PAHRUMP, Nev., Sept. 22, 2023 – USDA Rural Development Nevada State Director Lucas Ingvoldstad yesterday welcomed federal and local Nevada leadership at the state’s first Federal Partners Forum event to address opportunities and challenges in rural Nevada. The event is driven by Nevada’s participation in the Rural Partners Network (RPN) and is among the first of its kind to be held nationwide. Rural Utilities Service Administrator Andy Berke and White House Domestic Policy Council Director Neera Tanden attended the event, held in Pahrump. Led by USDA, RPN combines federal, state, and local resources to create jobs, build infrastructure, and support long-term economic stability in rural communities.
“We’re incredibly proud of the unique work RPN has done in Nevada over the past year,” said State Director Ingvoldstad. “Our RPN staff are here on the ground, talking to rural Nevadans face to face. This allows us to not just connect communities to supporting resources, but to further support them as they shape the future of their own hometowns according to what they value. This is the outcome we're hoping for - that every rural community in Nevada has the freedom and knowledge they need to make those decisions.”
“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to ensuring people in rural Nevada – and every rural community across America – can thrive and nobody is left behind. USDA’s Rural Partners Network is a one-stop shop for this, making sure rural communities like those here in Nevada get access to the same opportunities everyone else has,” Administrator Berke said. “Our RPN staff are working with hundreds of partners across the country, directing resources to rural Americans to help them create more jobs and opportunities and succeed, which means more people can stay in the rural communities they love.”
White House Domestic Policy Council Director Neera Tanden delivered remarks on the Biden-Harris Administration’s investments in rural America. She also led a discussion with representatives from non-profits, federal agencies, Tribes, and utility companies to discuss the unique needs and strengths of rural Nevada’s communities.
Rural Utilities Service Administrator Andy Berke offered a keynote address and participated in panels that addressed the telecommunications needs of rural Nevada and shared his own experiences working to support rural communities nationwide. Additional sessions addressed economic development, housing, affordable energy, partnership opportunities, as well as panelists’ personal experiences with RPN support in their own rural communities.
The event included remarks from a representative of Senator Catherine Cortez-Masto, Senator Jacky Rosen, and Congressman Steven Horsford.
RPN work in Nevada occurs in partnership with five community networks. Each community network receives dedicated support to help them navigate federal and other programs, build relationships, and identify community-driven solutions.
Background: Rural Partners Network
Launched in April 2022 and expanded in November 2022, RPN is now active in 36 community networks in 10 states and Puerto Rico.
Community networks receive support from full-time USDA staff who live and work locally. These staff members provide technical assistance based on each community’s needs, helping them navigate federal programs, build relationships and apply for funding. In addition to USDA staff, there are staff at more than 24 other federal agencies dedicated to RPN and making resources across the government easier to access for people in rural communities.
RPN communities also benefit from coordination through other federal efforts such as the Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization and President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative and Investing in America agenda. The Rural Prosperity Interagency Policy Council, co-led by the White House Domestic Policy Council and USDA, advises the RPN program and ensures rural voices are heard and reflected in national policies that will benefit all people in rural communities.
For more information on RPN, visit Rural.gov.
USDA 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/nv.
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