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USDA Partners to Create Thriving, Livable Communities

Ernie Watson
Albuquerque, N.M.
Release Date

That Will Attract People and Jobs to

Rural Areas and Tribal Nations

Funds Will Help People in Socially Vulnerable Communities

Such as Mora, New Mexico

 U.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.

For example:

  • The Rural Community Assistance Corporation will use a $227,045 cooperative agreement to provide planning support, technical assistance and training to the communities of Clearlake and Fort Jones in California and Mora, New Mexico. Rural Community Assistance Corporation's goal is to improve the social, physical and economic well-being of each community. The expected result of this project is to build the capacity of each community by planning for and implementing placemaking projects and providing training to community leaders and entrepreneurs to manage the identified projects. This project will serve the community by assessing local placemaking capacity and opportunities to support implementation of previously identified Community Economic Development priorities. This project will receive support from all three targeted communities.

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.