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USDA Announces Funding to Increase Access to Education, Workforce Training and Health Care Opportunities in Rural Communities

Phil Eggman
Release Date

Investments will help more than 4.5 million rural Americans. One project funded in Washington State. 

   WASHINGTON, Oct. 31, 2018 – Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced that USDA is awarding grants for 128 projects to increase access to job training, educational and health care services in rural areas.

   “Empowering rural Americans with access to services for quality of life and economic development is critical to rural prosperity,” Secretary Perdue said. “Distance learning and telemedicine technology bridges the gap that often exists between rural communities and essential education, workforce training and health care resources.”

USDA is awarding $39.6 million through the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program. More than 4.5 million residents in 40 states (including Washington) and three territories will benefit from the funding. In Washington State, USDA will award $73,672 to Cowlitze 2 Fire & Resce Department in the City of Kelso tol be used to purchase distance learning equipment. This grant will provide distance learning equipment in fire stations at six sites for emergency medical technicians and paramedics covering more than 28,444 residents. The equipment will enable first responders to remain locally, reducing response times to emergencies that occur during regular training. It will be used for medical training and certifications, and will enhance treatment and patient interaction training during opioid misuse responses.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs 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 areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.