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Friday, November 12, 2010


Jobs in Vermont Supported by Rural Community Funding

A new round of funding aimed at developing rural communities will support jobs in Vermont.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development recently announced that it will invest more than $228.8 million worth of grants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in the State of Vermont.

Of that funding, $106.4 million will go to small businesses, water and wastewater infrastructure, community facilities, and housing. The remaining $122.4 million will go toward broadband infrastructure in an effort to bring better service to rural communities.

A recent report from Dallas Tonsager, under secretary for USDA Rural Development, found that the agency's distribution of loans and grants from the ARRA has helped many rural residents throughout the nation and created hundreds of thousands of jobs.

So far, Rural Development has awarded $21.2 billion in stimulus funding through 95,000 loans and 2,500 grants. That funding has created or saved more than 300,000 jobs and benefited millions of business owners, agricultural producers, Internet users, and homeowners.

"With Rural Development's loans and grants we have leveraged our Recovery Act funds to ensure the greatest bang for the taxpayer's buck, allowing our agency to make unprecedented and lasting investments in rural America," Tonsager said. "I am proud of what we have accomplished over the last two years toward building livable, innovative and sustainable rural communities."

During September, Vermont's unemployment rate dropped to 5.8 percent after remaining at 6 percent for three consecutive months, keeping it well below the national rate at the time of 9.6 percent.

The state had a total non-farm employment of 293,800 workers during September, which is down from 294,100 workers during August and a .2 percent decrease from last year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


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