New jobs initiatives for rural America increase access to capital, job training


WASHINGTON — At the recent White House Rural Economic Forum, President Obama announced new jobs initiatives recommended by the White House Rural Council for growing the economy and creating jobs in rural America.

The Council’s recommendations focus on key areas of need in rural communities, including helping rural small businesses access capital, expanding rural job search and training services and increasing rural access to health care workers and technology.


The Council’s recommendations, which leverage existing programs and funding, include committing $350 million in SBA funding to rural small businesses over the next five years, launching a series of conferences to connect private equity and venture capital investors with rural start ups, creating capital marketing teams to pitch federal funding opportunities to private investors interested in making rural investments, making job search information available at 2,800 local USDA offices nationwide, making HHS loans available to help more than 1,300 Critical Access Hospitals recruit additional staff and helping rural hospitals purchase software and hardware to implement health IT.

Details of new initiative

Helping rural small businesses access capital doubling SBA investment funds for rural small businesses over the next five years: As part of the Startup America Initiative, SBA recently announced the creation of a $1 billion impact investment fund through its Small Business Investment Company Program.

The Impact Fund will invest in distressed areas as well as in emerging sectors such as clean energy. SBA provides up to a 2:1 match to private capital raised by this fund, partnering with private investors to target “impact” investments.

SBA and USDA will partner together to drive $350 million of investment capital through the Impact Fund and existing SBICs into rural small businesses over the next five years, doubling the current rate of investment.

Connecting rural small businesses with private investment capital: To further achieve this goal, SBA and USDA will launch a series of Rural Private Equity and Venture Capital conferences nationwide to provide a platform for connecting private equity and venture capital investors with rural start-ups.


USDA, SBA, Treasury, Interior and other relevant agencies will also create rural capital “marketing teams” that pitch federal funding opportunities to private investors. These “marketing teams” will leverage existing personnel with expertise about rural funding sources across all federal departments and agencies.

Expanding rural job search and training services

Expanding DOL job search and training services to 2,800 USDA sites nationwide: USDA and DOL will partner to increase access to existing job search and training information for rural job-seekers by providing DOL employment information at 2,800 USDA field offices nationwide.


This will significantly reduce the distance that rural Americans need to travel in order to access DOL job search employment information.

Increasing rural access to health care workers and technology

Increasing physician recruitment at critical access hospitals: HHS will issue guidance to expand eligibility for the National Health Service Corps loan repayment program so that Critical Access Hospitals (those with 25 beds or fewer) can use these loans to recruit new physicians.

This program will help more than 1,300 CAHs across the country recruit needed staff. The addition of one primary care physician in a rural community generates approximately $1.5 million in annual revenue and creates 23 jobs annually. The average CAH creates 107 jobs and generates $4.8 million in payroll annually.

Expanding health information technology in rural America: USDA and HHS will sign an agreement linking rural hospitals and clinicians to existing capital loan programs that enable them to purchase software and hardware needed to implement health information technology.


Under current conditions, rural health care providers face challenges in harnessing the benefits of HIT due to limited access to capital and workforce challenges. Rural hospitals tend to have lower financial operating margins and limited capital to make the investments needed to purchase hardware, software and other equipment.


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  1. There is one thing that will always increase job hiring…………..low cost labor…….this is true at all levels of the business world. The last national level demonstration of this theory was when NAFTA opened the doors of Mexico and Canada to emigrants both legal and illegal. This open door policy brought hoards of eager workers across the border which created one of our nation’s largest housing boom. However, being uncontrolled, an excess of building caused an unnatural demands on our banking system. And to make it worst, 10 million workers and their families remained in the US compounding our problems. So, where am I going with this article? It just might be possible to turn this negative into a positive………….. What if we were able to take this alienated labor force and use it to stimulate the job market! Think about it …… we can’t effectively export 15 million people after the barn door was left open by greedy business practices for so long……. Why not use this work force to make our country as strong if not stronger than it ever was? These are not undesirable people. They are industrious, basically honest and law biding, and want a better life than they were born into. These are the type of people that can put a backbone in our economy! They are willing to sacrifice to better themselves and their family. Sure they work for less than we are accustomed to. What’s wrong with that? Every business needs a majority of ground level employees for manufacturing and processes. With the hiring of these ground level employees the business will need higher level employees at the supervision and administrative levels. So, how do we make this happen? By developing a program that allows these alienated people to sign up for the right to work in our country as long as they : register , pay taxes to our government, and obey all laws while they are here. We don’t have to give them Citizenship, just a right to work! If we do this, we will add 10 million workers to our economy, reap the benefit of taxes from 10 million workers, bring millions of unemployed US citizen into the labor force because of business growth, and have these alienated people pay for the many citizen benefits they are using such as: schools, medical, and social services. They might not be given Voting rights , and all the Protection that a Citizen processes, but I know they would be satisfied to have a job and the ability to provide for their family in the World’s greatest country!


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