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OCED Participates in Rural Economic Development Roundtable


OCED’s Interim Executive Director, Ismael D. Herrera, Jr., and San Joaquin Valley Rural Development Center Director, Eduardo Gonzalez, were invited to participate in an economic development roundtable earlier this month. The roundtable, hosted by U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development California Director, Kim Dolbow Vann, and USDA Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development, Anne Hazlett, examined the role economic development plays in supporting rural prosperity.

The roundtable presented an extraordinary opportunity for OCED to highlight the unique needs and opportunities for the San Joaquin Valley directly to USDA leadership, and illustrate how OCED utilizes USDA funding to further the development of the region. It also brought together key community partners for further collaboration in rural development. In addition to OCED’s participation, representatives from Access Plus Capital, Valley Small Business Development Corporation and Southland Economic Development Corporation contributed to discussions on small business loan programs, water infrastructure, broadband connectivity and other fundamental issues facing the San Joaquin Valley.

Herrera and Gonzalez discussed the impact that USDA Rural Development has had in the San Joaquin Valley, and OCED’s extensive history of utilizing USDA Rural Development grant programs to deliver training, technical assistance and enhance capacity throughout the San Joaquin Valley. OCED is currently administering investments from the following USDA Rural Development programs: Rural Community Development Initiative, Rural Business Development Grants, and Rural Energy for America Program.