: $175,105
North Carolina Association of Community Development Corporations: $175,105
WSOS Community Action Commission, Inc.: $175,105 to assist 14 rural communities located in Hardin, Jefferson, and Morgan counties.
Sila M. Calderon Foundation, Inc.: $145,800
First Nations Oweesta Corporation: $100,000 to increase the capacity of eight Native American non-profit organizations to conduct sustainable community and economic development initiatives.
Planning and Development District III: $167,500 to train local governments to effectively utilize new GIS technologies.
Matagorda County United Way: $52,000 to increase financial literacy and organizational capacity for 10 recipients.
University of Vermont and State Agricultural College: $110,215
Virginia Community Capital, Inc., $95,000 to provide training to four public entities to increase their capacity to develop and implement a regional tourism strategy.
Washington, District of Columbia
Housing Assistance Council: $175,105 to fund a three-year program of financial and technical assistance to build community development capacity of local non-profit organizations that work to benefit low-income rural families.
Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation and NeighborWorks America: $175,105
Glenville State College Research Corporation: $175,105 to provide training to eight county governments to undertake projects in housing and economic development.
In June, the President signed an Executive Order establishing the first WHRC chaired by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. To better coordinate Federal programs and maximize the impact of Federal investment, the White House Rural Council will work throughout government to create policies to promote economic prosperity and a high quality of life in our rural communities.
Since taking office, President Obama's Administration has taken significant steps to improve the lives of rural Americans and has provided broad support for rural communities. The Obama Administration has set goals of modernizing infrastructure by providing broadband access to 10 million Americans, expanding educational opportunities for students in rural areas, and providing affordable health care. In the long term, these unparalleled rural investments will help ensure that America's rural communities are repopulating, self-sustaining, and thriving economically.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $150 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.
Visit www.rurdev.usda.gov for additional information about the agency's programs or to locate the USDA Rural Development office nearest you.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).