USDA Invests $ 86 Million to Improve Equitable Access to Jobs, Business Opportunities, Education, Health Care and Housing for Rural People
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the Department invest $ 86 million to improve equitable access (PDF, 238 KB) to jobs, business opportunities, education, housing and healthcare for people who live and work in rural areas. The investments are part of the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to ensure that people living in rural communities have equitable access to infrastructure and opportunities often taken for granted by people living in urban and suburban areas.
“No matter where they live, their race, ethnicity or gender, or the size of the city in which they live, all people should have access to decent housing, clean water and good opportunities. employment, ”said Vilsack. “It’s fundamental for a healthy society and stable communities. Today’s announcements build on historic investments made possible by President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act to ensure fairness at a time when people living in underserved places suffer the most. These investments will go a long way in helping America “build back better” towards a just and more equitable society. “
Vilsack highlighted 218 investments the USDA is making in six programs specifically designed to help people and businesses in rural areas. These programs include Tribal College Initiative Grants, Rural Community Development Initiative Grants, Subsidies for housing preservation, Delta Grants for Healthcare, Subsidies to socially disadvantaged groups and Subsidies for water and waste disposal.
The funding will help more than 425,000 people in 46 states, Puerto Rico and the Western Pacific. It reflects the many ways USDA Rural Development helps rural residents, businesses, and communities meet economic development, infrastructure, and social service needs. It will help low-income people with health and safety repairs to their homes. It will help build and improve water supply and wastewater treatment infrastructure for people living in American communities along the Mexican border. It will help rural business owners in the Mississippi Delta access capital and business development assistance. It will also help colleges that serve tribal people modernize campus buildings and services.
- Keystone Development Corp. in Lancaster, Pa., receives a grant of $ 173,288 for socially disadvantaged groups to provide technical assistance in business development. It will support women owners of agricultural cooperatives that grow flowers and various types of fibers. The project is expected to help 25 women farmers in three counties in Pennsylvania and five counties in New Jersey.
- Habitat for Humanity / Lake-Sumter in Central Florida is receiving a housing preservation grant of $ 351,135 to help 42 low- and very low-income people with health and safety repairs to their homes. These investments will promote healthier and happier lives for the 42 owners.
- The Skagway Development Corp. in Alaska receives a grant of $ 121,825 from the Rural Community Development Initiative to help small businesses develop five-year growth and operating plans. It will provide services to businesses with 50 or fewer employees and less than $ 1 million in gross revenues. This investment will help new entrepreneurs and small business owners succeed and create jobs in their communities.
- Red Lake Nation College in Minnesota is receiving a grant of $ 175,448 for the Tribal College initiative to purchase computers, a 15-passenger van and lawn care equipment. The college will replace the 30 computers in the learning center and computer lab, and the 32 computers assigned to faculty and staff.
The timing of the award at Red Lake Nation College coincides with Native American Heritage Month, which is celebrated each November to showcase the rich and diverse cultures, traditions, contributions and histories of Indigenous peoples. It helps raise awareness of the unique challenges indigenous peoples face and the ways tribal citizens have worked to overcome these challenges.
The 218 awards announced today by Secretary Vilsack are presented in Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Dakota South, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Washington, DC, Puerto Rico and the Western Pacific.
Under the Biden-Harris administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This aid supports the improvement of infrastructure; Business development; lodging; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed Internet access in rural, tribal and very poor areas. For more information visit www.rd.usda.gov. USDA Rural Development prioritizes projects that will support key priorities of the Biden-Harris administration to help rural America build back better and stronger. Top priorities include tackling the COVID-19 pandemic; fight against the impacts of climate change; and advancing equity in rural America. For more information visit www.rd.usda.gov/priority-points. If you would like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.
The USDA touches the lives of all Americans every day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris administration, USDA is transforming the U.S. food system with a greater emphasis on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe food, healthy and nutritious in all communities, creating new markets and income streams for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capacity in communities. rural America, and a commitment to equity throughout the department by removing systemic barriers and creating a workforce that is more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.