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Rural Development Innovation Center

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The Rural Development Innovation Center is hard-wired into USDA’s customer-driven approach in helping communities achieve prosperity across rural America. The Center applies cutting-edge techniques to provide innovative products and services to its rural customers.

The Center works to improve prosperity for rural communities through its three divisions: Strategic Engagement, Data Analytics and Regulations Management.

Learn more about the Center’s three divisions and the innovative resources they have created to help rural customers thrive.

Initiatives to Support Rural America

The Innovation Center is supporting the following initiatives to help bring prosperity to rural America.

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OneRD Guarantee Loan Initiative

USDA has removed unnecessary regulations to increase private investment in rural businesses and rural economic development projects and to improve customer service within four key guaranteed loan programs. Sign up for updates!

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Rural Workforce Innovation Network (RWIN)

USDA established RWIN to create a forum for public and private partners to help increase access to workforce opportunities across rural America. This network represents governmental entities, colleges and universities, nonprofit organizations, and private businesses that are actively working to improve workforce development in their local communities.

Downtown Cottage Grove, Oregon

Rural Placemaking Innovation Challenge

This initiative provides planning support and technical assistance to foster placemaking activities in rural communities. Funds will help enhance capacity for broadband access; preserve cultural and historic structures; and support the development of transportation, housing, and recreational spaces.

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Opportunity Zones

Opportunity Zones bring long-term investments to low-income communities, creating economic activity and jobs. Rural Development has five programs that offer priority points to fiscal year 2020 applications for projects located in Opportunity Zones.

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Rural Economic Development Innovation (REDI)

REDI provides free technical assistance for up to two years to help rural towns and regions create and implement economic development plans.

Subscribe to Innovation Matters

Subscribers will receive a biweekly listing of funding and learning opportunities in rural America. Access the most recent issue.


Tools and Resources

The Rural Development Innovation Center is in a unique position to collaborate with its Federal partners and rural leaders at the local level to identify solutions to challenges facing rural America. The Center works with its partners to develop resource guides and toolkits to make it easier to navigate the many opportunities available at USDA to help rural communities thrive.

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USDA Resource Guide for Rural Workforce Development

The resource guide outlines programs and services available at USDA and other federal agencies that support workforce development in rural communities.

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Recreation Economy at USDA: Economic Development Resources for Rural Communities

This guide addresses key factors necessary to build a sustainable recreational economy including natural resource management, conservation activities, infrastructure investment, business development and more.

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Collaborating for Prosperity with American Indians and Alaska Natives

This resource showcases a complete list of Rural Development programs that help to ensure rural families, businesses and communities on America’s tribal lands have the resources they need to prosper.

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e-Connectivity Toolkit: Rural Broadband Resource Guide

This resource features 27 USDA programs that support broadband deployment. Each program is organized by customer and project type to help users identify resources that support planning, construction, research and other e-Connectivity projects.

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