Rural communities get economic development help

Communities in Ohio, Pa., W.Va., among the 47 selected to receive technical assistanc

rural development, tunnel greenhouse, USDA,
(USDA photo)

WASHINGTON — Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley announced June 6 that 47 rural communities and regions will receive free technical assistance to help create and implement long-term economic development plans.

Targeting “economically challenged rural communities,” USDA is providing the assistance through an initiative called Rural Economic Development Innovation (REDI).

About the REDI project

Each of the 47 communities and regions will be paired with one of four partner organizations that will provide free technical assistance for up to two years to help rural towns and regions create and implement economic development plans.

The partners are the National Association of Counties Research Foundation, the Rural Community Assistance Partnership, McClure Engineering Company, and Purdue University Extension/Community & Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky.

USDA awarded $1.2 million in cooperative agreements to these partners in September 2018. The agreements will help the partners finance the free technical assistance.

The University of Kentucky’s Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky and Purdue University’s Center for Regional Development will support eight communities and regions.

The UK will work with regions in Kentucky, Florida, Alabama and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Ohio assistance

The Purdue Center for Regional Development and the Purdue Extension Community Development program will lend assistance to four sites in Indiana, North Dakota, Ohio and Wisconsin, working with land-grant institutions in those states.

In Ohio, the Buckeye Hills Regional Council will use planning assistance to support regional place-based and asset-based economic development in Athens, Hocking, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Noble Perry and Washington counties in southeastern Ohio.

Pennsylvania, West Virginia

In Pennsylvania, Develop Tioga will selected to use the planning assistance to support county-wide economic development.

In West Virginia, the City of West Huntington, Mingo County Redevelopment Authority and Economic Development Greater East (EDGE) were selected for participation in this program. The EDGE project will include McDowell and Mercer counties in West Virginia as well as Tazewell County, Virginia.


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  1. How pathetic….the USDA claims they don’t have money to pay for slaughter/food inspectors-who are BY LAW required for the sale of meat products (the sale of meat is prohibited unless meat is inspected) thus creating HUGE industry shutdowns…, yet they have over a million $$ to give away for frivolous projects… just more government incompetence and wasted taxpayer $$$….


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