Thanks to Marie Ferris of VT USDA-Rural Development for sharing this news.
Vermont has secured funding for 3 projects all located in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont totaling $133,825. Northeastern Vermont Development Association was awarded $35,000 to undertake a feasibility study for the proposed Northeast Kingdom Center for Excellence – an internet, technology and business service center that would bolster business and job opportunities for the region’s future.
Funds awarded to the Northeast Kingdom Travel and Tourism Association and the Burke Area Chamber of Commerce will further workforce development for the tourism sector, develop regional branding and promote natural resource based tourism. The awards of $50,000 and $48,825 respectively, will leverage and enhance private business investments already hard at work in the region.
“This investment in job creation and training in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont reflects the confidence of the USDA in the “can do” spirit of the people in this region. For decades they have experienced high unemployment and lower than average wages. The commitment to reversing that trend has never been stronger. USDA, on behalf of President Obama, and Vermont’s Congressional Delegation are proud to be partners in this effort,” commented Molly Lambert, State Director USDA Rural Development.
With today’s announcement, USDA is investing more than $20 million nationwide to spur economic growth through the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program, the Rural Cooperative Development Grant program and the Rural Business Opportunity Grant program. For a complete list of recipients that have been selected for funding, go to (http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/SupportDocuments/rdEconomicDevNRCHARTOct2012.pdf). Funding is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan or grant agreement.
For additional information on RD projects, please visit Rural Development’s new interactive web map featuring program funding and success stories for fiscal years 2009-2011. The data can be found at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/RDSuccessStories.html.
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 Agriculture Secretary Tom 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 an active portfolio of more than $172 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.