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USDA Awards More Than $700,000 to help Create Thriving, Livable Communities That Will Attract People and Jobs to Rural Alabama

Calvin Burroughs
Montgomery, Ala.
Release Date

MONTGOMERY, Ala., Nov. 18, 2022U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Alabama State Director Nivory Gordon today announced that USDA is awarding $700,000 in cooperative agreements to 3 organizations under the Rural Placemaking Innovation Challenge (RPIC) in Alabama. 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 investments that are being announced today will help support the quality of life in two Alabama communities”, said Gordon. “From helping our rural communities to take advantage of the vast natural resources and cultural history of Alabama through harnessing the recreation economy, to creating opportunities for technological entrepreneurship in our rural areas, USDA stands ready to help create solutions that make rural Alabama a place that people can be proud to call home.”

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

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 Alabama, the awards include:

  • In Walker County, The Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham will use a $250,000 cooperative agreement to coordinate outdoor recreation planning to develop an ecotourism target industry in the city of Dora, the town of Parrish and the town of Nauvoo. The Commission will develop economic development strategic plans for each target community and will serve each target community through a detailed survey that will evaluate ways and methods to grow an outdoor recreational economy.
  • In Dallas, Lowndes, and Perry Counties, The Conservation Fund will use a $202,396 cooperative agreement to convene a coalition of diverse partners and stakeholders to protect multiple at-risk civil rights and black history sites and creating actionable strategies for maximizing these community-based assets to support greater social and cultural vitality for these rural communities.
  • In Dallas County, Rural Innovation Strategies Inc., will use a portion of a $202,396 cooperative agreement to partner with local leaders in Selma to lay the groundwork for equitable, sustainable, and thriving live-work-play ecosystems that can support scalable tech entrepreneurship within the town. The organization will also use this investment to perform similar work under this cooperative agreement in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and Rutland, Vermont.

Other investments across the country under this announcement will take place in rural and Tribal communities in 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).

Under 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. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.


USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.