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Biden-Harris Administration Advances Economic Development in Rural Partners Network Communities

Miguel Ramirez
San Juan
Release Date

In Puerto Rico this investment will benefit the residents of the municipalities of Ciales, Jayuya & Utuado


WASHINGTON, Sept. 21, 2023 – USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is funding dozens of projects to improve the economy and quality of life in rural areas that have long struggled to access government resources.

USDA is providing loans and grants to communities participating in the Rural Partners Network (RPN). These investments will expand access to jobs, business opportunities, quality health care, clean water, and renewable energy.

“President Biden’s Investing in America agenda provides a historic opportunity to build our economy from the bottom up and middle out, not the top down,” Maximiliano J. Trujillo-Ortega, USDA Rural Development State Director for Puerto Rico said.  “The Rural Partners Network is working right alongside people in small towns, and rural places to get them the resources they need to strengthen their communities and turn their visions for a vibrant future into reality.”

Trujillo-Ortega indicated, “that Cossao, Corporación de Servicios de Salud Primaria Socioeconómico el Otao, was awarded a grant of $208,872.” “This fund will be used to hire a physician and graduate nurse to administer COVID-19 test and provide general health services for the rural residents of Ciales, Jayuya and Utuado. The funds will serve staff with expenses and improve access to health care in these impoverished rural communities.”

The funding being announced today will support 56 projects in Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Puerto Rico.

The projects will help communities address immediate needs and carry out long-term strategies for economic growth and stability. These projects will benefit small towns and cities, Tribal communities, family farms and businesses.

Today’s announcement includes a total of $148 million in awards from USDA.

Background: Rural Partners Network

Launched in April 2022 and expanded in November 2022, RPN is now active in 36 community networks in 10 states and Puerto Rico.

Community networks receive support from full-time USDA staff who live and work locally. These staff members provide technical assistance based on each community’s needs, helping them navigate federal programs, build relationships, and apply for funding. In addition to USDA staff, there are staff at more than 24 other federal agencies dedicated to RPN and making resources across the government easier to access for people in rural communities.

RPN communities also benefit from coordination through other federal efforts such as the Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization and President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative and Investing in America agenda. The Rural Prosperity Interagency Policy Council, co-led by the White House Domestic Policy Council and USDA, advises the RPN program and ensures rural voices are heard and reflected in national policies that will benefit all people in rural communities.

Since RPN’s launch, USDA has provided more than $800 million to fund a variety of projects in RPN communities.

For more information on RPN, visit Rural.gov.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean-energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

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 assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety, and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal, and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

You can follow us in our Twitter Account @RD_PuertoRico. To subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit GovDelivery subscriber page.





USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.