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USDA Deputy Under Secretary Outlines Blueprint for Jobs, Economic Growth

Calling all local officials and entrepreneurs! Imagine high-tech, well paying jobs coming to rural America. It’s not impossible and in fact it’s already happening.  A recent webinar entitled “An American Economy Built to Last: Advanced Manufacturing in Rural America” and hosted by USDA’s Rural Development provided a tool kit for attracting Advanced Manufacturing operations to rural communities.  Among the presenters, an industry representative described how the world’s largest semi-conductor chip-maker scouts locations in rural America to set up advanced manufacturing facilities and even shared a sort of “check list” that his company uses when evaluating a particular area. Officials from USDA Rural Development and the Department of Commerce itemized government programs and financing that can be leveraged to make one’s community more attractive, particularly to this type of investment.

A success story shared on the webinar involved the small town of Martinsville in rural Virginia that has had one of the highest unemployment rates in the State. RTI Metals, based outside of Virginia has a global network. It manufactures high-tech titanium products for aerospace and military applications. After using USDA low-interest loans to improve their broadband network, Martinsville worked with RTI which set up shop creating about 150 jobs with an average salary of $35 an hour and a total local investment of about $100 million.

President Obama is calling for a manufacturing renaissance in the United States, and Rural America can be fertile ground for advanced manufacturing operations, bringing with it well-paying jobs and considerable local investment. That’s why the President laid out a blueprint for an economy that’s built to last – an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values.  The President will continue to work to bring about a new era of American manufacturing, with more good jobs and more products with the label “Made in the USA.”

I encourage you to take a look, and listen to this truly eye-opening webinar and pass it along to anyone interested in job growth and economic development.

2 Responses to “USDA Deputy Under Secretary Outlines Blueprint for Jobs, Economic Growth”

  1. Vicki Boguszewski says:

    At a time when our nation is waking up to the reality of the harm (degraded soils, eroded crops, weak plant strains, and reduction in bio-diversity and bio-availability) created by the mass manufacturing of food and the poor health (high prevelance and incidence of obesity, diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and cancers caused by endocrine disruption) created by the commercialization of the food industry; why is the USDA being associated with manufacturing development?
    The assumptions in this association wreak of backsliding and sabotage of the people’s food supply. Americans do not want to eat where manufacturing dumps! One of the reasons Americans made a big push in the decades past to move manufacturing out of communities was pollution (ie: Love Canal), that has not changed, has the manufacturing industry?
    While long-standing legislation that protects the environment and humans’ relationship with it is currently being challenged and degraded, now more than ever we need representatives to embrace sustainability and not short term solutions. How will we balance healthy people and a growing manufacturing sector, particularly where agriculture is concerned? It appears as a conflict of interests. What the USDA needs to embrace is transistional organic agriculture and carbon neutral technologies.

  2. Charles Maury says:

    We already have numerous “programs” available to small to medium size companies in this country. Having the USDA get involved sounds like another government giveaway just like the Solyndra fiasco of recent past. This is more of a campaign speech than anything else. Let’s concentrate on making the services we have from SBA, SBDC’s Manufacturing partnerships, etc. more effective and ensure they continue to get the best bang for the buck rather than instituting a new program with more bureaucracy will only cost more and waste money we don’t have. Or is that the idea??? Sound good and spend more money so we lose in the end anyway?

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