Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Is there an App for that job? Check with Rural Development

By Colleen Callahan, Director of Illinois USDA Rural Development

When we’re looking for an answer to something these days, it’s common to “google it” or ask, “Is there an app for that?” 
It turns out there is an app for job creation. It’s the intended application of USDA Rural Development. As a lender, rural development’s commitment is to finance the future of rural communities. To that end, USDA Rural Development has been working to pursue some of the same strategies suggested recently in the proposed American Jobs Act. 
In Illinois, rural development has assisted rural communities to provide the infrastructure and support for innovative businesses that are the key to job creation and retention.  
USDA Rural Development assists with building basic infrastructure that supports economic development in rural communities, including electricity, water systems, broadband and housing.
We create and sustain rural job opportunities and support entrepreneurs from the micro-enterprise level to large-scale manufacturing, so those who live in rural communities don’t have to commute to metropolitan areas in order to support their families and pay their mortgages. 
In partnership with other public and private sector businesses, the loans we are providing to rural businesses have created or saved more than 5,600 jobs in Illinois. And we continue to improve the economic climate of rural areas by helping develop additional job opportunities for the underserved rural areas and populations.
Those of us in rural America know that in difficult times, we need to come together to work out a solution that benefits everyone, not just a few or just those in certain geographic areas.
It’s about balance.
What happens when our atmosphere gets out of balance? We have storms.
What happens when our systems get out of balance? We get sick.
And what happens when we don’t use a balanced approach to our governmental decision-making? We create our own demise.
Elected leaders in Washington need to acknowledge the consequence of one-sided initiatives as they work to support job growth and build a stronger future for all Americans. 
A wise man once said that nothing can ever be sliced so thinly as to not have two sides. His wisdom can be applied to how we find solutions to our current needs.
Consequently, there is an app for job creation. It’s called common sense.
And partnering with rural development, when rural communities and businesses want to create and sustain jobs, makes good sense.

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