Earlier this week, USDA Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary Doug O’Brien met with local and regional officials in Mississippi to discuss ways USDA can help businesses create jobs and stimulate local economies. Mississippi was one of the first states in the nation to be designated a StrikeForce state by USDA and last Tuesday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will launch its "StrikeForce" initiative in ten additional states.
The primary goal of the StrikeForce initiative is to increase partnership with rural communities and leverage community resources in targeted, persistent poverty areas. Vilsack noted that through the StrikeForce initiative, USDA will do more to partner with local and state governments and community organizations on projects that promote economic development and job creation.
“I am proud to support and highlight the great work under way here to bring economic opportunity to Mississippi’s rural communities,” O’Brien said during a Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator event at Mississippi State University. “Public-private partnerships are some of the best ways to leverage resources for job creation and business development.”
Mississippi State University received a $1 million award from the Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator challenge. It is a partnership among 13 federal agencies and bureaus. The Jobs Accelerator is a critical component of the Obama Administration’s efforts to support small businesses.