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Posts tagged: spirit of entreprenuership

In Working with Tribes USDA Rural Development Opens Electronic Doors

Webinars and Teleconferences are not the raw materials that Tribes use to build the infrastructure that they need.  However, at USDA Rural Development we believe that these tools are crucial building blocks that help our Agencies and staff build a foundation for consultation, cooperation and mutual understanding with Federally Recognized Tribes.

Over the last few months, Rural Development co-hosted an Indian Housing Webinar Discussion Series with the National American Indian Housing Council.  The goals of that series were clear and simple: 1) Educate USDA Rural Development personnel on the unique issues in providing affordable housing in Indian Country; 2) Educate Tribes and Tribal housing program staff on USDA Rural Development’s programs and services; and, 3) Examine and discuss strategies to improve the partnership between Tribal housing programs and USDA Rural Development.  The final webinar was hosted on November 7th and in preparation for the National American Indian Housing Council’s Legal Symposium in December 2012, we are putting together a joint white paper on the Webinar Series and recommendations to consider moving forward. Read more »

About 175 Brave Sub Zero Weather to Attend Jobs Forum in St. Louis

Many dug out of snow drifts and bundled up due to temperatures well below zero on Saturday to attend the Tri-State Jobs & Economic Development Forum in St. Louis hosted by USDA Rural Development (RD) and Farm Service Agency (FSA) of Illinois, Iowa and Missouri.  The forum was held in conjunction with the Missouri Governor’s Conference on Agriculture.

I welcomed the 175 attendees to St. Louis, set the stage for the forum and introduced the welcome video by USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan.  A cross section of rural areas was in attendance including youth from FFA and 4-H.

Bill Menner from Iowa RD introduced the five panelists who made short presentations on jobs related issues: Dr. Jon Hagler, Director of Missouri Department of Agriculture; Elisabeth Buck, Director of Iowa Workforce Development; Randy Harris, Program Director Laborers’ International Local 338; Brian Bauer with Business Banking Market Manager for National City Bank; and Sharon Gulick, Director University of Missouri Extension’s Community Economic and Entrepreneurial Development (EXCEED) Program.

Some of the “key” things I heard to impact jobs and the economic conditions centered around: enhanced opportunities to promote the “spirit of entrepreneurship” through incentives, technical assistance and capital; more use of collaboration on a regional basis to attract businesses;  streamlining of government regulations and red tape for start up businesses plus improvements in tax code; more lenders willing to utilize government guarantees or other programs to help new or expanding businesses; more funding for jobs training  to help with “skilling up” the workforce; more funding for summer youth programs; expansion of high speed rural broadband access; more funding for ethanol and bio-diesel programs; continued high levels of funding for RD infrastructure programs to sustain rural communities and provide for a high quality of life in rural areas to help maintain and attract businesses and jobs for skilled workers.

The entire forum was captured on audio and video plus numerous staff took notes and pictures.  A report will be submitted to USDA Secretary Vilsack and President Obama.

We collected many recommendations and suggestions from a variety of partners and stakeholders during the forum. Many completed comment cards and we encouraged those in attendance and others that had contacted us to provide comments on the USDA Blog website www.usda.gov/blog/usda or e-mailing to jobsforum@ia.usda.gov

We truly thank everyone that participated and do feel confident that the ideas being collected and submitted will provide a positive result in stimulating jobs and economic growth in the future.

Janie Dunning, Missouri State Director

Opening Remarks at Regional Jobs Forum in St. Louis by Janie Dunning, Missouri Rural Development (RD) State Director. Seated (L to r) Colleen Callahan, Illinois RD State Director; Randy Harris with Laborers International; Elisabeth Buck, Director Iowa Workforce Development; Bill Menner, Iowa RD State Director; Sharon Gulick, Director of University of Missouri EXCEED Program; and Brian Bauer with National City Bank

Opening Remarks at Regional Jobs Forum in St. Louis by Janie Dunning, Missouri Rural Development (RD) State Director. Seated (L to r) Colleen Callahan, Illinois RD State Director; Randy Harris with Laborers International; Elisabeth Buck, Director Iowa Workforce Development; Bill Menner, Iowa RD State Director; Sharon Gulick, Director of University of Missouri EXCEED Program; and Brian Bauer with National City Bank

To learn more, go to the Rural Development and FSA Job Roundtables Schedule, and the News Release, “USDA to Host Roundtables on Jobs, Economic Growth

Vilsack announces ARRA projects to benefits our National Forests

Secretary Vilsack just announced an additional $274 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for conservation and restoration projects in our nation’s forests. The money will mean more American jobs, better trails and scenery in the forests, and new work to maintain these national treasures. The announcement also brings the total figure for ARRA funds dedicated to National Forests to more than $936 million. Read more »