Items of Interest
WH Rural Council Announces Three New Initiatives
The White House Rural Council, established in June 2011, continues its work to increase collaboration across federal agencies for the benefit of rural communities with the announcement of three new initiatives between USDA, the Commerce Department, Health and Human Services Department and the Labor Department.
According to the USDA website, these initiatives include:
- Promoting A Bioeconomy: President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum today directing the federal government to dramatically increase the purchase of biobased products over the next two years, which will create jobs and drive innovation where biobased products are grown and manufactured. The biobased products sector marries the two most important economic engines for rural America: agriculture and manufacturing.
- Rural Jobs Accelerator: We are launching a national competition, providing about $15 million for projects that promote innovation-fueled regional job creation. The competition will combine funding from USDA, the Economic Development Administration, Delta Regional Authority and the Appalachian Regional Commission. USDA will utilize our Rural Community Development Initiative program to support this effort and provide technical assistance and training funds to qualified intermediary organizations to develop their capacity to undertake housing, community facilities, and community and economic development projects in rural areas.
- Rural Health IT Workforce: The Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Labor signed a memorandum of understanding to connect community colleges and technical colleges that support rural communities with the materials and resources they need to support the training of Health Information Technology (HIT) professionals that work in rural hospitals and clinics.