U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

STAKEHOLDER ANNOUNCEMENT: Rural Placemaking Innovation Challenge

Deborah Brumfield
Release Date

USDA Partners to Create Thriving, Livable Communities That Will Attract People and Jobs to Rural Areas

Department Provides Funds to Help People in Socially Vulnerable Communities, Tribal Nations and Rural Partners Network Communities

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16, 2022U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small today announced that USDA is awarding $4 million in cooperative agreements to 17 organizations under the Rural Placemaking Innovation Challenge (RPIC). Placemaking is a collaborative planning and technical assistance process that helps leaders from rural communities create quality places where people will want to live, work, visit and learn. 

The assistance will help the organizations support people who have been unserved or underserved and live in socially vulnerable communities, Tribal communities and rural areas.

The agreements announced today also will support people living in five communities participating in the Biden-Harris Administration’s Rural Partners Network. The network is a whole-of-government effort led by USDA to transform the way federal agencies partner with rural places to create economic opportunity in rural America.

The organizations will provide technical assistance to help people apply for and get access to government resources for projects to spur economic growth and attract jobs.

The organizations will work directly with people in rural communities to develop plans that will ensure people have access to high-speed internet in their homes, are able to live in affordable housing, have access to safe and reliable transportation to go to school and work, and more. This assistance will support the communities for up to two years.

In Georgia:

  • The University of Georgia Research Foundation Inc. will use $249,980 to utilize the Institute of Government’s Planning Rural Opportunities for Prosperity and Economic Leadership (PROPEL) model. The PROPEL model utilizes six elements (data analysis, citizen input, asset-based strategy development, plan implementation and support, connections with university researchers, impact evaluation) to help rural communities develop and implement a placemaking strategy based on their unique needs and goals. In addition, the PROPEL Placemaking Collaborative has three main objectives; build the capacity of rural community leaders for placemaking and community planning, develop a community placemaking strategy and assist communities with implementing their community placemaking plan.
    For more information about how the program works and the PROPEL communities, visit https://cviog.uga.edu/services-and-research/economic-development/propel.html.

The investments will help people in rural and Tribal communities in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.

For more information about the program, visit www.rd.usda.gov/rpic. To access a placemaking toolkit and additional resources, visit: Rural Placemaking | Rural Development (usda.gov).

To subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit GovDelivery subscriber page.