Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack released a report Thursday highlighting the ways in which infrastructure investments in rural communities help create jobs and boost economic development, and he announced additional investments that will create jobs and promote economic growth across the nation.
“Quality hospitals, schools and libraries are the building blocks for a vibrant rural America,” Vilsack said.
Since the start of fiscal year 2009, Rural Development’s Community Facilities Program has helped more than 37 million rural Americans address essential challenges in health care, education, public service and public safety by financing projects through loans, grants, or loan guarantees.
For example, thousands of families in Missouri depend on the care provided by Macon County Samaritan Memorial Hospital. Unfortunately, the existing hospital had no private patient rooms, and its surgical rooms did not meet current standards. USDA Rural Development provided a direct and guaranteed loan to finance the construction of a new health care facility and renovate existing hospital space. The hospital employs 215 full-time employees and provides critical health care services to a primary service area of almost 16,000 residents in northeast Missouri.
Vilsack also announced that 38 community facilities investments in 21 states are being awarded to continue the administration’s commitment to help create jobs and improve the economy. Click here for a complete list of awards.
In Arizona, the Cibecue Community Education Board, Inc. is being awarded a $50,000 grant to purchase a used cargo van to convert into a bookmobile for the school and community. The van will be equipped with shelving, books, computer, printer, generator and supplies. The bookmobile will provide the K-8th grade, high school students, and adult community access to a library.
USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities Program supports infrastructure and services for public use in rural areas with population of 20,000 or less. Financing for Community Facilities projects covers a broad range of interests, including healthcare, education, public safety and public services.
USDA, through its Rural Development programs, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $165 billion in affordable 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.