USDA Provides Funding to Increase Access to Educational and Health Care Services in Rural Areas

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Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced that USDA is awarding grants for broadband projects to increase access to job training, educational and health care services in rural areas in 35 states. In Nebraska, Southeast Community College is receiving $120,582 to help create a distance learning program.

Southeast Community College’s (SCC) campuses in Lincoln, Milford and Beatrice will act as hubs and will connect to learning centers in Hebron, Plattsmouth and Falls City. Distance learning will focus on health care education and continuing education.  The project will benefit rural communities by allowing SCC to increase capacity and provide more distance learning courses.

“Broadband technology helps provide career opportunities and deliver critical medical services to rural residents,” Hazlett said. “It allows rural hospitals to better diagnose and treat patients. It helps treat people who are struggling with opioid and other substance use disorders. It also helps bring jobs to rural areas.”

USDA is awarding 72 grants totaling $23.6 million through the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program. This program funds equipment that uses broadband to help rural communities connect to advanced learning and specialized medical services.

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 services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit

In Nebraska contact General Field Representative Roger Meeks at 402-416-4936 or

Last Modified: 01/19/2018