We Can't Wait: Obama announces steps to boost rural economy
As part of the Obama Administration's "We Can't Wait," Administration officials announced three significant actions to expand the government's purchase of biobased products, promote regional rural job creation efforts, and develop a rural healthcare workforce. “We Can’t Wait” is the Administration’s efforts to strengthen the economy, create jobs and support business growth, move the country forward because ‘we can't wait for Congress to act.’
"My Administration is committed to using every tool available to promote economic growth and create good jobs in rural America," President Obama said in a news release. "Today's announcements reflect our continued focus on expanding opportunity for rural Americans and all Americans, including supporting new and innovative businesses, and improving rural health care and education. And the actions we're taking today are possible thanks to the feedback and ideas I've received from hardworking Americans across rural America, including the participants at the White House Rural Economic Forum."
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, who chairs the White House Rural Council, commended President Obama’s actions.
"President Obama understands that a strong American economy is tied to a healthy, vibrant rural economy," Vilsack said. "The actions we are taking will bring new economic investments to our rural communities, to ensure the people who live in these towns have a better, brighter future."
The three announcements were recommended by federal agencies participating in the White House Rural Council, and leverage existing programs and funding, but the new actions will expedite job creation in rural parts of the country.
New initiatives include
- Promoting A Bioeconomy: President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum today directing the Federal Government to take decisive steps 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.
- Rural Jobs Accelerator: The Rural Jobs Accelerator is a national competition that will provide about $15 million for projects that promote innovation-fueled regional job creation.
- 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.
"This Administration will not be satisfied until everyone who wants a job, has a job – both in rural and urban communities," Commerce Secretary John Bryson said. "Today's announcements are just the latest example of federal partners aligning all of their efforts and resources to help businesses grow, create jobs, and ensure that our economy is built to last."
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