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USDA Partners to Create Thriving, Livable Communities That Will Attract People and Jobs to Rural Areas in Pennsylvania

Daniel Blottenberger
Release Date

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director Bob Morgan today announced that USDA is awarding a $250,000 grant to Hailstone Economic LLC in Columbia County, Pa., 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.

“Placemaking helps leaders from rural communities create quality places where people will want to live, work, visit and learn,” Morgan said. “This program will allow Columbia County to showcase its community resources in a way that can attract new visitors and residents to this region of Pennsylvania.”

Hailstone Economic LLC will use this investment to create a written placemaking plan for Columbia County. This project will invite coordination between municipalities and identify projects and assets the county can use to promote arts and culture while also creating pedestrian and bike friendly intersections within communities. Community Solutions Group and Commonwealth University contributed $ 18,700 and $23,650 in in-kind services, respectively.  

The organization 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 enhance people’s ability to have access to high-speed internet in their homes, live in affordable housing, and 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.

Additional announcements were made under the RPIC program across the U.S. You can read that announcement here

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).

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