On Friday, the Trump Administration along with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director Curt Coccodrilli announced that USDA is investing $358,639 to provide technical assistance and training for small rural businesses in rural Pennsylvania, including $99,990 to the Schuylkill County Airport Authority.
USDA is providing the funding through the Rural Business Development Grants (RBDG).
“Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, I am privileged to announce these vital funding in rural Pennsylvania. Investments like this are paramount to the goals of President Trump set forth in his Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity. This investment will help retain and grow the workforce. It is truly an honor to give back to the communities and help those seeking family sustaining jobs throughout this remarkable region.,” said Curt Coccodrilli, PA State Director. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA has been working tirelessly to be a strong partner to rural Pennsylvania in building stronger and healthier communities, because we know when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
Recipients can use RBDG funding on projects to benefit small and emerging businesses in rural areas. The funding can also be used for training, technical assistance, acquisition or development of land, pollution control, distance adult learning for job training and advancement.
Schuylkill County Airport Authority located in an Opportunity Zone in Pottsville was awarded $99,990 and will be used for the design of a master plan for a business park to be located on the Schuylkill County Airport grounds and the surrounding 675 acres. The funds will be used to secure professional services to create a dynamic planning document that will provide a conceptual layout for the future growth and development of the business park. It will provide guidance with potential tenants and a provisional layout plan for the locations of each tenant type. This project will expand and diversify Schuylkill County’s economic base and offer a broad range of job opportunities.
Other projects in Pennsylvania that received funding were:
- Sullivan County located in Mildred, Pa. was awarded $99,900 and will be used to develop a small business incubator. The county currently lacks high speed internet access in areas for small businesses to utilize. This will provide a free space for businesses and the community to gain access to the internet.
- Greater Hazleton Community Area located in an Opportunity Zone in Hazleton, Pa. was awarded $83,750 and will be used to purchase equipment for Greater Hazleton Community Area’s business incubator. The incubator will be utilized to assist approximately 13 businesses.
- Lawrence County Economic Development located in New Castle, Pa. was awarded $74,999 and will help fund the “Forward Lawrence” program, a coordinated county wide initiative that will establish a framework of goals and strategies to achieve the desired future vision for underserved Lawrence County. The plan will go beyond the county’s current comprehensive plan by providing a more detailed planning of future economic and community development efforts.
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs 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 areas.
Submitted Photo / USDA Rural Development