Posted by: Scott Harrison
Website provides catalog of resources for rural community leaders
NASHVILLE – The Governor’s Rural Task Force has launched a new website and resource database for Tennessee’s rural communities, featuring comprehensive information about the task force and a searchable database that catalogs available programs and resources.
The website, a recommendation made by the task force in its October 2016 strategic plan, includes information from nine state departments and six task force community partners. It is designed to provide Tennessee’s rural community leaders and citizens with a single source for information about grants, loans, technical assistance and other community development programs.
The commissioners of the Department of Economic and Community Development, Agriculture and Tourist Development serve as co-chairs of the task force.
“The launch of the new website is the first of many initiatives to come from the Rural Task Force,” Tourist Development Commissioner Kevin Triplett said. “It serves as a tool to enhance communication with rural communities regarding projects being developed by the task force and the opportunities available to those areas this program was designed to assist.”
“The new website will be a great source of information for our communities,” Agricultural Commissioner Jai Templeton said. “The new searchable grants and resources database will especially help our rural leaders find grants, technical assistance, training, and other resources from all departments of state government and task force partners in one central location.”
“This one-stop shop for communities will make a big difference across the state and is just one of a number of task force projects already underway utilizing existing resources,” Amy New, Assistant Commissioner for Rural Development in the Department of Economic and Community Development, said. “Governor Haslam’s budget includes $21 million for Rural Task Force initiatives and we look forward to implementing those programs that will address everything from agriculture and wellbeing to leadership development and job creation.”
In October, the task force released its strategic plan to advance rural communities and promote economic development throughout Tennessee. The task force brought together stakeholders from all parts of the state in a grassroots effort to craft the recommendations presented in the comprehensive plan.
Alongside the one-stop-shop resources website, the task force is working to implement other recommendations made in October, including asset-based planning and the Retail Academy. Asset-based planning helps communities identify long-term goals to leverage local assets, while the Retail Academy provides communities an analysis of retail gaps and provides tools to grow retail opportunities. More details about the Rural Task Force’s work are available at tn.gov/ruraltaskforce.
About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies that help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. To grow and strengthen Team Tennessee, the department seeks to attract new corporate investment in Tennessee and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. Tennessee is the only three-time winner of “State of the Year” for economic development by Business Facilities magazine. Find us on the web: TNECD.com. Follow us on Twitter: @TNECD. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/TNECD.