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Two USDA-Funded Projects Create Economic Opportunity in Underserved Rural and Native American Communities in Arizona

Isaac Navarrete
Release Date

PHOENIX, Dec. 11, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director Charlene Fernandez today announced two projects totaling over $750,000 to improve infrastructure in Arizona’s fully accredited Tribal Colleges, fostering economic and educational opportunities in their surrounding communities.

“The Biden-Harris Administration continues to invest in and listen to our rural and Native American communities in Arizona” State Director Fernandez said. “This effort ensures that these communities have the opportunity to prosper and possess equitable access to career-shaping education.”

The Tohono O’odham Community College will provide solar power and help offset costs for the new Language Center Building on the main campus with a $351,000 Tribal College Initiative Grant.

The Diné College will provide materials and construction for a livestock holding facility as part of its agriculture education program with a $351,000 Tribal College Initiative Grant.

The announcement is a part of more than 200 projects to improve infrastructure, housing and economic conditions for underserved rural and Native American communities nationwide. These projects are funded by an $81 million investment from USDA.

The investments are part of President Biden’s commitment to advance equity for all, including those who have been historically underserved, marginalized and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality.

New Web Resources for Rural Communities

USDA Rural Development today also unveiled new web resources that underscore the agency’s mission to ensure all people have equitable access to federal programs.

One of the agency’s more recent initiatives, the Rural Partners Network (RPN), has brought together a coalition of 24 federal agencies that offer programs and funding designed specifically for rural communities.

A new feature on Rural.gov makes it easier to find these federal resources in one place. The Find Programs and Opportunities tool includes hundreds of millions of dollars in financing and technical assistance opportunities that are easy to search, filter and find.

The information will help people in rural areas access funding for a variety of business, health care, housing, community and economic development needs.

Under the leadership of 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/az.

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