Acting Under Secretary for Rural Development Doug O’Brien announced today that USDA is seeking applications for grants that will be awarded to national, nonprofit organizations to provide technical assistance for rural transportation systems. The funding is through USDA’s Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. Today's announcement is one part of the Department's efforts to strengthen the rural economy.
“Reliable public transportation service helps rural residents seeking employment,” said O’Brien. “This funding will help bring technical assistance to rural transportation project planners so that these projects can get underway.”
USDA is seeking applications for three grants. Each grant is to be competitively awarded to a qualified national non-profit organization. Two single grants will be awarded to provide technical assistance to rural transportation projects. The other grant will be awarded to provide technical assistance to rural transportation projects for Federally Recognized Native American Tribes.
Awards made under the RBEG passenger transportation program are competitive. The type of assistance provided may include on-site technical assistance to local and regional governments, public transit agencies, and related non-profit and for-profit organizations in rural areas; developing training materials; and the provision of necessary training assistance to local officials and agencies in rural areas.
For example, under this program in 2012, Rural Development awarded the Community Transportation Association of America a transportation grant to provide technical assistance, training and other problem-solving support services to three tribal transit systems.
Applications are due September 3, 2013. For additional information on how to apply for the grants, please see page 40092 of the July 3, 2013 Federal Register or go to http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-07-03/html/2013-16079.htm
President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA's investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as the Department implements sequestration – the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act.
USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $828 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.