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Rural Readiness grant, leadership program expands with federal aid

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(The Center Square) – Michigan communities can share in $50,000 federal taxpayer-funded grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to build houses, create jobs and restore infrastructure.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently announced a partnership with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to expand Michigan’s Rural Readiness program.

Michigan got the money in partnership with Resource Rural, a nonprofit that advocates for federal dollars in rural regions.

“The newly launched MI Rural Readiness program builds on our commitment to advancing priorities and meeting the critical needs of Michigan’s rural communities,” Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity Director Susan Corbin said. “By connecting these communities to vital networks, resources and support, we are laying the foundation for our state’s rural residents to thrive and participate in Michigan’s economy in meaningful and lasting ways.”

Through the expanded program, Michigan residents will also gain access to the Rural Readiness Network, which provides technical assistance and roundtable discussion with federal and non-profit coalitions. Additional planning resources are being developed, as well as a Rural Leadership Program, which provide free education to communities on governance and volunteering.

“The Rural Readiness program will help rural communities across Michigan get ready to apply for and win federal investments to build housing, fix roads, create jobs, and so much more,” Whitmer said. “By helping communities improve their capacity to compete for the grants and resources they need, we can keep delivering on the fundamentals that every family, small business, and small town needs to thrive.”

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