USDA Business Administrator Meets with North Carolina Leaders at NC State to Discuss Job Creation, Economic Growth and Rural Revitalization
RALEIGH, N.C., Sept. 27, 2011 —USDA Rural Development Administrator for Business and Cooperative Programs Judith Canales today co-hosted one of six regional roundtables that USDA has scheduled in cooperation with the Small Business Administration (SBA), focusing on creating jobs and increasing private investment in rural America. Administrator Canales moderated the meeting and SBA Administrator Karen Mills and North Carolina State Treasurer Janet Cowell were the featured speakers.
"The Obama Administration is working to support programs and policies that create jobs in North Carolina, expand access to capital, and ensure that small towns and rural areas are viable places to live and work," said Canales. "This roundtable discussion is a great opportunity to explore ways to encourage new investments for rural businesses in North Carolina."
The meeting, held at North Carolina State University, served as an opportunity to educate participants about USDA programs and other federal resources that can help rebuild and revitalize rural communities throughout the country. It is part of a series of roundtables that are being held across the country with senior Obama Administration officials on behalf of the White House Rural Council. Lenders, fund managers and stakeholders from across North Carolina were invited to participate in the roundtable discussion.
Canales noted that USDA Rural Development has helped many North Carolina businesses. In 2011alone, $10.8 million in renewable energy loans and grants has been invested in North Carolina. While in the area, the Administrator toured Ray Family Farms in Louisburg, a recipient of funding through USDA's Rural Energy for America Program. The funds are being used for the installation of a 42 panel solar electric system to generate over one-third of the energy necessary to run the farm.
On September 8, President Obama presented the American Jobs Act in an address to Congress. The purpose of the American Jobs Act is simple: put more people back to work and put more money in the pockets of working Americans. The American Jobs Act is specific. It will put people back to work right now, and it will not add to the deficit. Through a combination of direct spending, such as infrastructure investments, and tax relief, such as an extension of the payroll tax cuts, it will lead to new American jobs.
In June, President Obama signed an Executive Order establishing the first White House Rural Council, chaired by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. The White House Rural Council will work throughout government to create policies to promote economic prosperity and a high quality of life in 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 $155 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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