Two areas in rural Oregon will receive technical assistance to help create and implement long-term economic development plans, announced U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director John Huffman today.
"Through this initiative, we are bringing local leaders and economic development experts together to build prosperity in rural Oregon communities," said Huffman. "This technical assistance will create opportunities in rural areas experiencing severe economic challenges."
In western Oregon, the town of Cottage Grove will receive planning assistance to help market the community's unique food hub, increasing tourism and improving business development in this rural community. In eastern Oregon, the High Desert Biomass Cooperative will receive technical assistance to support the expansion of a biomass heating system that serves local businesses in the rural towns of Burns and Hines.
The nonprofit Rural Development Initiatives (RDI) is providing the assistance with support from Rural Development through an initiative called Rural Economic Development Innovation (REDI). USDA awarded $1.2 million in cooperative agreements to four capacity-building organizations in September 2018, including Rural Community Assistance Partnership, which is working through RDI to deliver this assistance. With this financing, RDI will provide technical assistance using the WealthWorks model to help rural communities identify and market local assets.
Nationwide, 47 rural communities and regions will receive technical assistance. Each area will be paired with one of our four partner organizations that will provide free technical assistance for up to two years to help create and implement economic development plans.
In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory, and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. The REDI initiative was developed by the USDA Rural Development Innovation Center to support recommendations identified in the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB).
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, hospitals, and public safety facilities; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. Learn more at https://www.rd.usda.gov/or.