Caguas, Puerto Rico, August 29, 2023 – Maximiliano J. Trujillo Ortega, USDA Rural Development State Director for Puerto Rico, informed that USDA held today the 1st Rural Partnership Network Event (RPN) Forum. RPN is an all-of government program that helps rural communities find resources and funding to create jobs, build infrastructure and support community improvements.
“President Biden’s Investing in America agenda provides a historic opportunity to transform our economy from one that benefits a few to one that benefits many,” Vilsack said. “Through Rural Partners Network, USDA staff is on the ground listening to those many different voices in rural America and responding with funding and resources that will help people in small towns, rural places and on Tribal lands build stronger communities and brighter futures.”
Joaquin Altoro, USDA Rural Development Housing Service Administrator indicated that “The Biden-Harris Administration and USDA are committed to ensuring people in rural America have every opportunity to success and they can find those opportunities right at home in their communities.” “From renewable energy and new jobs to clean water and affordable housing, RPN is connecting people in Puerto Rico to resources they need to create new and lasting prosperity for generation to come.”
Dr. Kamala Neal indicated that “Through the Biden-Harris Administration, the RPN has transformed the way USDA serves people in rural areas and throughout the country.” “By leveraging the resources of multiple federal partners in Puerto Rico and identifying projects that will drive economic growth for generations to come, we can create opportunities for Puerto Ricans to build successful futures in the communities they live, work and call home.”
Maximiliano J. Trujillo Ortega, USDA Rural Development State Director for Puerto Rico indicated; “This is the first of series of events and activities planned as part of the process of building a network of collaborators and supporting rural communities with target assistance and across the board needs like grant management, financial planning, social entrepreneurship, financing, planning and prioritizing for successful economic development projects.”
In Puerto Rico, RPN is working with the municipalities, organizations, community-based organizations, and leaders within the 15 municipalities that integrates the three regions, also know as community network. The Southwest Community Network includes Mayaguez, Maricao
and Guanica. The Central Mountain Region Community Network includes: Utuado, Jayuya, Orocovis, Ciales, Villalba, Ponce, Adjuntas, Barranquitas, and Coamo. While the Eastern Community Network is comprised of Fajardo, Ceiba and Naguabo.
The Forum was held in C3Tec, Caguas, which offered a space with modern amenities to accommodate the over one hundred attendees in an easy access centrally-located area, middle ground, for the attendees that came from the different areas of Puerto Rico. “The Forum aimed to present the program to broader audience, as well as build collaborative partnerships by connecting the Community Networks with targeted federal and civic partners and offer peer-to-peer learning opportunities on needs and challenges”, said Mónica Rodríguez, RPN Director in Puerto Rico.
Background: Rural Partners Network
Launched in April 2022 and expanded in November 2022, the Rural Partners Network 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 prepare successful applications for funding. In addition to USDA staff, there are staff at about twenty other federal agencies dedicated to RPN and making resources across the government easier to access for people in rural communities.
The Rural Prosperity Interagency Policy Council, co-led by the White House Domestic Policy Council and USDA, advises the RPN program and shares lessons learned through RPN for policy consideration.
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.
You can follow us in our Twitter Account @RD_PuertoRico. To subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit GovDelivery subscriber page. For more information on RPN, visit Rural.gov.
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